Culture Shift Zimbabwe – the winning teams

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Today was the final day of the Culture Shift Zimbabwe challenge. After a two day long hackathon of refining their ideas, writing code and finally pitching their ideas this morning, 3 out of the participating 6 teams were selected winners and will be further developing their solutions with the assistance of the British Council.

The top team was Openbook who are solving a problem for local writers by creating a local distribution platform for books via biNu. The problem is that local writers can only sell on international eCommerce sites like Amazon and the average Zimbabwean cannot buy on Amazon. Openbooks. The biNu platform is feature phone friendly and also has significant protection for the writers and publishers against illegal copying of the content.

OpenbookThe team has already secured endorsement from the writers association of Zimbabwe and influential voices in the industry like kwaChirere. Openbook will be getting £4,000 over a given period of time, free installation of a fixed broadband solution and 9 month’s worth of broadband. They will also get guidance through the development of their solution.

The first runner-up was Big Eyes. The team is in summary creating a YouTube for low bandwidth   connections and one that focuses on mobile devices; feature phones and entry level smartphones. The team also want the application to be used by local filmmakers to showcase their work and possible to be able raise funds for the projects as a result. Big Eyes will get £1,500 as well as the free installation of a fixed broadband solution and 9 month’s worth of broadband. They will also get the mentorship assistance for the further development of their solution.

Big Eyes

The Big Eyes Team

The second runner-up was Farira. The team is creating a web based eCommerce solution that enables ZImbabwean visual artists to showcase their work and for the international market to discover and purchase Zimbabwean art easily. The team will get the same prizes as the first runner-up. Farira by the way changed names, they were called Zimcreative during the Ideation.

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The Farira Team

The Farira Team

You can see the full list of the teams 6 here.

For us It was two days of learning, getting to know new people and we had such a blast interacting with everyone there. Nothing is given of-course but there’s so much potential in the top 3 solution in terms of successful execution so we’re looking forward to working with them. The other three that didn’t make it to the top, Good to go, 2 Degrees, iCreate. They also have a great chance to refine their solution and work onward as teams even though they didn’t make it today.

If you were not following the event’s live tweeting on Twitter, we encourage you to take time to go through the hashtag #CSZim. Here are a few more pictures we took:



10 Comments

  1. Chanyane says:

    Awesome! I am consulting at a neighboring country university and I get jealous when frequently get bombarded with request/invitations for local to attend sponsored requests for funding, incubation pitches, research fund proposal writing, free entrepreneurial development, innovation hub hosting and all sort of support for developing knowledge economy products/companies. To see something like this happening back home shouts “Zim is getting back on its feet”! Simply awesome….

  2. Méh says:

    well done s Openbook.
    your idea is not bad, cant wait to see how it pans out

    1. Openbook says:

      Thank you Méh, we can’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on.

  3. Méh says:

    I just have one question, why use biNu though really. Does that not defeat the whole purpose of innovating? What if biNu shuts down tomorrow?

    1. Openbook says:

      We will be sharing more information about our plans and the practical reasons behind some of the choices we’ve made very soon. In the mean time you can get more information at our home page openbook.ziguru.com .

      1. Méh says:

        okay. Thanks will check it out.

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