Between the 7th and the 12th of November several tech entrepreneurs with different skills trooped across 4 Southern African countries on a bus with the sole objective of birthing tech startups and exploring the startup environment in the region.
They also had the opportunity to pitch their ideas at Africacom 2014 in Cape Town South Africa with one of the teams being selected as a winner.
This only gives a rough idea of what Ampion Venture Bus was all about, so we decided to get a perspective from some of the participants. We managed to have a discussion with three guys (Douglas Chifetete, Tawanda Chikosi and Tafadzwa Makura) that were on that 3500 km long hackathon.
They shared their experiences on the bus and talked about the different projects their teams were working on. Part of the discussion centred on the issue of government’s involvement in the growth and development of the tech startup ecosystem.
While we always talk about the infancy of the Zimbabwean tech ecosystem there are other steps that we should be taking towards a holistic involvement of parties that have a direct impact on its growth.
Other countries in the region(Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda) and on a global scale (Israel) that are also passionate about the growth of their ecosystems have achieved multi-level state engagement on several issues tied to their tech ecosystems and tech entrepreneurship.
Shouldn’t we be doing the same in the Zimbabwean case? Beyond the lessons learnt and shared from the Ampion Venture Bus, how do we kick-start a progressive relationship with the state and every other stakeholder that is late to the party?
Please feel free to share your own views on this issue and other aspects discussed in this podcast.