Only three days are left until the much anticipated fourth edition of the ZOL Startup Challenge Finals taking place at Cresta Lodge in Harare.
What has been a long journey that started in August this year, will reach its climax on Friday as the ten finalists battle it out for the prize money and the opportunity to come out tops in Zimbabwe’s largest tech entrepreneurship showcase.
While victory is easily seen as the greatest takeaway from such an experience, this year’s participating entrepreneurs have received the added benefit of mentorship from individuals with knowledge and understanding in different aspects of entrepreneurship.
Focus areas for this mentorship have covered cornerstone aspects of tech entrepreneurship which include:
Business modelling techniques in techpreneurship
This was led by Douglas Chifetete, a business consultant currently leading an entrepreneurship track for IT students at the UZ
The importance of validation
Clinton Mutambo, founder of Esaja, talked about the importance of validating a business idea and knowledge of one’s market, with an interesting reference to the Alibaba success story.
The cultivation of relationships in business
This session was taken by Chenjerai Katanda, the founder and CEO of the School Sports Network and winner of last year’s ZOL Startup Challenge.
What to consider when raising finance for a startup
Clive Msipha, the founder and CEO of Untu Capital led this mentorship session drawing from his own experiences as a financier and investor.
Key elements for startup pitching
In this session Limbikani highlighted important considerations for pitching a startup idea to judges and investors.
An overview of the Zimbabwean mobile telecoms ecosystem
Leon De Fleuriot from Econet Wireless took the entrepreneurs through a quick breakdown of mobile telecoms operators’ expectations from entrepreneurs that want to partner with them
Choosing the right technologies
Walter Chipangura, tech enthusiast and founder of Brainstorm took the entrepreneurs for a session on how to choose the right tech platforms when creating a solution.
An overview of Intellectual property law and the pitfalls to be avoided by startups
This mentorship session was conducted by Brenda Matanga, an IP law expert and the founding partner of B Matanga IP Attorneys
An entire day was set aside for the appreciation of team dynamics and learning how fun group activities can bring different personalities together.
Lessons in digital marketing for startups
This was an insight into digital marketing specifics provided by Techzim’s William Chui
The startups are now making final preparations for Friday, and each team will be incorporating everything they have learnt in their final pitches and carrying it into the market after the Startup Challenge.
Are you keen on watching these ten final startups pitch their business ideas? You can find out more about attending this event here.