We’ve received several requests for the presentations and talks that were made at the Broadband Forum on Friday last week. So we’re sharing all the presentations here below.
Last week, the final Jumpstart event of the year was held at Cresta Jameson in Harare. The event was a panel discussion where we invited some of the judges of our annualJumpstart Challenge (it’s just in the second year actually) and local telecoms executives from Econet, the largest telecoms operator in Zimbabwe. The event was sponsored by ZOL.
One of main objectives when we founded the Jumpstart initiative earlier this year was to “connect startup ICT entrepreneurs to mentors that can guide them on building successful businesses.” We are therefore happy to announce that next week, we’re will host an event to that realises that specific objective of mentorship. On the evening of Thursday, 6 December 2012, we will have 4 entrepreneurs and technical executives from some of the largest companies locally as panellists in a discussion on tech entrepreneurship challenges faced locally and strategies to overcome them.
We had the opportunity to speak to ZOL CEO, David Behr on his company’s recent acquisition by the Liquid Telecommunications Group. In the interview he talks about why they sold to Liquid, what this means for ZOL going forward in terms of independence of the ISP and service delivery to customers. Below is a transcript of the interview.
Nearly 2 weeks ago, we had our first ZOL Startup Challenge final where 3 talented winners were chosen from a very strong field. Since then the dust has settled and a number of people have made comments on the Challenge and process. I thought I’d give some thoughts as the idea originator, main sponsor and one of the four judges.
We’re here at the Crowne Plaza in Harare and the winner in the ZOL Startup Challenge 2011 has just been announced. It is the Mukela Travel team. The prize money for Mukela Travel is US $10,000. Of that, US $5,000 is cash and the other half in Internet services.
Yesterday, a total of 15 startups pitched at the Startup Challenge, held alongside BarCamp Zimbabwe. It was quite an experience seeing the 15 teams, one after the other present their ideas and solutions. We have quite some talent and ingenuity among us. This was the first tech pitching event for a lot of people present and, there was a lot to learn for everyone; organisers, startups and we’re sure, even the judges.
It feels like yesterday when l was starting up an experiential marketing business. One of my clients was Ster Kinekor Theatres. I vividly remember the regional GM regularly flying into Zim for reconnaissance meetings; each time we ran through the SWOT analysis one bugger kept popping up! Ster Kinekor HQ (South Africa) placed a bounty on this bugger by bringing in SAFACT (Southern African Federation Against Copyright Theft) but it seemed like no one gave a hoot locally. After carrying out a research survey we ‘discovered’ that approximately 60% of our market were buying movies on the street, at Avondale or the Village flee market…Those were interesting times…it appears as if they’ve taken a new twist.
The Postal and Telecommunications Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has this week published a public notice advising the regulatory position on the usage of Wi-Fi devices. You can view the full notice here.
Last week Zimbabwe Online, one of Zimbabwe’s largest internet providers, launched ZOLife an Internet and paper magazine offering information and tips about the Internet. Stuff like how to choose a good internet package, some 101 basics on fibre connectivity, VSAT and so forth.
So, today we finally got a chance to talk to the David Behr, the ZOL CEO. Below is the full text of the 1 on 1 interview we had with him this afternoon. He basically explains more on the dispute between his company and Telecontract we reported earlier this week. We’re hoping to have a similar talk with the Telecontract CEO if we can get hold of him. (UPDATE (04 April 2010: 1148hrs): here is an exclusive with Telco CEO, Shadreck Nkala.)
Tech Zim: I’ll just start with the current status, after the update on the website and the press news release, what’s going on?