On Friday this week, the JumpStart community will hold its second event. This event covers a topic that concerns many a would-be entrepreneur in Zimbabwe; that of Intellectual Property (IP), specifically, the answer to the question; “How is my IP protected?”, or a more direct variation of the question; “What if big company X steals my idea?”
And it’s not just a concern in Zimbabwe, it’s an issue in all budding tech startup communities across the emerging markets. Non-Disclosure Agreements and issues of patents are contentious in established markets as well.
The questions have of coursed in turn raised concern in the people working with entrepreneurs whether that’s mobile network operators, VCs, or other experienced entrepreneurs. Most of the concerns are summarised in this article by Tim Ferriss; “Trust me, your idea is worthless”. Indeed, the advice we hear from these ‘enablers in the ecosystem’ every now and again is that, too much IP concern and focus on it actually stifles innovation.
But let’s not simplify things needlessly. To help the tech community understand IP, JumpStart has invited IP expert Aleck Ncube, who is currently the acting director of the National University of Science and Technology Technopark (More about the NUST Technopark here next week). Ncube has extensive knowledge on the subject having undertaken research on Technology Transfer in Academic Institutions at the International Technology Transfer Institute www.unh.edu/itti (ITTI), at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in the US. You can read more about Ncube on the event page.
To attend the event, please make a booking on the JumpStart event page, http://www.jumpstart.co.zw/events/a-presentation-on-intellectual-property-by-aleck-ncube/. Please do sign up to help the JumpStart organisers plan accordingly. Attendance is free, but you need to make a booking via the JumpStart website.
If you feel you have any specific questions you need answered at the event, please send an email to email@example.com and we’ll ensure that Ncube has a response for you at the event. You can also enter it in the comments section below.
This month’s meetup is sponsored by ZOL, one of Zimbabwe’s largest internet service providers. The guys that sponsored the Startup Challenge last year. Besides learning about IP, Technology Transfer, and the opportunity to ask an IP expert about the subject, you’ll also get the opportunity to meet other technologists, tech entrepreneurs, VCs and other folk in the industry.