Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


Here are the winners of the ZOL Startup Challenge 2014!

We have just wrapped up the fourth edition of the ZOL Startup Challenge and the judges have made their decision.

The joint runner-ups for this year’s challenge were:

Dream Big: a career guidance platform targeted at high school children

Dream Big the runners up
Dream Big the runners up

ZimboMusic: an online platform for the distribution and promotion of local music.

The ZimboMusic team

The winner for this year’s ZOL Startup Challenge is SociallyZim – An online group discount platform that takes advantage of resource latency in the service industry

SociallyZim, the winners of the 2014 ZOL Startup Challenge

The winners walked away with cash prizes and internet services totaling $30 000. These startups will also benefit from continued mentorship as they follow through with their business ideas.


Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

16 thoughts on “Here are the winners of the ZOL Startup Challenge 2014!

  1. Congratulations to the winners, the top ten finalists, the semi-finalists and all who participated. The race for all these stakeholders group is to focus on either launching or scaling. Participating is a “small win”. The real winner is the one who takes a “small will” and pushes it to commercial success, thereby creating employment opportunities for others. The race is still on.

  2. Why not invest the mari in brick and mortar businesses. These Silicon Valley rip-offs taneta please.

    1. Are you seriously asking such a question? You’re asking for sponsors who WANT to grow the TECH ECOSYSTEM to invest THEIR money in some “brick and mortar businesses”, which even you cannot identify.

      Go read a book

    2. We are living in the information age aka the cloud age , TECH is the new brick and mortar, dont be left behind

  3. well done to sociallyzim, with the low liquidity i think your startup is well position to help consumers get some savings when buying stuff.

    Here is some interesting information that I found as you build up your startup to having a solid business model
    Online clipping services (, or
    Daily deal websites (Groupon and LivingSocial as well as Eversave and the eco-friendly Roozt)
    Coupon referral and aggregate sites (
    Ongoing deal site (Access Development)

    Looking forward to the app & please throw in some QR codes so that the discounts can be scanned at the till ( offline strategy). Partnerships with local retail stores and the hospitality industry could be lucrative

  4. Congratulations to all those that made it to the finals and those who won eventually. It’s great to know that we have people with such great vision.

    I am, however, disappointed at the lack of hardware innovations not only at the contest but in general across the innovation landscape in Zimbabwe. Every once in a while, I do hear of one or two hardware innovations but I believe our potential is much greater. We graduate plenty of engineers and we have enough issues that could use hardware hacks.

    That said, I would personally want to commit to a hardware track prize for you competition next year.DM me on twitter (@vaMuchenje) and i’ll give you my details so we can talk more.

    1. I think you right on the Hardware notion.

      Hardware unlike software is something we have quite allot of knowledge in considering the education ecosystem does go to the extent of having Technikons capable of producing accessible and credible certifications. In my time in High School there were quite allot of hobbyist and enthusiasts in the space. The diffrence could be that there isnt Entrepreneurship knowledge being driven down that line of education that sparks innovation besides creating Repair capable skills.

      The bridge between the software and hardware movements is were most of the value will come in the near future.

      My notion however is that there isn’t allot of Software enterprises currently able to create products or services hardware start ups could consume or leverage from.

      My points could be quite scattered but you right about the Hardware space being of more value than software. Half the software business fail to do right is solving actual problems that considerably affect allot of people due to its limitations restricted by distribution patterns or channels.

      Hardware is Africa’s light and next best frontier, its were all our attention and focus should be.

    2. Agree on the need for having hardware geeks to jump into the fray. I have observed though that the entry costs for hardware are quite high. Even in situations where there are simulators, the added layer of working with the simulator increases the skills required to get started. Then the risks of the demo hardware blowing up (maybe because of power spikes from ZESA) also increases the risk profile of hardware startups. My take though is that should we not overcome these barriers, then Africa will further slide down the startup food chain.

  5. Congratulations to all the winners, this is some great work. However looking at the websites/service I see a need for the designers to improve on the UI/UX as it’s an integral part in selling your product to the end-users not just as a concept.

  6. which payment gateway processes credit cards for sociallyzim (visa and mastercard)? It looks like they are implementing some version of groupon

  7. been doing some research on the techzim startup challenge from way back in 2011 to 2014
    what happened to the profiling of startups you used to do, it was really good and provided many insights on the new startups.

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