ZOL Startup Challenge mentorship: what have the startups learnt?

Nigel Gambanga Avatar
Douglas Chifetete

ZOL Startup ChallengeOnly 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

Douglas Chifetete

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.

Clinton Mutambo Esaja

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.

Chenje Katanda SSN

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.

Clive Msipha Untu Capital

Key elements for startup pitching

In this session Limbikani highlighted important considerations for pitching a startup idea to judges and investors.

L Makani Techzim

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

Brenda Matanga


Team building

An entire day was set aside for the appreciation of team dynamics and learning how fun group activities can bring different personalities together.

ZOL Startup Challenge

Lessons in digital marketing for  startups

This was an insight into digital marketing specifics provided by Techzim’s William Chui

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.



  1. Kedo

    yah zvakumberi, this is brilliant i think u guys are contributing to zimasset more than any other organisation in zimbabwe. in the next 10 years u will look back and find that some of the companies that went through or won the techzim startup challenge are employing hundreds of thousands of people in zimbabwe. i am impressed

  2. Gift Gana

    Looking forward to the finals. With this quality and quantity of prior mentor ships, this ought to be the best finals ever. Well done TechZim & associates

  3. Khal Drogo

    Please live stream the Final event because we reside far from Sango Conference Centre or Cresta Lodge in times of proximity.

  4. Clinton

    Wow – well done ZOL, Team Techzim and all partners! Your passion & commitment is inspiring. I’m glad to be a part of this epic initiative 🙂