The city of Bulawayo already has a thriving tech ecosystem with its startups, innovations, hubs and pitch events – but if you are looking for another reason to call it Zimbabwe’s tech hotspot you might want to check out an event set to be held there in the next few weeks.
It’s regional in the sense that some of the participants are from the Southern African countries. The event’s biggest sponsor is Big Time Strategic Group, a South African based technology innovation and strategy company.
The 5-day disruptive event will be Zimbabwe’s first ever multi-day multi-venue Technology Festival (TechFest) and will run under the theme “Collaborative Brilliance: Together Towards Tomorrow”.
It will bring together Southern African innovators, entrepreneurs and hackers on one platform to interact with the public, private sector, investors, industry leaders and policy makers through exhibitions, street pitches, hackathons, workshops, breakaway sessions and Networking After Parties (NAPs) among other immersive, engaging, fun and mind blowing activities.
According to the Founder of The TechVillage, Takunda Chingonzo,
The TechFest is really about understanding the state of entrepreneurship through the networked different activities across the city. A person who has an idea on day one could quite literally finish off the week with a somewhat functional product, known market, solid business case and a community to support him/her going forward. This is the village way.
The TechFest is a culmination of the work that has and is being done by The TechVillage for the entrepreneurial ecosystem Bulawayo, and by extension Zimbabwe.
The TechVillage – the outfit behind the event – is a collaborative working space for early stage entrepreneurs who believe that the next big disruption in Zimbabwe will not come from a single rapidly growing startup.
The bet is that it will come from a group of startups innovating in related verticals and industries, that will combine their innovation to disrupt at a truly game-changing level.
The TechVillage currently has an entrepreneurial community of 200 individuals and already provides resources, infrastructure and communities that 35 teams are leveraging on to grow their startups.
However, to continue growing these communities and startups, there is a need for more interactions between entrepreneurs and the public so as to increase understanding of the state of entrepreneurship. The TechFest is one of the events that the TechVillage directly runs to grow these communities.
The Festival seeks to identify and celebrate the daring young innovators that are disrupting industries and rebuilding cities, whilst educating the public on the key issues surrounding technology in Africa and the role that technology can play in their everyday lives.
The TechFest will start with street pitches, community hacks and a hackathon all of which will be running during the first three days of the Festival. These events will also involve the key entrepreneurial stakeholders in “solution development” oriented work.
This will help participants to come together and work on corporate problem sets while working on their ideas as teams and working on the challenges set out.
The last two days will be packed with plenary sessions, workshops, break away sessions, and a keynote address that will close the festival on an engaging conversational note meant to carry the work forward as the ecosystem grows.
Speakers for the Workshops and breakaway sessions will be sourced from both the local and regional technology sphere as well as corporate sector.
This article was written by the team from Tipster a digital media startup from Bulawayo that shares news and tips.