Yesterday’s launch of The ICT Innovation Drive was praiseworthy and its ambitious plan of making Zimbabwe a technology powerhouse through increasing its capacity of technological development and innovativeness was equally met with enthusiasm and skepticism at the same time.
The event was marked by startups that received funding to scale up their operations. As usual for startups they are not well known by many people because they come up with new business models that disrupt traditional practices.
Who are these Startups?
Redpen is a startup that focuses on school management software to ensure the smooth running of day-to-day school operations. It enables parents to know their child’s attendance, discipline and progress in learning through data fed into the system and the use of algorithms. Redpen seeks to help schools to organize data and make it easily accessible to the concerned public.
Shift Organic Technologies
It as an agriculture-oriented startup that utilizes technology to make high quality but affordable agriculture products. the startup grows vegetables,herbs using a combination of chemicals and technology to increase efficiency. Apart from farming, Shift Technologies also engages in animal husbandry and the employ the use of chemicals and technology in increasing efficiency.
Shift Organic Technology departs from the traditional agriculture models that are currently available in Zimbabwe which depend on mechanization than technology.
This startup is pushing the boundaries of Zimbabwe’s most valued asset-education through harnessing technology to assist children with learning disabilities and make learning fun and engaging. It also focuses on the preservation of our native languages that have been slowly losing ground in our day to day communication.
Oyos is a startup that provides an online music store, similar to ITunes that is leveraging on internet to provide users the convenience of buying our local music from anywhere in the world.
The startup is in a bid to improve communication between deaf and non-deaf people through its mobile video dictionary that contain more than 1500 English to Sign Language words. Its major goal is to foster an inclusive society through better communication.
I’m still trying to get hold of the founders of this medical startup and I will update you on what they do.
It seems the bulk of the Innovation Fund was directed to startups whose operations are directly linked to Zimbabwe’s key sectors that is agriculture and education. I expected to see startups that are pioneering sectors not yet available in Zimbabwe or sectors that are not yet popular. For instance, sectors such as data analytics.