More Details About The Startups That Received Funding From The Potraz Innovation Fund

Alvine Chaparadza Avatar
POTRAZ exhibition booth

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.

NatiV Project

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.

Purple Signs

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.


  1. Viola Georges

    And if you try to downoad that RedPen app, it seems it is not available in Zimbabwe yet.

  2. Zwe

    I agree with you on the last statement Alvine, we seem here to be concentrating on “the usual stuff,” nothing cutting edge per se. Are we still imitators instead of innovators? This reminds me of another article here that talked about how this start up’s were selected for funding (by Acamdemics only), per haps there is need to get business leaders & entrepreneurs into the selection process so we can select startups that drive Zimbabwe forward.

    Secondly, I didn’t quite understand how the Shift Organic Technologies model works. How do they use technology? To water plants at a specified time or after reading soil moisture content? does it apply fertilisers/chemicals at certain ratios depending on the needs of the plants??? Not quite clear.

    Lastly did the President actually talk about ICT Policy, I dont recall that in his speech. If so what was so different from the 2015 ICT policy?

    Thank you TechZim, we appreciate the news.

    1. LOL

      Seems they should have been in the First Position. They are the most relevant on innovation. Even though all they did was Search for some hydroponic and aquaponic videos on youtube. Its better that they implemented the ideas throuh own Demos before actually winning several awards. Even Globally they have won – m sure they have shown something worth noting for they to win a Global Award in Korea and Australia.

  3. Anonymous

    Biased selection of Innovators.Shame on POTRAZ

  4. fiend

    Shift “Organic” Technologies uses chemicals?

    Like seriously?

    The irony!

    The rest of the world is going “organic” in the true sense, and they’re using chemicals.

    1. LOL

      They dont use any chemicals man. They use Fish poop. I dont understand why the Writer said Chemicals

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