Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



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Goodbye To The Startup Challenge

The ZOL Startup Challenge has been discontinued. We will not hold it this year and will not hold it next year or the year after that etc… There are a couple of reasons why:

Almost half a year later, what’s the latest with local startup ZimboMusic?

I still don’t get how tech and music ended up having such a weird relationship, but as a fan of music I don’t need to really. The music industry has a very complicated relationship with technology. On the one hand, it is butchered by piracy and the countless avenues that have been created by it through […]

14 November Podcast: The ZOL Startup Challenge and the Zim ecosystem

The 2014 edition of the ZOL Startup Challenge came and went with three startups walking away with accolades on the day of the finals. In this podcast we discuss the startup challenge and the impressions it helped shape about the current state of the Zimbabwean tech startup ecosystem. We also discussed what the participating startups […]

Here’s the latest on the ZOL Startup Challenge finals

We have just gone through the first half of the ZOL Startup Challenge finals and have watched six of the nine finalists presenting their ideas to the panel of judges. The first session also contained two fireside chats with Garth Drummond from and Victor Chaitezvi from Microsoft South Africa. They spoke on online business in […]

ZOL Startup Challenge to explore Zim’s online investment opportunity

The countdown to the ZOL Startup Challenge continues with heightened interest from the public around the various activities that will be part of this tech entrepreneurship showcase. Other than the ten interesting startup ideas being pitched on the day, attendees will have a chance to listen to different fireside chats that will explore important points […]

10 finalists for ZOL Startup Challenge selected as semis are wrapped up

Earlier today the ZOL Startup Challenge 2014 semi finals were wrapped up thinning down the participating startups to ten finalists. Twenty three diverse business cases were pitched to the panel of judges who listened to solutions that covered various fields from agriculture, e-learning, social networking, online gambling and sports information. In the end the judges settled on […]

The ZOL Startup Challenge semi-finals on today

Exactly two months since we announced the 2014 ZOL Startup Challenge we have already reached the semi-finals which are happening today at Area 46 in Harare. The past 8 weeks have involved engagement with startups and techpreneurs through skills sessions and a drive to demystify the entire process for this year’s ZOL Startup Challenge. Throughout […]

ZOL Startup Challenge 2014 semi-finalists selected

The journey to the ZOL Startup Challenge 2014 finals continued this week as we passed the deadline for applications on the 30th of September with 23 startups being shortlisted for the semi-finals. Yesterday these 23 semi-finalists and the rest of the applicants not fortunate to be considered for this year’s edition were notified. The 23 startups are now […]

10 great tools for tech startups

Anyone who is part of a startup will tell you that the road is hardly easy. There’s a need to put on many hats to get the job done as startups are lean organisations that can hardly afford to hire someone for every role. Thanks to various tech tools some of the work is made easier […]

Check out the 2014 ZOL Startup Challenge video

The ZOL Startup Challenge 2014 is getting more interesting by the week. Proceedings kicked off with a meetup held in Harare a fortnight ago. Last week, the ZOL Startup Challenge was in Bulawayo for the first time with a tech-entrepreneurship training session and a meetup to introduce the Bulawayo Tech Community to the new extended […]

ZOL Startup Challenge workshops wrapped up as call for applications begins

Earlier today the second and final ZOL Startup Challenge skills training workshop was held at Area 46 in Mt Pleasant Harare. The event came on the heels of a similar workshop conducted two days ago in Bulawayo at NUST. The focus of both workshops was to teach skills in entrepreneurship for Internet based businesses through […]

Is there any good internet service in Bulawayo?

A few days ago part of the Techzim team was in Bulawayo for the ZOL Startup Challenge Meetup that was held at NUST. While the City of Kings provided a warm reception and an encouraging response from the vibrant tech ecosystem, the quality of internet service we experienced left a lot to be desired. Over a […]

ZOL Startup Challenge Bulawayo meetup review

Two days ago the Techzim and ZOL were at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) for a tech entrepreneurship skills workshop and the first ever ZOL Startup Challenge Bulawayo Meetup. The City of Kings’ techie community came out in full force for the event with a lot of startups expressing their interest in […]

All set for ZOL Startup Challenge Harare skills workshop

Are you in a tech startup and keen on picking some valuable skills in entrepreneurship for your small business? On Saturday 6 September there will be an opportunity to do just that at the ZOL Startup Challenge Tech Entrepreneurship Training Workshop. The event starts at 10am and ends at 1pm The event will be hosted […]

The true value of mentorship for tech startups

“If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.” That’s one power quote from J Lorren Norris that pretty much sums up the logic behind mentorship – reaching out for guidance from those who have walked the path you intend on taking. For every startup, the story behind that […]

NUST to host ZOL Startup Challenge Bulawayo tech entrepreneurship training & meetup

Hot on the heels of a successful ZOL Startup Challenge meetup held in Harare last week. Techzim and ZOL Zimbabwe will be descending on Bulawayo on the 4th of September for the ZOL Startup Challenge Bulawayo tech entrepreneurship training and meetup. Thanks to our partners Sky Hub, we have managed to secure NUST to host […]

Special Edition Podcast: The ZOL Startup Challenge Harare meetup

In this podcast we discussed the ZOL Startup Challenge meetup that was held on the 21st August 2014. We shared details about the turnout, experiences and general atmosphere of the event. We talked about the upcoming meetup set for Bulawayo. We also discussed how the startup challenge has impacted the tech ecosystem in Zimbabwe. Quick […]

ZOL Startup Challenge format introduction meetup a success

It was a night of powerful engagement, insightful talks and network building as Techzim held the ZOL Startup Challenge Harare introductory meet-up yesterday at working space Area 46. The event kicked off the Startup Challenge process as ZOL and Techzim took the opportunity to lay out the new format of the annual techpreneurship showcase. This […]

Livestream for the ZOL Startup Challenge Harare Meet Up

Its finally here! The ZOL Startup Challenge Harare Meetup is set to start any moment now and seats have started to fill up. For those of us who couldn’t make it but are keen on checking out what’s going at the event tonight we have set up a livestream link. You can check it out […]

Latest Techzim Podcast: The ZOL Startup Challenge meet-up, WhatsApp Plus and Zim e-commerce

In this edition of the Techzim podcast we discussed the 2014 ZOL Startup Challenge meet-up scheduled for the 21st of August. We also dug into WhatsApp Plus discussing whether it is worth all the fuss. Also discussed was how WhatsApp is being used to distribute movie trailers plus a discussion of e-commerce in Zimbabwe. Please feel […]

All is set for ZOL Startup Challenge Harare meetup next week

It’s ZOL Startup Challenge season again and as we mentioned in our earlier release, this year’s event has been scaled up to add a whole new dimension of competitiveness and reach. On Thursday the 21st of August there will be the first meetup for the Startup Challenge at Area 46, a new co-working space and […]

The ZOL Startup Challenge 2014 to be bigger, better and much more fun

Today we are proud to announce that Zimbabwe’s most anticipated startup competition is upon us. The fourth edition of the ZOL Startup Challenge kicks off today and we have bumped up the competition format and process to make it bigger, far reaching and a whole lot more fun. Over the past few weeks, actually months […]

ZOL sponsors Startup Challenge for the 4th Year

Local internet service provider, ZOL Zimbabwe, has once again thrown its full weight behind the ZOL Startup Challenge. The tech startup showcase, now in its fourth year, has had ZOL as its title sponsor since its inception in 2011. The ZOL Startup Challenge is an annual competition for tech startups that pits participants against each […]

How’s this for a relevant startup idea –

They say that some of the best ideas are found in the graveyard, buried with their originators. I have had my fair share of dances with hackathons and startup challenges, never seeming to crack the code that leads to winning, funding and eventual IPO! I have had my share of sleepless nights thinking of the […]

eCommerce startup, ZIMALL, forges ahead despite Challenge setback was one of the bright ideas that came through at this year’s ZOL start-up challenge and despite not coming close to the coveted $10,000 prize money, they are forging ahead with their project which is already live here. Techzim caught up with them this week and they were quite eager to sign up […]

Here are this year’s ZOL Startup Challenge winners

They came. They pitched. Got feedback. Refined their pitches. And today the finals of the ZOL Startup Challenge took place! So we’re excited the winners of the challenge this year. First place goes to Schools Sports Network, a sports media startup focusing on schools. They just changed their name from Frontrowzim so most of the […]

ZOL Startup Challenge 2013 finals: D-Day is nigh!

Tomorrow marks the pinnacle of the 2013 ZOL Startup Challenge. What began as a list of 44 applications has gone through a rigorous pitching , feedback and refinement process of with 5 teams remaining. It’s been yet another exciting journey filled with learning and collaboration. All the best to each of the five startups and […]

ZOL Startup Challenge battle tips #TechzimSurge

7 days are left before Techzim Surge and the epic Zol Startup Challenge. The visual below has 5 tips we believe are important for contestants and even for startups that will not be pitching. Over time, we’ve come to realise that the most important factor for any startup to focus on is preparation. All the best! […]

Thou shalt not form a startup

I still remember the ZOL startup of 2010 like it was yesterday. A room filled to the with young and ambitious talent that wanted to make a difference and bring back their country from out of the cold limbo of the just past decade long crisis. Fast forward to today and many of those startups are gone, long forgotten and the few that have made it can only have their successes chalked up as modest.

Some thoughts on the ZOL Startup Challenge

Nearly 2 weeks ago, we had our first ZOL Startup Challenge final where 3 talented winners were chosen from a very strong field. Since then the dust has settled and a number of people have made comments on the Challenge and process. I thought I’d give some thoughts as the idea originator, main sponsor and one of the four judges.