While in London at the RGS event I spoke about a different way that I’ve been trying to explain the startup and successful ecosystem needed in places like Africa. Specifically, in the major technology hubs for the continent, these are cities; Nairobi, Jo’burg, Accra, Lagos and Cairo. There seems to be enough funding available for SMEs. How do we get more of them?
It goes something like this.
We have a few good success stories in any one of these cities. There are a handful of great tech companies and organizations that have “made it”. This can be seen as a success in innovation or in business (or in both). Everyone wants to be at the tip of this, and these are the examples we hear of at international conferences and read about in the media.
In the middle we have everyone else, the guys who are still slugging away. They have some clients and revenue streams, but they’re not at the top (yet).
At the bottom, that’s what we deal with in places like the iHub and m:lab. These are those scrappy startups that might or might not have any right being in the place. They’re risky, probably don’t have a solid business model yet, and only a few of them will graduate into the SME space above them.
What to do?
To make the tip of the pyramid bigger, to have more success stories in the tech space, there is only one option: you have to make the base of the pyramid broader.
If your job is to see more innovative new tech companies come out of Africa, the recipe is quite simple:
- Invest seed funds into local tech entrepreneurs.
(that’s my only bullet point, it’s that simple)
June 1, 2011 at 9:06 am
Capital is not the most important requirement for a business. Its customers who matter most.
June 9, 2011 at 9:48 am
@Mr. Majani, that’s a dumb argument, similar to Idea Vs Execution(it is: .gsub,”VS”,”+”).
And its the tech-ent’s job to focus on customer. The investor/angels/incubator/’s customer is the startup.
June 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm
@sadq70 good luck finding someone to finance a plain idea in Kenya. How about getting some sort of test product going on the ground, and seeing the response, getting some revenues THEN going for some growth capital?
June 10, 2011 at 5:09 am
@Mr. Majani, Yes, just as I said it, in ruby though.
June 17, 2011 at 3:56 am
Great idea is good but you still need funds to actualize it. But if your idea is workable and genuine, it will drive you to source for funds. Surprisingly, you will discover that you are able to raise the funds need. Possess the idea and let the idea possess you. When your idea possesses you, you will not mind any obstacle that might come your way.