TechStartup weekend: The place of technology in Africa

TechStartup weekend: The place of technology in Africa

I had the opportunity to participate in The #TechStartUpWeekend - a 3-day event aimed at bringing innovators from all fields and ages to participate in a challenge that would build solutions for Africa.


During this time, I got to interact with the best in their fields; lawyers, psychologists, mechanical engineers , security analysts, fellow startup founders and so forth. Each of us was brought together to spark sustainable solutions that would impact our communities in one way or another.

Truth be told, it was a nerve-wracking 54-hour brain-storming session.


Suffice it to say, from this, we brought to life a number of products:

  1. ABCs of mental Health (A place to get mental to the corporate workforce)
  2. Knock knock(Accessible emergency services to those with hearing disabilities.)
  3. Iko Network (A solution that provides easy registration to visitors within a premises)
  4. Vamva (A #fintech solution solving the barrier-to-growth problems faced by ride-hailing drivers and other mobility )
  5. Caes International (An organisation that gives the local boda-boda rider rechargeable batteries.)
  6. Instruct Kenya - An easy-to-access legal advisory platform
  7. ShopOkoa - money management services to university students

One point that resonated with me, however, was the fact that technology should not be the #1 go-to to solving the that Africa faces.

Technology should not be the #1 go-to to solving the challenges that Africa faces.

Rather than shoving technology down the throat of our future product users, our question should bring us back to one single question:

How will this product affect the local citizen(mama mboga)?

Along with the network built and the products created, I got #first-hand information as to the success points and pitfalls of pushing a successful product through the African market. How do you identify the different types of users, and tell whether that specific cluster needs what you have to offer?


Do the people want this? Talk with the people. Who are your users? How are they different? What are their needs?

The best feedback you're going to get on your product is in the 3 seconds after you tell them the price.

Ultimately, the baseline sits with where you intend to take your product and what solution it intends to tackle. Removing the technical jargon and complexity, we ask:

'Is this the most suitable way to solve this problem?'

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