Startup Bus Africa 2013

Yes, I got accepted to attend the inaugural Start up Bus Africa, a 5 day hackathon on wheels from Harare to Cape Town! This event is bringing different kinds of amazing people from all over the world to form groups and work on some amazing ideas during the trip that we will eventually pitch to Richard Branson!  We are scheduled to pass through Joburg, Bloemfontein, Beaufort Wes to meet and share with other entrepreneurs at all of the hubs along the way.

Every buspreneur was interviewed and you will find amazing stories from Africa’s thought leaders here:

I am so lucky to be going and I promise to keep all of you guys updated and share as much as I can. It’s a win for everyone!

Chiko Mukwenha has a deep interest in android app development and is an aspiring entrepreneur who believes in the potential of Africa. He professes to think outside the box and his idea for an app called Slack Alert is an indicator of this…

1. Who are you? Describe yourself in 3 sentences.

I’m a young guy who is passionate about technology and social entrepreneurship. I pride myself on being someone who thinks outside the box and I’m not afraid to try new things and take chances. I run a startup focused on education and recently founded a platform to offer thought leadership on tech entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa.

2. What do you expect from your participation on the bus?

I am looking forward to networking with remarkable people from all over the world. It’s not everyday that so many brilliant people from diverse backgrounds come together to collaborate and work on solutions to common problems. With StartupBus Africa, the physical borders have really been ‘breached’ and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can come up with that people globally will say is amazing!

3. Why Africa? Why now?

The world acknowledges Africa’s growth potential. The amount of talent, grit and hard work that the people of this continent put into their daily lives is evident. I think once our generation gets more acquainted with the tools that enable our energies to be channeled towards something that raises our standard of living; we are really headed for explosive industrial growth. Africa has always lagged in terms of resources to get off the ground. At this moment in time, we find ourselves on a much better level with our counterparts worldwide, information is more accessible and creating start-ups has never been easier or less intimidating. The barrier to entry is lower and we are coming together to take advantage of that.

4. What is your area of expertise - mobile development, healthcare, or the energy sector?

My area of expertise is mobile development. Through running different startups, I have become more enlightened about the power of the mobile phone; especially in our environment. I have been involved in building apps for the android platform. To add to that, I’ve taken part in different entrepreneurial pursuits throughout my life and I think I can add the skill of development as well as business strategy. 

5. Please share an idea for a technology (mobile, health, energy) that can solve a problem/s local to the South African region.

I thought of this yesterday after checking my New Year’s resolutions for 2013… I think an app called Slack Alert could be a really cool, a handy app for those motivated to achieve certain goals. Basically, it’s an app that gives you real time updates of what your friends have achieved in relation to the goals they shared with you. Personally, I could use an app that constantly reminds me of what I’m working towards. The positivity of finding out what my friends have achieved will likely push me to take action when I’m slacking!

6. Everyone has a special story. What is yours?

From a young age I learnt to study my little victory moments in life, looking to discern patterns and unique factors that brought me closer to success. What I observed is that an approach that worked on a small problem, can work across the board – on a much bigger scale. The core ingredients of success don’t need to change much; flexibility in strategy is where the diamond lies. That’s why I’m a firm believer in hard work, perseverance and tenacity.

7. Are you sponsoring yourself or do you have sponsors? Please tell us about your sponsors.

The lovely folks from Mzinda Umuzi Hub and are sponsoring me!