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THE E-INNOGRAM SEPTEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER VOL 3, ISSUE 5

LETSHEGO GROUP AWARDS BIH INNOVATIVE START-UPS

Botswana Innovation Hub and Letshego Holdings Limited (Letshego Group) hosted a virtual pitch session that showcased the great works from 8 budding BIH start-up innovators with their market ready solutions. The start-ups presented their business ideas to a panel of judges, comprising of select executives from Letshego’s regional markets. The start-up companies that were awarded the top three positions were as follows:

Position 1: Kwiky represented by Titose Chembezi - Awarded P30, 000 Prize Money

Kwiky is a Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C) solution that facilitates access to financial services for the underbanked by accessing mobile phone and mobile wallet transaction data from various data points including parastatals, research agencies and onboarding ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) documentation, integrating this concept into a comprehensive credit risk framework to support financial services.

Position 2: Digital Diamond represented by Mthabisi Bokete - Awarded P15, 000 Prize Money

Digital Diamond is a free online and offline instant identification application that stores valid user data to enable the users to rapidly complete log book, registers and complete KYC applications at the tap of a button, regardless of the user’s location. This solution supports the financial services sector, to facilitate KYC and credit applications across geographical borders.

Position 3: PCG Software represented by Letsibogo Ramadi - Awarded P10, 000 Prize Money

PCG Software is a digital solutions firm specialising in tailor-made mobile development and web-based projects. PCG Software has developed ‘Mogwebi CyberPlaza’ - a virtual networking and trade platform that connects businesses to an unlimited online audience to support business continuity, especially as we manage through the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the pitch day, Alan Boshwaen, Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Innovation Hub said, “We all acknowledge that innovation is a critical catalyst in driving Botswana’s Transformation Agenda, hence, supporting innovations requires collaboration between diverse stakeholders.

We are glad to have partnered with Letshego Botswana as a player in building national innovation ecosystem. Our innovators stand to benefit from the opportunities availed by this partnership including mentorship, capacity building and commercialization. The prize incentive is a cherry on top”

Andrew Okai, Letshego Group’s Chief Executive Officer commented, “In our journey to create a world-class retail financial services organisation, Letshego remains committed to developing a relentless innovation culture. We aim to achieve this by leveraging digital innovation, strategic partnerships and eco-system thinking to enhance customer experience and increase access to simple and appropriate financial solutions for emerging market consumers across the Group’s 11-country footprint.

Our partnership with Botswana Innovation Hub is a valuable way Letshego can support local technology innovation by providing financial support, business expertise and potential introductions within our existing network. Our ambition is to use our strengths and expertise to enable entrepreneurs to expand their growth and income potential. Letshego strongly believes that through effective partnerships, we can grow our collective potential, exponentially!”

The start-ups that pitched their solutions were selected from a pool of start-ups within the BIH Incubation and Acceleration programme where they benefit from a number of interventions such as; technical advice, coaching, mentorship, access to markets, access to partner programmes, office space, subsidised corporate tax, special dispensation of the import of skilled personnel and many other tailored interventions to help them grow.

START-UPS PITCH TECH SOLUTIONS TO BOOST SADC

The Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS) announced the start-up winners of the BOOST UP Programme Competition in collaboration with Botswana Innovation Hub.BOOST UP is a programme is aimed at supporting early stage start-ups that use technology to solve societal challenges in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

This year, the Annual competition attracted 83 applications from Botswana and 30 submissions were shortlisted, furthermore, 11 finalists were selected to attend the national pitching competition held late August. In a 3 minutes pitch to a team of experienced judges in the field of entrepreneurship, the following secured a spot in the Regional Competition to compete against other participating SADC countries.

First-Aid Counselling represented by Kesego Mosime

First-Aid Counselling is an App that allows users to get professional mental health help within minutes. Under normal circumstances, access to a counsellor or psychologist can take up to 2 weeks. First-Aid Counselling enables one to receive help from anywhere, anytime, by simply logging into the App. First-Aid Counselling is also a recipient of the Botswana Innovation Fund Third Call for Proposals that sought solutions addressing some of the challenges posed by the COVID 19 pandemic.

Doctors E-Consult represented by Loatile Nkala

Doctors E-Consult is a mobile application, which is a doctor- patient consulting room on a phone or device. The application houses doctors around the country and patients can book virtual appointments with their preferred doctor. Consultation is done by way of text or video call through the application. Online Doctor Consultation will reduce congestion in medical facilities and allow for effective social distancing during the era of COVID 19.

The App reduces the burden of travelling to access a doctor. Doctors E-Consult takes convenience and confidentially to a whole new level as it is easily accessed within the comfort of one’s home. Doctors E Consult App is the recipient of the Botswana Innovation Fund Third Call for Proposals that sought solutions addressing some of the challenges posed by the COVID 19 pandemic.

Business Point represented by Kenneth Setimela

Business Point is a comprehensive system geared towards SMMEs and allows for full automation of business processes which enables ease monitoring, reporting and compliance to the statutory reporting requirements and taxation. This is Botswana’s first locally developed enterprise resource planning and accounting solution specific to SMMEs. Business Point is an affordable solution that does not require huge cost of ownership and is designed using software as a service architect.

Scoot Logistics represented by Sam Sono

Scoot Logistics utilizes an online delivery services platform for all parcel delivery needs around Gaborone. The company has put in place a business model that empowers the value chain through business to business, business to customers and customer to customer services. Scoot Transport and Logistics App utilizes its technology platforms to carry out its functions and is supported by two factors, Scoot Logisitics resources (Scooters and a Panel Van) and independent contractors (Trucks, Cabs, Combis) and seeks to empower and create revenue streams for informal services providers, by connecting them to private & commercial logistics contracts.

The four winners are enrolled in an online incubation programme from September to November 2020. This will be followed by a training bootcamp and pitching competition between the different countries’ winners, which will be organized virtually from Helsinki, Finland in November 2020 virtual

BOTSWANA INNOVATORS SOLVE GLOBAL CHALLENGES

Earlier this year, BIH coordinated an interactive online finale for the SADC Innovation Challenge which included participants from different African countries. Applicants were challenged to develop innovations that address key challenges that represent practical community problems, leveraging data and data analytics to design scalable solutions in the thematic areas of SMME Financing, Digital Financial Identity, Women & Savings and Access to basic services.

The winners of the Challenge were announced at the regional event and Botswana Innovators scooped two categories; MoneyChaps in the category of Women and Savings represented by Baboloki Kojane and Digital Diamond in the Digital Financial Identity category represented by Mthabisi Bokete.

Digital Diamond identified the challenge that many countries financial institutions struggle with Grey Listing/Blacklisting with KYC compliance, on a regional and global scale, in some cases damaging trade relations between economies. Digital Diamond is a free online and offline instant identification application that stores valid user data to enable the users to rapidly complete log book, registers and complete KYC applications at the tap of a button, regardless of the user’s location. This solution supports the financial services sector, to facilitate KYC and credit applications across geographical borders.

MoneyChaps identified the challenge of low- and medium-income segments, particularly women, that they are not able to manage their day to day financial need and are finding it difficult to meet both their short- and long-term financial goals. Their Solution is a mobile based data driven technology solution that enables users to manage their financial health by keeping track of their income, expense and savings. It also offers tools that empower users to achieve their financial goals. Their solution also enables the MSMEs to manage their businesses through a range of bookkeeping and accounting tools and services

The SADC Innovation Challenge provides innovators with support from mentors and sector experts, through a series of webinars and design bootcamps. Country winners are awarded cash prizes (USD 15,000 per team distributed as follows; USD 10, 000 for solution development support and USD 5,000 cash prize) and incubation support. The solutions developed by the winners of the SADC Innovation Challenge will receive incubation towards further development, commercialization and operationalisation.

CALLING CODERS, DEVELOPERS AND PROGRAMMERS TO SHOWCASE THEIR SKILLS

BIH is calling software developers to join a web-based platform that showcases digital skills of software developers to stakeholders (both private and public) and interest them to collaborate or procure developers skills.

The BIH Top 1000 Digital Skills Platform enlists top 1000 software developers in the country. The registered innovators will be able to participate in developer activities such as workshops, trainings, hackathons and many others that will be facilitated through the platform.

Software developer are encouraged to register at https://www.skillsranker.bih.co.bw or access the platform through the BIH website https://www.bih.co.bw/