BOTSWANA INNOVATION HUB AWARDS FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS
The Botswana Innovation Hub recently announced Winners of the Season 2 FemBioBiz (Females in Biosciences Businesses) Programme Competition. Following a series of coaching and workshops, 10 shortlisted finalists pitched their businesses to a panel of judges comprising of professionals from different industry. Four businesses; Maungo Craft, Healthy Delights, Nubian Seed and Antimicrobial Toilet Seat won the competition as the most innovative products based on concept, value, and impact.
Maungo Craft specializes in making the tastiest low to no sugar, gourmet craft jams and marmaladed packed with indigenous fruits and superfoods. Maungo Craft seeks to create a reputation for distributing uniquely prepared food products that reflect a truly indigenous touch in preparation and branding- with the ultimate goal of being a household brand. Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Healthy Delights makes animal feeds using residues and adding some indigenous tree leaves to enhance their nutritive level. These feeds are affordable and easily palatable for livestock. They are currently targeting cattle farmers in Kweneng South. Healthy Delights promotes food security by adding locally produced and processed livestock feeds to the agricultural value chain. Contact details: email@example.com
Nubian Seed is an eco‐friendly, green beauty brand that uses natural & organic ingredients, and uses minimal packaging of recycled and recyclable materials wherever possible. Nubian Seed raw indigenous African raw ingredients are sourced responsibly from local communities. Nubian Seed seeks to make available to Africans and people around the world, authentic green personal care products. Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
The toilet seat harbors a number of microorganisms that may cause infections such Escherichia coli, Streptococcus spp, Noroviruses etc. that causes infections like skin rashes, diarrhoea and urinary tract infections. Bame Rrammala, a student at BIUST’s idea is to design an antimicrobial polymer mat that has the capacity to inhibit the growth of microbes or readily kill them. Schools, filling stations and public toilets cleaning companies as well as individuals are the product’s target market. Contact details: email@example.com
BIH PARTICIPATES AT SOUTH AFRICAN INNOVATION SUMMIT
The South African Innovation Summit as an annual ﬂagship event on the South African Innovation Calendar, is a platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing African innovation, as well as facilitating innovation thought-leadership. Created to support and promote innovation and facilitate collaboration within its own eco-system, the initiative brings together corporates, thought leaders, inventors, entrepreneurs, academia and policy makers to amplify South Africa’s renowned competitive edge and to inspire sustained economic growth across the continent of Africa.
BOTSWANA’S MAUNGO CRAFT WINS AT THE SA INNOVATION SUMMIT 2018
Maungo Craft and Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) journey of innovative entrepreneurship has been a fruitful one with exposure to workshops, coaching and pitching, all intended to sharpen business acumen for scaling up.
Bonolo Monthe presented a well-planned pitch with a financial forecast for her product with great belief and passion to the judges. Maungo Craft emerged amongst the 6 winners out of 32 of the FembioBiz competitions from the 8 SADC countries; Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Winning in the FemBioBiz Competition has afforded Maungo Craft a trip to Silicon Valley where they will stand a chance to win US$1 million at the global competition. This is in addition to the in-kind benefits that the Botswana Innovation Hub avail to them in three stages of Pre-incubation, Incubation and Acceleration.
Maungo Craft specializes in making the tastiest low to no sugar, gourmet craft jams and marmaladed packed with indigenous fruits and superfoods. The company seeks to create a reputation for distributing uniquely prepared food products that reflect a truly indigenous touch in preparation and branding- with the ultimate goal of being a household brand.
Maungo Craft products fall within BIH’s Biotechnology sector. This sector is focused on catalyzing more research and development activities, and commercial business in the areas of, testing and manufacturing, with special emphasis on addressing cross cutting issues of food security, HIV Aids and exploitation of a wide range of indigenous natural products.
In July, Botswana Innovation Hub hosted a “Road to Slush Pitch Session” where the most promising startup/s in Botswana were selected to move to the next level of competition for the SLUSH Global Impact Accelerator. The winner of the title, Bobby Nthuthang was facilitated a networking trip to the South African Innovation Summit sponsored by BIH partner support company, Southern African Innovation Support Programme (SAIS). Mr. Nthuthang pitched his company Zeal & Zest at the Innovation Summit platform in preparation for the Slush Competition. His products harnesses cloud technology that offers a comprehensive online system that centralizes financial management functions capturing all data on one platform. www.zealandzest.co.bw
BOTSWANA INNOVATION HUB RECOGNISED AT THE ITU TELECOM WORLD AWARDS
This year, Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) showcased a network member -Brastorne Enterprises and a client company -Intellegere Holdings at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World Awards 2018 held at Durban, South Africa.
BIH received Recognition of Excellence Award in providing and promoting innovative ICT solutions with social impact by the ITU Telecom World 2018. This is in line with the organisation’s mandate as the national innovation agency, to support and promote innovation, tech entrepreneurship and develop innovation ecosystem. Brastorne Enterprises develops technology solutions relevant to the African market aimed at inclusiveness particularly the under-served and rural communities. An example of their solutions is a USSD based application for farmers called mAgri, which aims to merge mobile technologies with agriculture to help create access to markets and information for farmers.
Intellegere Holdings provides information technology solutions in data management, information security, innovation research, information assurance, security engineering, and IT training. They have developed an innovative application called BW Lingos – an app that interprets indigenous languages for better understanding.
ITU Telcom is part of the ITU (International Telecommunication Union), the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs. ITU Telecom organizes the annual global ITU Telecom World event, the platform for innovation showcasing, high-level debate, knowledge-sharing and networking for the governments, industry leaders, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and regulators that form part of the world’s ICT community.
Botswana Innovation Hub to empower African Youth with IBM’s Digital Skills and Knowledge Programme
Botswana Innovation Hub has launched the IBM Digital - Nation Africa Programme, D – NA, in Botswana. This is a free comprehensive online platform aimed at empowering African youth with skills and tools to help them design and develop innovative digital solutions, as well as helping them gain skills to match those required for the available jobs in the market.
The launch event held late September 2018 at Botswana Innovation Hub attracted more than 50 entrepreneurs, start-ups, developers and officials. They were introduced to IBM’s free, self-paced learning platform that sparks innovation. The D – NA platform offers the citizens of Botswana a free online learning and enablement platform, allowing the users to gain IBM Digital Badges to validate their knowledge and skills. To best match the needs of all, D – NA has been implemented with three enablement segments. The first, entitled Explorers, provides users with fundamental knowledge of the key technologies, which are shaping the Digital world, such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Internet of Things. The second is called “Innovators”, and as the name indicates, is designed to provide the user with inspiration, method and means to create innovative and valuable digital solutions. The final section is call “New Collar”, referencing the fact that the digital age is creating and will create many new job roles. This section leverages the power of IBM’s own Artificial Intelligence engine, Watson. It has three key features, an engagement with Watson to build the user’s own profile, a collection of online interactive technical courses, and, again using Watson, a detailed view of the current African job
IBM developed the D – NA offering to provide the youth of Africa with the means to both join the new age and help grow their future careers. IBM has been in Africa for almost 100 years and has a strong track record of aiding local skills development and supporting national skills development programmes.
The Botswana Innovation Hub’s mandate is to support innovation and entrepreneurship development within Botswana and the D – NA platform aligns with this objective Candidates who would like to register for the free programme can do so through the following link: ibm.biz/dna4all
Following the launch of the Digital Nation Programme, the Botswana Innovation Hub will host a series training sessions and workshops to empower youth with digital knowledge and practical skills.
BIH & SPECTRUM ANALYTICS PARTNER TO LAUNCH PYDATA BW
Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) and Spectrum Analytics -a data innovative startup under BIH’s First Step Venture Centre (FSVC) programme co-hosted the PyData BW launch. PyData provides a forum for the international community of users and developers of data analysis tools to share ideas and learn from one another. PyData is an accessible, community-driven conference with novice to advanced level presentations. The global PyData network promotes discussion of best practices, new approaches and emerging technologies for data management, processing analytics, and visualization. PyData communities approach data science using many languages.
Key panel discussion included understanding the value of technology that is data-driven and drives better decision making across all industries. For example, in consulting, Executives that are able to derive meaningful knowledge from data can provide better customer experience. They can also introduce new products based on the quality of information derived from data that is collected and preserved. Panel members included; Chris Ngiba - Head IT Advisory at KPMG Botswana, Kagiso Ndlovu - Lecture at University of Botswana and eHealth Research Unit Coordinator at Botswana UPenn Partnership and Tumelo Bethuelson - Data Science Manager at FNB Botswana.
BIH CLIENT COMPANY DISRUPTS THE EDUCATIONAL SECTOR
Botswana Innovation Hub education focused startup company, Speed Series hosted a training Workshop for impactors in the education system. The objective of the workshop was to sensitize educators on adapting to modern technologies to suit the current digital age through integrating it to learning system in Botswana. Speed series is a startup business that aims to change the landscape of education. Speed Series is making learning fun and interactive by coming up with a board game called EdRevo.
EdRevo is an educational board game that covers all levels of the primary and secondary curricula in Botswana. The board game offers students an alternative, fun and interactive dimension to revising for exams compared to the traditional classroom methods of teaching.