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THE E-INNOGRAM September 2019 NEWSLETTER VOL 2, ISSUE 4

BOTSWANA INNOVATION HUB REVEALS THE FUTURE

Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) staged the third instalment of the Innovation Botswana on the 19 September 2019 at the Botswana Innovation Hub Science and Technology Park. This year’s theme was ‘’The Future Revealed”.

The day composed of inspiration, creation and innovation that brought together more than 300 stakeholders from civil society, business and academia, public sector and industry to celebrate innovation through exhibitions, thought leadership presentations, panel discussions, pitch sessions and networking.

The conference also featured the Annual Southern Africa Innovation Forum; an innovation convention that gathers innovators from Southern Africa with partner company Southern Africa Innovation Support Program (SAIS).

More than 50 exhibitors showcased their innovations ranging from indigenous based products and unique knowledge-based business services to mobile applications

Innovation Botswana 2019 was made possible through sponsorships and collaboration with Sunday Standard newspaper, Virtual Business Network, Duma FM, Stanbic Bank and Botswana Telecommunications Corporation.

HACKING INTO THE FUTURE

Does the thought of spending 24hrs on your computer ever cross your mind? Well, for our young nerds, it did not end as a thought but an action! As a precursor to Innovation Botswana Day, BIH hosted a 24-hour hackathon.

The hackathon challenge was to create a digital transformation platform aimed to enlist Botswana’s top digital innovators and rank them based on their technical experience, capabilities and completed projects

11 teams competed for the grand prize of P10,000.00, The winners stand a chance to be contracted to develop a fully fleshed solution. Virtual Business Network sponsored the activity with internet connectivity.

Team "Strawberry" took 3rd place & received P4,000.00

Team "Major League Bots" Took 2rd place & received P6,000.00

Team “Humantype” by Takula Leyatso & Koziba Bkhanyis took home the first place grand prize of P10,000

THE START UP PITCH

With the spirit of innovation in the air, BIH invited its start-up clients to compete in a “Pitch Session” sponsored by Stanbic Bank during Innovation Botswana.

Startup companies pitched their companies and services to compete for a first-place grand prize of P30,000, 2nd place P10,000 and 3rd place of P5,000.

3rd Place prize of P5,000

Was awarded to Setswana Sa Borre Board Game. The business offers a fun, cultural and educational Setswana board game aimed at uplifting, promoting and enhancing pride on Setswana culture and language, uniting all age groups in fun and exchange of knowledge.

2nd Place prize of P10,000 was tied between two companies:

Keren Happuch Fragrances

The business formulates and develop contemporary perfumes together with body lotions, soaps, deodorants, air fresheners and diffusers.

2nd Place prize of P10,000

Mohiri

Mohiri is a personalised job alerts service that is aimed at connecting low-medium skilled workers to opportunities for work by sending them an alert on their phone whenever there is a vacancy that matches their profile. Mohiri has grown from a reach of 0 - 230,000 online people every week, in just 10 months.

Today, Mohiri sends out job alerts to a pool of 16,000 registered members who depend on mohiri as a source of vacancy announcements and other job career-related opportunities and content

1st Place prize of P30,000

Chabana Farms

Chabana Farms, trading as Kalahari Honey; trains farmers in beekeeping, then collects, bottles, and packages that honey for sale in pharmacies and markets in Botswana, Lesotho, and Namibia. Chabana recently launched a bottled wine made from honey. The company also trains and supplies aspiring beekeepers with equipment and assist them with finding clients

DIGITAL SKILLS TRAINING PROGRAM LAUNCHED

His Excellency, Dr. President Mokgweetsi Masisi launched the Digital Skills and Training Program for Youth; an initiative by Dare to Dream and Muzinda Hub Botswana. The Program focuses on equipping young Batswana with digital skills necessary for creating solutions of now and the future.

The Program offered from Botswana Innovation Hub offices, gives 500 youth an opportunity to train in among others; coding, entrepreneurship and project designing in a fully-funded scholarship. This follows a commitment made by the founder and chairperson of Econet Group, Dr Strive Masiyiwa during the first Youth Entrepreneurship Fireside Chat and Town Hall, in April 2019. True to the quest of fostering more female participation in tech, 60% of the 500 students enrolled are female.

“I am extremely delighted, not just at seeing you, and at looking at your eyes. I haven’t seen so much excitement and hope, all ballooned out into one. You are our tomorrow, we love you, we cherish you and we want the best for you because this is the Botswana that’s coming. The very fact that you are pioneers in this programme, sets you apart from the rest,” said Dr. President Masisi at the launch.

The President and Founder of Dare to Dream Foundation, Captain Kgomotso Phatsima said the Digital Skills and Training Program is committed to providing the youth of Batswana access to online digital skills training.

Earlier this year, Dare to Dream Foundation also collaborated with Special Economic Zones Authority of Botswana to attend the Global Aviation Investment Summit in Dubai, also in a quest to give youth the necessary exposure.

“Information and Communications Technology is one of the focal sectors underpinning BIH’s mandate as it is a key driver in the transformation of Botswana towards a digital economy and the creation of job opportunities,” said BIH CEO, Mr Alan Boshwaen. The digital skills and training programme is aligned to BIH’s current strategic thrust which aims to implement and scale several initiatives which serves as catalysts in the country’s digital transformation.

Muzinda Hub is a coding school that was pioneered locally by Econet in 2014. Muzinda Hub is committed to building and supporting a community of engaged and talented IT professionals. Today Muzinda Hub reaches around 40 000 students online in over 20 African countries. The main thrust of Muzinda Hub is to tackle youth unemployment and the wide digital skills gap on the continent.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP SERVED WITH COFFEE ON THE SIDE

Botswana Innovation Hub continues to give Batswana youth opportunities to learn, receive mentorship and coaching in order to sharpen their business acumen skills. BIH hosts bi-weekly coffee sessions where business mentors share their experiences.

The Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS) recently collaborated with BIH to support a coffee session titled “The Science of Entrepreneurship” which brought together multiple experts from different sectors to discuss all things entrepreneurship.

SAIS is a regional initiative that supports the growth of new businesses through strengthening innovation ecosystems and promotion of cross-border collaboration between innovation role-players in Southern Africa. The Programme focuses on strengthening early-stage enterprises and young entrepreneurs, connecting innovation ecosystems, and promoting innovations serving socially or economically disadvantaged populations.

https://www.saisprogramme.org/

TRAINING BATSWANA TO COMPETE GLOBALLY

Botswana Innovation Hub in partnership with Southern Africa Innovation support Programme (SAIS 2) and Nest Hubs, launched the BOOST UP local series. BOOST UP is a 3-part series of start-up events, supported by the SAIS 2 in the five SADC countries; Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

The BOOST UP series comprises of Set up, Stand Up and Scale Up events which include coaching, pitch competitions and training of 5 start-ups representing each country taking part in Slush 2019 in Helsinki. BIH & Nest Hubs carried out a road show of activities in Maun, Francistown & Palapye targeting mainly Indigenous Knowledge Systems solutions. The final event was Held in Gaborone.

BOOST UP: Set Up on-site coaching events are for early-stage start-ups using technology to solve a societal problem and looking for skills that could help start-ups articulate their ideas. The coaching helps entrepreneurs gain practical tools to help package their business idea and develop a pitch to attract their target market.

Slush is a not-for-profit startup and tech event. The main purpose of Slush is to create and help the next generation of entrepreneur, to build a worldwide startup community and to facilitate meetings between the founders of startups and investors such as venture capitalists, accomplished with events such as matchmaking and pitching competitions. The event is held annually in Helsinki, Finland. In 2018, Slush gathered 20,000 attendees, with over 3,100 startups, 1,800 investors and 650 journalists coming in from over 130 countries to participate together in this global networking festival.

The three winners of the title will receive a facilitated networking trip represent Botswana at the SLUSH Global conference in Finland.

Boniswa Bayani of Cyber Kajumo Rigs

A welding and rigging entity that specialises in creating art statues and monuments for film and tourism from Metal Waste.

Mavis Nduchwa Of Kalahari Honey

Chabana Farms, trading as Kalahari Honey; trains farmers in beekeeping, then collects, bottles, and packages that honey for sale in pharmacies and markets in Botswana, Lesotho, and Namibia. Chabana recently launched a bottled wine made from honey. The company also trains and supplies aspiring beekeepers with equipment and assist them with finding clients

Bernard Sebakile of Sakab Holdings

An electrical engineering company that specialises in providing clean, reliable and affordable electrical energy through off grid power systems, solar mini plants and other related solutions.

HACKING FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Recently, Hatfield Consultants Africa, in partnership with Botswana Innovation Hub and the Department of Surveys and Mapping, launched a Mapathon activity in Gaborone. This initiative, supported by Yandex, was intended to demonstrate the potential for an e-work Crowd Sourcing Centre to facilitate mapping of key physical and social infrastructure in Botswana. Such a centre would provide youth with access to computing and internet infrastructure and facilitate participation in a diversity of e-work campaigns.

Taking first place and winning a laptop computer + printer package set and a 3 months paid internship under Hatfield consultants was Thabang Timothy. 2nd & 3rd place winners received tech orientated prizes.

The week-long event attracted 26 young people from various backgrounds, and with different levels of training and experience, to learn about e-work and mapping technologies, while competing for a series of incentives, including industrial internships.

Hatfield Consultants is a BIH partner company that provides state of the art mapping and geospatial solutions to its clients, appropriate to the market dynamics in Botswana, and across the SADC region.

www.hatfieldgroup.com/africa

DEVELOPING THE FEMALE BIOPRENUER

SANBio with the support of the BioFISA II Programme launched the 3rd year of the FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme to develop leadership, technological and business skills in female-owned bio-businesses in the SADC region. Additionally, to support deal-making and business acceleration in the biosciences arena and create a peer to peer network among the local female bio-entrepreneurs.

The Botswana Innovation Hub serves as a strategic partner for the implementation of the FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme. BIH hosted the Fembiobiz training and pitch competition phase one.

The top 16 short listed finalists were taken through a three-day incubation training which included opportunity identification, concept statement training, analysis and pitch training.

The FemBioBiz Programme has created a network of women bioentrepreneurs in the region, providing support to the entrepreneurs for acceleration of their businesses, and by so doing, has created awareness for women on the potential careers in the biosciences sector.

Click here to learn more about FemBioBiz Programme

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