TechVillage, a technology hub based in Bulawayo is hosting a 5- day regional Techfestival for tech startups and innovators to introduce, explore and celebrate new local technologies.
TechFest is an inaugural, annual disruptive multi-day and multi-venue event introducing and exploring new local technologies and innovations.
The Festival will bring together founders and entrepreneurs from the startup world and will serve as the meeting place for industry leaders, policy makers and investors. It is for all who have a role to play in building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Zimbabwe and in the region.
Activities include, street pitches, community hacks, Hackfest, LAN Party, TechCon and Devcamp. Startups and Investors from the Southern African region will be participating at the TechFest.
TechVillage Chief Story Teller Tatenda Mapfumo said the festival is a platform meant to appreciate and recognise tech and entrepreneurship in the technology sector.
“Recent appreciation for Tech and Entrepreneurship but still most people don’t understand tech startups and the entrepreneurial field. The TechFest helps to create a more comprehensive picture of the state of innovation and entrepreneurship in Zimbabwe through city centric activities. This is of utmost importance as it will help in creating an effective strategy to help grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem through cross cutting innovation leveraging on technology for different industries and verticals. This TechFest will be the first in a series of annual Tech Festivals,” said Mapfumo.
“Street Pitches are all about idea validation by using real customers who provide honest feedback. Unlike the traditional pitch events where entrepreneurs get on stage and present their ideas to an audience of supportive peers, street pitches take entrepreneurs out of the building and onto the streets to help them validate early on whether their idea is viable or not. This reduces the risk of wasting time and resources on “nice sounding ideas” that have no viability in the market. This helps the entrepreneurs to simplify their pitch and articulate it in a way that the average non-tech savvy person can understand. After this validation, the entrepreneur then gets the opportunity to interact with an advisor to help plan the next steps in building the startup, post street validation.
“The Street Pitches will run over two days. The first day focusing on idea validation, the second day then focusing on one on one advisor sessions for entrepreneurs who would have met the minimum quota for potential customer interactions.”
At the end of day one, all logs will be tallied and those who would have interacted with at least 50 people who would have validated the assumptions (by provision of contact details or whatever the entrepreneur will use as validation currency) will then be notified and advised to prepare for day two activities. On the 1st of March entrepreneurs will set out to complete their validation and whilst still on the street, will be routed to cars that would have been strategically placed across the city. They will then have 15 – 30 minutes to discuss their idea with the advisor and work on the next steps in building their product. These are to be branded vehicles. In the event that the majority of the entrepreneurs qualify for day two activities, other advisors and investors will be stationed in restaurants in close proximity to the TechFest venue (Rainbow Hotel.
For the first two days, we call on Developers, Entrepreneurs, Designers and keen community members to come together and #disrupt the Hotel Industry in the City, by simply changing the way they function through a community hack. A Community Hack leverages on the collective brilliance of the #TechVillage ecosystem through community sourced solutions to global problems. To date, the community hack has successfully completed 2 hacks; Netone’s One Fusion Product Launch and the #Lead Generation Conference App, with one currently ongoing, Habitat Hack in partnership with John Pocock & Co.
An overnight hackathon which will run from Wednesday 1600 to 0900 on Thursday The Idea behind the HackFest is to help produce new products, using the latest technologies to add value to an existing system or product as well as disrupting whatever shortfalls overlooked by all corporates in any industry.
The LAN party will help stimulate and foster the growth of the Zimbabwean gaming industry and pave the way for the development of contextually relevant games that stimulate positive educational and social progression in the community.
The Innovation Boulevard is an innovation expo and idea market that is designed to identify, promote and celebrate locally developed technology with potentially global impact. The TechFest innovation boulevard will be indoors, imagine a room that has been designed to look and feel like an open street- with street names and avenues- filled with innovators and business people sharing their ideas and experiences with you. Why boulevard? Because it will follow an indoor street showcase format, with various street names and avenues. This event allows innovators to interact with people and share their ideas with the public
The Technology conference (Techcon) is going to be held on the 3rd to the 4th of March 2017. The Techcon is going to be carried out through workshops, plenary and debate sessions. The major reason for this conference is to ensure that technology innovators, experts and students including personnel interested in this field have a platform to solicit developmental ideas, err out views and generally get a push in technologically developing Africa.