28 Apr Founders Live Harare: Vol 9
For the 9th edition of Founders Live Harare, we went completely virtual because as Geoffrey Chaucer once said, “time and tide wait for no man”. Even during this difficult time, with COVID-19 affecting every part of our daily lives, we need to continue the work and impact because life post-corona is a reality. One of the advantages of a virtual format is that it is open to all Zimbabwean entrepreneurs, removing the boundaries of geographical location. We received a ton of applications and in the end chose four amazing start-ups to pitch, all striving to create a better world and “leading at the edge of chaos” to quote the words of the great South African entrepreneur, Vusi Thembekwayo.
First up in the hot seat was Allan Twalumba of Twalumba Brick Molding Services. Twalumba specialises in the manufacturing of building bricks made from coal waste in the mining town of Hwange. The use of coal waste reduces the negative impact that the waste has on our environment. The bricks are also affordable ensuring that businesses and potential homeowners have easy access to the building materials.
Second to pitch was Faith Manyunyire from the Golden Hearts Trust, a youth-led development agency that focuses on the livelihoods of youths and other marginalised members of society in semi-arid and arid areas of Zimbabwe. Golden Hearts Trust farms cassava, a drought-resistant crop, and value adds to the product by producing flour and other derivatives. Given the right support, this young trust can become a leader of positive change across Zimbabwe.
Third, to present was Ryan Katayi and Munya Makosa from Farmhut, a crowdfunding agro-based platform assisting smallholder farmers, especially women. Farmhut believes that its innovative technology and partnerships can solve Africa’s greatest challenges in agriculture for smallholder farmers of funding, climatic change, and access to premium markets.
Last but not least, was Kelteve Distinction Technologies with their product Zimbarsity. Kelteve is a technology company that aims to simplify day to day navigations with assistive technologies. Zimbarsity is their latest platform which gives access to research information in the form of dissertations and other research work that is submitted to the platform by scholars and implementation partners.
After the online pitches the audience had the daunting task of deciding on a winner. In the end, Farmhut took home the grand prize worth more than US$10 000, which included a variety of services from Amazon Web Services, Impact Hub Harare membership, and lots more. As a consolation, the three other finalists were also awarded US$5 000 worth of prizes each from Amazon Web Services and Founders Lives partners.
The virtual event was extremely eye-opening and highlighted the resilience of Zimbabwean entrepreneurs and their ability to continue to work and innovate even during the toughest of times.
A special thank you goes out to all the event partners and sponsors including: Facebook Developers Circle: Harare, Utande, Area 46 Productions, Amazon Web Services and last but not least Impact Hub Harare.
Be sure to follow our social media pages @ImpactHubHarare to learn about upcoming Founders Live events and how you can get involved. You can also visit our website https://impacthubharare.net to learn more about the social impact work that we do.