Most Innovative Start-up Nominee (Dr CADx)
Well done to the Dr Cadx team, they made it to the Seedstars World final competition in Zurich, Switzerland which took place just last month. This initiative is a great example to the international audience of the talent, innovation and social impact taking place in Zimbabwe.
Impact Hub Harare continues to work with the Dr Cadx team, providing them with resources, opportunities and platforms to receive key support and investment to grow their concept locally and globally. Gift Gana founder and developer of Dr Cadx had a few words to share.
- What did it feel like being one of the finalists at the Seedstars World pitch event?
Being one the finalists at the Seedstars World Summit was really exciting for us at Dr CADx. It was a great opportunity for us to showcase our solution to the world and a platform for us to meet potential partners and investors to help us move our business forward.
- What were some of the highlights during your trip?
We made great connections with various organisations that we are now following up on to develop them into business relationships. I was able to meet with thought leaders in tech (IBM, eRevMax), entrepreneurship support (Merck Accelerator, Genilem), consultancy (Kainjoo) and social impact (USAID, UNICEF) among others who gave me invaluable insights and advice. The cherry on top was when we were selected as one of the 6 nominees for the Most Innovate Start-up award.
- What were some of the challenges you faced in building and establishing Dr CADx?
Quite often in starting with a business you are faced with a chicken and egg problem where you need resources to develop the business but to get those resources you need to validate your solution which itself requires resources. As such we have been trudging along building Dr CADx with quite limited resources.
- After this experience, what have you learnt and are there any changes you would want to see locally/globally as far as innovation in the medical field and general support for people with great ideas?
Investors, as part of their due diligence, want to see that your business idea has been validated; this criterion can be a challenge for innovators in emerging markets to move from idea stage to proof of concept because of limited funds. It would thus be great to see governments providing more grants to support innovation which would spur economic growth. It is commendable that Government of Zimbabwe is setting up an ICT Innovation Fund to support local ICT innovations.
- Any advice for local social entrepreneurs?
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” Building a great business requires you putting together a team with complementary skills to execute your vision and then finding strategic partners who can help you achieve your goals.
- Any expectations in the near future for Dr CADx team?
Our main target is to finalise development of the system and raise funding, so that we can start doing clinical trials before the end of 2017.
- Is it feasible to say Africa could become the next Silicon Valley?
We engaged with lots of start-ups from Africa and other emerging countries who are using technology to create solutions to solve problems in our context. These range from healthcare, logistics, education, entertainment, transportation, connectivity, etc. So provided the entrepreneurship environment continues to be improved through constructive support from all stakeholders including the entrepreneurs, government, investors and corporates, we will see a strong tech economy in Africa.
Innovation in the medical field continues to be a major challenge locally due to a lack of adequate resources and economic volatility. Nevertheless, the Dr Cadx team continues to achieve major breakthroughs, grow their concept and receive key support from the social innovation community. A special moment awaits the Dr Cadx team, their success will ensure technological transformation on the medical scene. Their innovation will literally save lives through correct diagnoses.