Ericsson has unveiled a community driven programme to connect tech start- ups with commercial banks and investors to help scale up unique ideas into profitable businesses.
The 18th AfricaComs an annual event, has partnered with Ericsson to launch a unique innovation hub dubbed, AHUB that will allow active investors link up with innovators through a portal AfricaCom 2015 techpreneurs.
Its aim is to encourage investment and to showcase talent in a sector that has an abundance of ICT tech skills but needs more funding and guidance from industry experts.
Working in partnership with mlab, “we” innovationhub, iHub, Silicon Cape and other partners to be announced, AfricaCom will bring together Africa’s leading entrepreneur, tech start up and VC/Angel investor communities.
According to a recent survey produced by Ventureburn.com, while the numbers entering the tech start-up arena continue to grow, only 3 percent of these make it to venture capital/funding phase.
Although there appears to be no shortage of ideas to go around, access to funding, remains in short supply.
Discovering how to be part of the score and even to increase this funding percentage, the Ericsson A-HUB will be a pivotal place for the sharing of ideas, as well as a space to network and showcase work.
Global winners of the 2014 Ericsson Application Awards, which will be launched in the run up to AfricaCom 2015 will be among those shortlisted before the potential investors to help them scale their ideas.
“With our experience of staging events across the continent, we have been struck by the continued innovation in this sector. We now believe it is incumbent on us to provide a space where real world thinking and solutions can be discussed, resolved and adopted. We strongly encourage companies who recognize the importance of investing in grassroots ICT to participate at this event,” said Com World Series Informa Telecoms & Media Research Director, Julie Rey Gore.
Learning from those who have gone before and applying best practice to existing and new businesses, is also on the agenda that will be discusses at the Ericsson A-HUB.
The Ericsson A-HUB will consequently be central to understanding what makes the African start-up communities different to their European and American counterparts with guest speakers and panelists conveying insights from Silicon Valley and other successful tech hubs.
Ericsson in sub-Saharan Africa, Marketing and Communications for Strategy Vice President, Tumi Sekhukhune, said ICT sector in Africa continues to evolve at a rapid pace and has led to the emergence of innovative solutions that address everyday living challenges.
“Our involvement in supporting innovation and engaging with a broad range of stakeholders across the continent inspired us to get involved in the AHUB, as there is a great need for collaboration to realise the potential of African innovation,” said Sekhukhune.