It becomes hard for an investor to find little traction while funding start-ups. The investors just cannot rely on technology fairs. Focus needs to be shifted to partnership opportunities and collaboration areas where they lack development.

  1. Competitions, awards and media events are growing in number but there is a dearth of tech entrepreneurs who are experienced. There is a need to attract quality speakers so that they can share their experiences. Supply is more than demand. The exposure and the media events are increasing the number of deals. A false sense of security can draw entrepreneurs away. There is a need to get selective about the events and the quality being driven out of such events. It is better to follow a three point rule.
  • Are you a speaker or panellist who can impart value?
  • Are there potential customers or business partners?
  • Are you selling or announcing something to the world?

Learning and being systematic shows discipline.

  1. Execution versus over-reliance on intellectual property

A several start-ups find it difficult in making tangible progress by disclosing their ideas. This comes from experience. This is an issue in the mobile ecosystem that has been plagued with western ecosystem. As of now, Africa is doing well in raising funds and in hiring talent pool. You cannot fear that your ideas would be copied if you share it. It is also about execution and the quality that you can offer. There lies immense power in execution potential.

  1. Rise of incubators and workspaces

This has quite simplified everything. It has made easy to restrict oneself to workspace. This has brought down the meeting with the customers and connecting with them. Although growth in workspaces is ideal in connecting each region or city with technology, there is a need to focus on customer ties. Confining oneself within a workspace is not going to fetch everything. There exists a danger in not meeting with real customers and actual testing of product. This implies there is a lack of customer insight. This again implies that there is no sustainable partnership or revenue. A healthcare start-up must spend more time in hospitals, clinics and with patients.

  1. Technology does not imply a zero sum game

This is more of a long term development. Partnerships and levels of collaboration and the speed at which things are happening in the tech scene are still slow. The specialization and competition is good. Though there is a need for certain level of cooperation as tech industry demands it.  A mindset needs to be adopted by African tech companies. There is a need to unleash creativity in addition to value. There are plenty incompetent companies that do not have the capacity in delivering a potential partnership.

  1. Clarity, focus and transparency

The scenario is hard to explain when it comes to transparency. Collaborators would wish to meet and interact in order to assess the productivity of goals. The start-ups do not disclose much information. This makes it quite difficult to make decisions. Discussing idea over the phone or mail seems to be quite easy. Setting up of information pertaining to management systems and progress tracking is not a simplified process.

Written by Kenneth Hogrefe