With everything going on lately, staying informed of all that is happening in the small world of startups and entrepreneurship can be challenging - especially for those interested in Uganda where there's just a few sources of real-time information. This is a gap we want to fill. It is important that you can get all the information that is relevant to you in one place.
We are introducing a Weekly Preview. Every week we will compile this short guide that will attempt to summarize just the information you need to know that week so you don't miss anything important.
The Weekly Preview will make recommendations for which events to attend, which competition to consider or which job to apply to and so much more. Of course, we also tell you why you should consider our recommendations.
With this, we believe you'll save thousands of minutes at the end of the year while getting relevant information in minutes. Let's all agree - it will take you under 4 minutes to find out everything you need to know for the week.
Let's get started already!
This is the first time Uganda Registration Services Bureau is organizing innovation awards. They will take place on the 26th April 2017 - which also happens to be the World Intellectual Property Day according to the IP arm of UN, World Intellectual Property Organization.
Deadline for application to these awards is 18th April 2017.
We took a look at the application form and we can tell you these awards favor innovators that are already at prototype stage - not idea stage. Therefore, we encourage those who already have a minimum viable product to apply. But if you haven't gotten to that stage yet but you think you have a great idea, you should go ahead and apply too. Good luck!
We thought it strange that applicants are required to download a PDF form from the URSB website, fill it in and then submit by email or hand deliver it at any of their eight offices country wide. Hilarious, isn't it? We can think of a number of ways they could have made the process simpler.
These awards premiered in 2015 and applications rolled in from most countries across the continent - Uganda too. 10 winners were chosen by the Jury to share the prize of USD 1 Million. From a total 31 finalists, 3 were Ugandans.
These were; Martin Barungi, 45 years at that time, whose unique crowdfunding platform creates an online marketplace so that anyone in Africa can find affordable finance to build a home. Olivia Akware, 29 years at that time, from Brick to Housing Pioneer Women Project (BHP) which fires bricks from a kiln powered by agro and bio-waste products. Lastly, it was Richard Bbaale, 32 years at that time, who created BanaPads, sanitary napkins made out of banana stems. Of the three, Olivia emerged one of the ten winners. What she did with the loot is a story we hope to share on another day.
The awards were held again in 2016 and of all the Ugandan applicants, only Joyce Kyalema managed to make it to the winners' list walking away with $100,000 to help her with her project. Still, on how she used that money, is another story that'll come to you in our follow-up section.
This year's deadline for submission of application is 28th of April 2017. You may realize that the deadline isn't this week, but because how important these awards are, we thought it wise to remind you earlier.
We analyzed the applicants that won in the last two years and they all had one thing in common. Their ideas address a challenge facing the average Ugandan/African. We can also tell there isn't a strong focus on technology but impact in form of job creation and how effective your startup or business is in improving livelihoods. Does your startup or business fall under this? Then take a look at the application here!
Every week, events happen in Uganda, Africa and the world over that Ugandan startups and entrepreneurs may have interest in. Here are some of the events you should consider this week and why.
This takes place every Tuesday at The Resilient Africa Network(RAN) office located in Upper terrace Kololo. The event offers an opportunity to, especially early stage entrepreneurs who may not know much on how to pitch their startup or product to potential investors or partners.
This is a mock pitch conducted infront of fellow entrepreneurs and startup founders who later give you feedback on your performance. However, it is a good idea to get in touch with the RAN team and book your appointment. Remember, your idea must be well thought out so make sure you are well prepared for your pitch. We recommend this to fresh graduates and all those just planning on venturing into entrepreneurship.
The Up Accelerate program is dedicated to Sexual Reproductive Health. It's in its second year of running with the winners of the first cycle already being incubated.
The team from the program has made numerous rounds across universities in Uganda. We think this was to ensure as many ideas and startups are captured. Following the list of winners from 2016, we highly encourage startups or entrepreneurs that already have something they are doing to attend this event and of course apply. As usual, this is not aimed at discouraging anyone with an idea.
That's it for this week! Hope you enjoyed your holidays.