November 8, 2014 by Harvey

Day one of the Ampion Startup Bus kicked off at Muzinda Hub, with our host Tawanda Kembo.
First up was a group exercise designed to demonstrate to us what happens when people’s interests clash …. yes my team lost.
Next up was a panel discussion with representatives from EconetUNICEF, Muzinda and a local startup. The Econet rep kicked off the discussion with an explanation on how Econet does not steal ideas. He explained to the crowd that Econet has a room full of people who are paid to develop ideas. He went on to explain that the best way to approach Econet is after you had developed an idea and it had gained traction.

“We need a disease surveillance system” were the opening remarks from the UNICEF representative. She stressed on the need to focus on your startup full time and get the proper documentation as UNICEF would only work with people whom it saw as “serious.” Ebola was the elephant in the room as the doctor on the panel explained how the current 13000 infections could quickly turn to 1,5 million by February if nothing was done. “Ebola is not just a West African problem, we have Zimbabweans in that part of Africa and they are coming home for Christmas,” she said.

We took a bus tour of Harare, accompanied with a representative from the Zimbabwe Tourism authority. We traveled across the city trekking from the most affluent suburbs through to the high density suburbs . We got a snippet of the socio-economic divide that exists in Zimbabwe. The final stop of the tour was Hypercube for our next session. We had three speakers at Hypercube, the first being on bootstrapping. Tich talked frankly about his experience with bootstrapping his business , the challenges and pitfalls. “The main reason you bootstrap your business is to keep equity,” he said.
The second speaker was MIT graduate Netia Mccray, walking us through the product design process. She ran us through an activity that taught us the basic process of product Design. Finally Dr Chivangah gave a presentation on creating multimedia content for mobile devices.

Our final stop for the day was Emerging Ideas at Celebration center. Tommy Deuschle ran us through what Emerging Ideas is all about. “We aim to invest in 100 companies,” he said. After a short to and fro with the crowd, we spent the next hour mingling and playing games. Pool and darts were a crowd favourite. After that was the mad dash to the bus, house rules state that the
last person on the bus sings a song. So far we’ve had the Malawian nation anthem and very interesting rendentions of Happy Birthday and Baa baa black sheep.