Tech4Africa seems to be opening it’s own remit by adding Yet Another Startup Event (let’s call it YASE), on the 9th October and after the main Tech4Africa event. Do we really need yet another one?
Says Gareth Knight, the founder of Tech4Africa and a serial entrepreneur himself: "We actually started out doing this with SeedCamp, way back in 2010. The consumer and investor market definitely wasn’t as bouyant then as it is now. Since then there’s been this wave of events happening on everything Lean Startup to bootcamp weekends.
What’s been interesting for us is that when we analysed the landscape, very few of them seem to be run by people with real time in the trenches, and we think that time in the trenches is the only signal an entrepreneur should be paying attention to with all the noise we have today. So we sat down with SW7, the largest and fastest growing accelerator in Africa, and decided to put together an event that we would take time out for."
So it seems that Tech4Africa and SW7 are taking somewhat of the contrarian approach – the speakers are all entrepreneurs, not consultants, sales or corporate incubator people, the content is all “How-to”, and whilst the one day event is open to anyone, it is restricted and will be vetted so that the mix of people will allow for free flowing content.
Says Keith Jones of the accelerator SW7: "We’ve found that entrepreneurs are driven to find people like themselves, and that the best value for time comes from learning from other entrepreneurs who have worked the same or similar problems before. We’re all on this journey together, some are ahead, some are behind, but we’ve all got something to learn. And I guess that’s what attracts us to Tech4Africa – their spirit is can-do, and must-learn, and we love the honesty they bring.”
The speaker content for the day will focus on topical problems right now, like which growth verticals to pick, the local landscape, bootstrapping, SME finance, how to do business with large organisations, how to move IP offshore, how to raise capital, and how to grow your business internationally.
Says Knight: "We’ve taken the view that the “By entrepreneur, for entrepreneur" mantra is the right way to go for any kind of startup day, especially in Africa where the market is so rich and different from most anywhere else in the world, so street smarts and local experience count for a lot. This is the beginning of exposing a crop of entrepreneurs to the notion that anything is possible if you surround yourself with the right people.”
It remains to be seen that this approach will work, but doubtless if the Tech4Africa track record is anything to go by, it will be good value for the ticket price of £350 for the whole day. This is one to watch.
The website can be found at: http://bit.ly/T4AJoburgStartups and anyone can register at http://register.tech4africa.com. Tickets are R350 for the Startup Day on the 9th October. The main Tech4Africa event on the 7th & 8th October is R500.