Garage48 Opens in Accra, Ghana


Garage48 : 13 - 15 May, 2011. Accra, Ghana.

Garage48 : 13 - 15 May, 2011. Accra, Ghana.

The past couple of months saw several technology focused events happening in the capital of Ghana, Accra. Most recent was the Innovation Week 2011 [iWeek 2011] which again offered me the opportunity to show-case my Social Media know-how to participants and other technocrats who attended.

Just yesterday; I heard about Garage48; an event started in Estonia in April 2010 that have expanded to other countries in Northern Europe and Africa. All Garage48 events are held in English and have about 100 participants from different countries. Participants have different skills, ranging from software development to design, marketing and management.

Garage48 is happening from May 13 -1 5, 2011 at the Kofi Annan ICT Center. The event starts at 5pm on Friday with the presentation of various product ideas.

The teams are formed and derived organically. By the end of weekend, the teams will have a working products or prototypes. On Sunday evening, starting at 5:00pm, every team will showcase their product with live demo on stage in front of other participants and big audience. The jury and the audience will choose their favorite team or service.

“The event is mainly for tech practitioners namely graphic designers as well as front-end and back-End software and mobile developers. But we need also people with business skills – project managers, visionaries and marketing specialist. Everybody with great skills can apply to our event, but we will choose only around 100 best applicants to the event,” explained Ragnar Sass.

Inspiring and supporting environment is an important prerequisite to the birth of new ideas. Business and social network is increasingly important to start a new successful business. Despite that in many countries in Africa the market is huge, tens of millions of people, the IT sector is making its first steps.

According to Ragnar Sass again; while visiting Nigeria and Ghana in March, he met dozens of talented developers. The purpose of the events, in addition to build the local startup community, is to help those talented developers to get connections with successful entrepreneurs in Europe and America.

How does it work?

Garage48 events usually start at 5pm on a Friday evening. All participants gather together in a big room and pitch about 30 to 40 ideas on stage. Each idea is put on the wall and everyone can choose their favorite idea and team. Usually about 12-15 ideas will be selected and teams start working.

If you consider organizing Garage48 event in your country, please contact us info@garage48.org for further details.

Registration and more information for Accra’s maiden event here:  Garage48 Accra

See Map below for direction.

Map of Kofi Annan ICT Center, Accra. Ghana

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Google Launches New African Tech Incubator – Umbono


 

Cross-linked at Future Challenges Organization‘s blog

With the current state of innovation spreading across the African continent; what we need exactly as social entrepreneurs and change-makers is the space to network, share ideas and work on projects that become businesses and profit-making ventures. I’m very happy to say, this space is here for the African Tech Community as at today.

Google has chosen South Africa’s Cape Town as a pilot township for its new technology incubator called Umbono which aims to bring together seed capital, Google mentorship, angel investors, local tech stars, social entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Africa's Newest Incubator - Umbono

According to Google:

the incubator is in keeping with its ongoing commitment to foster innovation in Africa and it will help selected startup teams transform their ideas into companies.

The Umbono program lasts for 6 months—enough time for your team to get your idea formally off the ground or to prepare your existing business for its next round of funding. The Umbono program will help transform your vision into a business. Your idea – probably web or mobile deployed – is exciting on many levels: for your future users, potential investors, and for the people on your team building it.

Teams should expect to receive a minimum of $25,000 and a maximum of $50,000. Capital from Angel investors will be exchanged for equity (10%) and will be governed by standard terms of investment (the same terms for each team).

Teams will also have regular access to our extensive network of business and technology experts, many of whom are Googlers. All team members should be able to legally reside and work in South Africa in order to apply to the program (regardless of their citizenship).

Google is also collaborating with the Silicon Cape Initiative and the Bandwidth Barn, to ensure that Umbono’s teams are well positioned to succeed.

Applications are available on the Umbono website from March 18, open to all South African residents. The deadline for first round applicants is April 15, 2011, but the website will continue to host applications for all interested candidates. To learn more and apply, go to www.google.co.za/umbono.

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