Day 0 – Prepping For Africa
“I bless the rains down in Africa,
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had.
I still don’t know what that song is about, but I’ll be traveling to Africa next week, so it’s on my playlist.
On June 4th 2016, YourCause CEO Matt Combs and myself will be traveling to Zambia and Zimbabwe to teach at a series of startup bootcamps for African entrepreneurs. We’ll be working with up and coming African companies, and learning from each other.
This bootcamp is organized by the United Nations in partnership with BongoHive, a technology and innovation hub in Zambia. They’ve selected 6 entrepreneurs to make the trip from the US to Africa and host bootcamps on a variety of topics. Over the course of the next week we will each share our startup experience to help Zambian and Zimbabwean companies grow and thrive.
We’ll begin our journey in Lusaka, Zambia where we’ll give talks and work with local African startup companies. The talks are focused on finance and best practices when raising capital for companies of all shapes and sizes. We’ll be sharing stories, chatting funding options, discussing pitch strategies, and so much more.
Matt has been launching and running startups since he graduated from Cornell in 1999. This experience, which includes successes and failures alike, will be invaluable for these startups looking to raise capital.
I’ll be sharing my experience helping to create the sales and marketing organization here at YourCause, growing the company from two sales executives and a handful of clients to a full-stack sales and marketing team and 100+ Fortune 1000 clients. I’ll also share stories from my time building community organizations that drive innovation here in Dallas such as Digital Dallas, Sales Hacker DFW, Social Venture Partners, and Global Shapers. I’m hoping to help these entrepreneurs refine their pitches, position their vision, and contribute to the Zimbabwe and Zambian startup communities.
Barring any power outages and wifi deadspots, I’ll be writing here on each of the ten days about our experience. The posts will include:
- Profiles on the startups we work with
- Lessons learned and observations about the African startup communities
- Photos and videos of the people we meet, places we go, experiences we have…and probably the food we devour
- Excerpts of adventures and misadventures
In the meantime, follow along on social:
We’re really excited to not just share our stories and experience but learn from these entrepreneurs who are creating new economies and spurring job growth in Africa. In total there are 25 companies who were selected to participate in the bootcamp. Below is a quick sample of some of the innovative companies we’ll be working with:
- MaFashio – Started as a fashion blog, MaFashio also provides creative solutions to members of the Zambian fashion industry.
- Shopzed – Groceries and household goods delivered directly to your home; currently delivering to Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces in Zambia.
- Street Culture Events and Arts – A talent and entertainment company that promotes art, youth culture, and extreme sports in Zambia.
- Tamanga Ticketing – Online bus ticketing system. It allows for mobile ticket sales, online check-in, and real-time seat selection.
- Tellr – Mobile app that displays the nearest ATM’s. Currently available on Android devices.
- Your InsiderZambia – Travel website that gives Zambia travel tips by locals.
- ZedHair – Blog about caring for and styling natural hair.
Want to Learn More?
Want to Jam?
Then listen to my Africa Mix 🙂