Time is short, stories need telling, and could I ask you to tweet, FB and email friends with our link, please? Once we publish the first ten episodes, I plan to find, film and help fund more innovators to inspire and continue the cycle. Stories change lives, says the Rwandan agency who wants to help us.
One of the teachers of the AITI course in July’s KIST boot camp (Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, see http://AITI.mit.edu) says that 4-5 teams are ready to launch new enterprises already. There’s a hunger to learn new technolgy which is changing the game in East Africa. Our HeHe team CEO Clarisse was invited to speak to a national gathering of students about the hardwon lessons of teamwork she’s learned in just nine months of operation. She’s going to Uganda in September after winning another pitch competition.
In Kenya I met with a large newspaper editor who will assign a writer to tell some of the stories I’m following — for general readers and for the diplomatic scene. Telling these stories in print and video, for web, phone and live audiences, will get their news into the hands of potential funders and build new enterprises.
I just left Kigali after a busy time videotaping HeHe Ltd, a mobile phone app provider team that started business just nine months ago. They told me about challenges like losing a major client and losing a team member. They’ve been asked to talk about teamwork challenges to an international student group in Kigali organized by Cambridge University, U.K. They have riveting insights about how a team stays creative and bonded.
I also got to talk with a government agency in Kigali who are eager to take story episodes of this young HeHe team to inspire others in rural areas to start their own enterprises in high tech projects! We will do some planning via Skpe in August and think about radio, web and live events to tell insider story segments about Clarisse, Amiri, Diane and Richard who competed at the Pivot25 mobile developer conference in June and had more twitter traffic than any of the other teams. It was Richard’s first trip out of Rwanda and he plans to be first in the next competition.
I also got to meet a Frenchman at the airport who’s doing development work in Sudan. He thinks stories of young innovators should be easy to fund and wants to help!
Tomorrow I will follow Jodie Wu around Dar Es Salaam in meetings about funding, websites and advice for Global Cycle Solutions. Then we travel by bus to Morogoro to talk to sales reps for GCS.
Jodie is eager to get into the field to see how products are being received and she’s developing another side business in Arusha to provide affordable housing to visitors like me and the fellow who’s coming from the US to shoot a story about what makes an enterpreneur tick — for an ebook written by an educator at harvard. I’ll meet with him in August to learn more.