Pitch Nights Update

Pitch Nights Update

A story telling company, a new app, and a “brand” new school. Harare entrepreneurs are coming out to play in a big way. Global Shapers and Emerging Ideas bangs on the door of the local genius and pitches keep on coming.
February Pitch night was this last week in the Basement—across the street from the Borrowdale racecourse, where people usually divulge in betting cash. These entrepreneurs are betting not on horses, but their ideas and future. “It’s so exciting to see the entrepreneur atmosphere. The place was humming immediately as the doors opened."

First up was a Tafadzwa with a fully registered new school. The school is a mere eight weeks old but already has 400 students enrolled in their curriculum. This new company started off with pure Instigation Capital and only a handful of dollars. Their focus is on “brand” education and their name says it all—The Branding Institute of Zimbabwe.

Second was a local tech company represented by Terrence. Nyamkuta (their app) won the Muzinda Hub’s “Hackathon for Health” competition. Still in beta testing, this app was created in days using similar less robust apps as a benchmark to create something that has a great UI and UX. This app aims to solve problems relating to abortion and unwanted babies by monitoring a woman’s menstrual cycle. You get the picture. We think they’ll solve a lot of problems in their sector.

Clemence (Head of Production) pitched on a growing video production company, CMedia. With a young and energizing team, CMedia tells the Best Stories for start-ups, documentaries, talk shows, and more through high impact videos. What is a high impact video? It causes someone to act, share or change a belief. The new company has been around for just under two years and it’s apparent that they have the quality and the creativity to grow fast.

Ideas with traction, start-ups, growing new companies share the stage is the name of the game. The next pitch night will be on the 27th of March. We’ll send out the RSVP link via social media (here & here) in the next week.

To see more pics from this week's pitch night, click here.

Last thing, we got quite a bit of discussion on Twitter with #zimpitch. Multiple people asked us, “What happens after a company pitches at a Startup Pitch Night?” Here’s a quick rundown of what happens and some of the results we’ve seen in the first 3 months:

  • Community springboard. Meaning entrepreneurs in a community talk about entrepreneurs that are honorable and doing great work. So word spreads about your company after pitching.
  • Ongoing support from Emerging Ideas and partners of the event
  • Distribution deals
  • New relationships
  • Exposure to the World Economic Forum via our partnership with Global Shapers Harare Hub
  • Blog write-ups (see post above)
  • Tangible business connections: we’ve seen 3 or 4 companies raise capital, gain dozens of new clientele, sell their products, and be launched into the market.
  • Top of mind, tip of tongue—when people know of you and like you, they spread the word about you. The networks shrink in distance and it’s easier to make the valuable connections you need.

[This post also published on World Economic Forum's Global Shapers website here.]

(photo via tnash)