Archive for Startup Cup

StartUp Cup Unveils International Experts for Maiden Africa Summit in Ghana

Maiden Africa Startup Cup

Back in July 2015, during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, United States President, Mr. Barrack Obama, promised the establishment of entrepreneurial centres to empower women in the society. This was a topic that he was really keen on during the summit and is quoted saying:

“Women are powerhouse entrepreneurs. The research shows that when women entrepreneurs succeed, they drive economic growth and invest more back into their families and communities”

His message was an announcement of the  new WECREATE Centres (Women Entrepreneurial Center of Resources, Education, Access, and Training for Economic Empowerment), a physical entrepreneurial community center that can be replicated in any community. This project, the first of StartUp Cup’s major endeavours on the African continent, is a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB) and StartUp Cup. Kenya is the second one to be opened in Africa. The other centre is at Zambia and another to be opened in Mali in the next coming months. A couple of others have been set up in Pakistan and Cambodia. Over the course of time, more centres will be opened up throughout the African continent.

In due regards to the need to promote entrepreneurship and businesses in order to create a sustained continent, many organisations are making commendable efforts, but StartUp Cup hopes to achieve even more to ensure that each individual is empowered to create jobs and provide sustained living through the Africa StartUp Cup, commented Sean Griffin, CEO  Founder of StartUp Cup. StartUp Cup’s Africa regional presence is poised to ensure this, as well as create an open environment for entrepreneurs to not only strive within the continent but to also have a great impact on the lives of others.

The Africa StartUp Cup is another great effort by StartUp Cup and the U.S. Department of State to bridge this gap of educating and providing important tools to entrepreneurs in Africa and the world at large. “In the wake of the rising inflation, high costs of doing business, shortage of funding opportunities, among other challenges that entrepreneurs face in modern times, it is only right that we lead entrepreneurs to overcome such challenges” said Emmanuel Nyame, President & Regional Director for Africa StartUp Cup.

The Africa StartUp Cup summit is an extraordinary event designed to showcase and celebrate entrepreneurs and is expected to host over five hundred (500) delegates from every conceivable industry, and in the process shine a global light on the power of Africa’s entrepreneurs and startups to improve lives. The event, which takes place on April 29, includes a line-up of key experts with the know-how of entrepreneurship development in Africa. In addition to the summit on Africa’s progress in business, there would also be pitches from selected winners from across Africa, as well as a great deal of networking with investors, business leaders, governments, and the elite in Africa’s growth agenda.

Some of the confirmed speakers for the summit include Sean Griffin, CEO & Founder of StartUp Cup World (Washington DC) , Diana Ofwona, West & Central  Africa Regional Director of UN Women, Neal Hansch, Managing Director of MEST (Ghana) , Albert Biga, CEO of Zooba Shop (Ghana) , Neeraj Gala, Product & Innovations Director of Bharti Airtel Africa (Kenya Head Quarters) , Ethel Cofie, Founder & CEO  of Women in Tech Africa (Ghana) , Eric Kinoti, CEO of Shade Systems EA (Kenya and Eastern Africa), Lukonga Lindunda, CEO of BongoHive (Zambia), Vuyisa Qabaka, CEO of Entrepreneur Traction (South Africa), Zineb Rharrasse, Founder of StartUp Maroc (Morocco), Ahmed Maawy, Founder of Swahilibox(Kenya).

The summit is open to the public – To acquire your pass for this summit, either to participate or exhibit your products to a wider audience kindly visit the Africa StartUp Cup Page.The program also includes a VIP Cocktail with investors, governments, and selected dignitaries, to help boost networking and promote more conversations about Africa’s next level in entrepreneurship.

 

 

 

The 98% Entrepreneurship Reality

An Entrepreneurial Renaissance

98IconThere is no question about it. It’s an exciting time to be an entrepreneur wherever you live in the world. There is more attention being given to entrepreneurialism as a viable career path and way to innovate than at any other time in history. We are at the beginning of a full-blown entrepreneurial renaissance.

Organizations and programs that support new technology companies to launch and gain access to the tools, resources, and capital that accelerate building scalable, high growth businesses are being introduced on a daily basis.

Startup programs like Startup Weekend, Lean Startup Machine, TechStars, and YCombinator are highly successful at filtering large numbers of technology companies with mentoring and funding designed to test their business models in an effort to grow big, fast.

Let’s face it, you are hard pressed to go a full day without being fed a news story about a technology company that has raised their first and second multi-million-dollar investment or the latest IPO making the founders into millionaires and billionaires. Very exciting times indeed. At least for those that are able to turn their startup into piles of cash.

Over Promoting Unrealistic Behavior

There is a little known fact behind every startup story that puts a newly funded company on a pedestal, and very few people are talking about it. What is this little know bit of information?

Only 2% of all startups are funded by angels, accelerators, or venture capitalists. Let’s state this in a different way so that it will fully sink in. Only 2% of all startups have a business model, experienced team, connections, and scalability, usually technology based, to raise money from investors.

Funding is for the elite. More and more the funding is going to ivy league college graduates and teams that have a proven track record of generating huge returns for investors.

This means that 98% of all entrepreneurs and startups are not gaining access to the tools, resources, and financing opportunities that will give their new company the opportunity to grow.

It’s Not Always a Technology World

It is time to think different about what it means to be an entrepreneur. The myth is that you have to be a rock star and grow a technology company to be the next Facebook or Google. This does not reflect the true reality of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurialism is a lifestyle, a mindset, a way to live a life with greater purpose and meaning. If we are to overcome the economic challenges we face as a world we need to focus more energy on supporting the 98% of entrepreneurs who are starting new companies.

The challenge is that the 98% do not meet the capitalistic nature of our economy today. That is to say, that they do not have a company that can grow big fast and generate handsome returns for investors. No wonder so many have so much anger towards Wall Street.

The World Needs Small Businesses

The entrepreneurial reality of the 98% is that they are low-tech or no-tech companies, have done little or no planning, are made up of unproven teams, have little to no experience starting a company, and are not graduates of ivy league universities. In addition these companies only require a few thousand dollars to start generating revenue and will only grow 2 – 20 jobs.

Startups do not need to be a technology company. They do not need to change the world. They just need someone with an idea and the passion to take that idea into the market place. Just think about how different the American economy would be if we were giving small business startups a similar level of access to networks, coaching, and team development as the 2%.

We are over promoting unrealistic behavior. Instead of focusing on raising lots of money let’s focus on the development of viable business models that connect with customers willing to pay for the value created by the startup. By focusing on the generation of revenue that drives profitability there is less and less need to raise money.

Small business is at the cornerstone of entrepreneurship. Some will become the next Apple and most will become the next corner drugstore owning their business for 20 years. Both deserve the same support and regard for making a difference in our lives.

StartUp Cup is born out of this frustration to see entrepreneurs armed with any type of idea gain access to the coaching, resources, and tools that the 2% have access to.

It’s time to start celebrating the real heroes of our economy, the 98% who work to make our lives better each and everyday.