Relaxed learning event with serial entrepreneur Miika Perä

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Entrepreneurs of Iringa Team Academy and the members of Rlabs Iringa were lucky to have a young and successful entrepreneur visiting Iringa on Saturday 10th of January. Mr. Miika Perä shared an inspiring story about building your own company as a young and passionate entrepreneur while you are still studying.

Mr. Miika Perä is a growth oriented start-up entrepreneur from Finland. He is one of the co-founders of JaloHelsinki, a smoke alarm company which he started with his partners from a scratch. The key of their product is a nice looking design, which is really rare in a smoke alarm business. Special attention has been paid on usability too. So far, they have sold more than 300 000 smoke alarms. Mr. Perä is also a co-founder of Ambronite “The world’s first drinkable meal that fulfills the daily nutrition recommendations”. Ambronite is created for the busy people who have no time for cooking during the day, but who are still willing to take care of their health. All the ingredients of Ambronite are 100% natural.

The participants of the conversational event found the stories really interesting and inspiring. They also got some new ideas for their future projects. Especially the entrepreneurs of Iringa Team Academy felt it really encouraging to hear how young Miika was when he started his first business. He confirmed that to be the best time, because when you are young, you are only responsible of yourself and you have all your time to make your dreams come true. Another great idea from Miika was to turn the frustration about something into a business. That is how it worked with Ambronite.

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Miika shows how to use Ambronite.

Teampreneurs were impressed about the patience that Miika had to be ready to wait more than 1000 days from getting the idea to the point when you actually have the products in the shops. The idea to invite professionals to help you, when you don’t have the skills needed, was a great way to open your mind. The audience also realized that there is always a way to do things and get needed expertise – even with a low budget. The participants were really excited to taste Ambronite and see how unique the product is. That made them think what could be the markets for a similar thing here in Africa. On that point you could already feel some new business ideas in the air!

Read more about the companies from www.jalohelsinki.com and www.ambronite.com

Writer Sisko Mäkinen, Junior Expert working in Iringa Team Academy January – March 2015.

Photo credit: Mika Laaksonen.

TANZICT blog 2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for TANZICT blog. Most of the viewers coming from Tanzania while United States of America & Finland are not far behind. TANZICT appreciates all our blog visitors who have spent their time visiting the blog, reading our contents, sharing the stories and giving us feedback. Looking forward for a great year on 2015.

Here's an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 32,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Story of a young Tanzanian maker

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Nassoro Selemani

Quiet morning at Buni hub, the hub is being renovated ready for Buni version 2.0, whereby the hub will have new look and more tools and resources to create conducive environment for innovators and entrepreneurs working at the hub. Nassor Selemani, a young innovator visited the hub for an interview session with the hub managers. Nassor visited the hub few weeks ago to showcase some of his projects and prototypes that he has been developing from his hometown in Same, Kilimanjaro, Northern Tanzania.

Nassoro is coming from a family of two kids. He is living with his father who is not in good health condition. His mother and brother has passed. Currently, he is Dar es Salaam visiting his relatives. Nassoro brother in law was so much amazed with what he can do after seeing some of his works. He decided to bring  Nassoro to Buni hub to see if Buni can support him on his projects and expose him to opportunities that are available for him out there.

Nassor started to create gadgets when he was still in primary school. He created his first model of car when he was in standard five. The car was using the magnetic forces to navigate from one area to the other. Currently, the car can navigate even further since he is using electric motors instead of magnets to make it navigate.

“Am working on developing a quad-copter like the one you show me last time, the one you called drone.” Nassoro Selemani

Nassoro has been making IMG_6823different things for the past five years, some of his projects includes; digital clock, short distance phones, electrical boats and the magnetic controlled car. The only thing that drives him to work on those different gadgets is the passion that he has on making things. Nassoro loves physics and chemistry, on one of his projects he created a rocket using mixture of homemade chemicals.

The first time he came at Buni hub, he was exposed to the drone technologies. He was very interested on how the drones work and according to the interview we had with him, he has already started to work on making a quad-copter. He wants to attach a camera at the bottom and make it operate like a drone which takes pictures from the air.

When we asked him if has already use a computer before and if he owns one, he replied that he has been using internet to gather information about gadgets and learn some concepts of different gadgets and how they work. He requested  us if we can arrange for him to get a personal computer that he can use to learn and explore more, that will be a major help to him. The current computer he is using is founder at his brother’s office and rarely he got the chance to use it.

“If you are good on something just work on it and people will realize how good you are” Nassoro Selemani

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Nassoro testing his phone with Brian.

Sometime, early next year Buni will possibly be working on project to make drones from locally available resources and import few tools to assist in the process. Buni hub has given a chance to Nassoro to come and work at the hub and to use the tools that will be available on our new mini fabrication laboratory at the hub.

Nassoro is still studying and he is currently not living in Dar es Salaam, we have advised him to visit us during the Easter holidays and he will have a chance to work on his drown project with the makers team from the hub.

Recap of activities happening at Buni hub between October and November 2014

October started with the awarding ceremony for the innovation fund. The event occurred on 2nd of October. Winners of this batch of the innovation fund were gathered at Buni hub together with stakeholders from  different public and private sector organization witnessing the occasion. TANZICT project through the innovation fund initiative, it has been funding ideas and early stage startups in Tanzania to boost them to the next level.

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Team Kipepeo presenting their prototype.

On 15th of October, the orientation session and module 1 of the team entrepreneurship coaching session started. The programme is being coordinated with TANZICT project and an expert from Finland Ville Keranen. The training took place at Kipepeo Beach and it was facilitated by Ville and Iiro Kolehmainen.  Over 15 people from different organization from public and private sector attended the session. The session is a part of a complete four modules programme. The aim of the programme is to equip the stakeholders with skills and knowledge required to run and supervise team entrepreneurship programmes at their organizations. Stakeholders were coming from universities, technology hubs, entrepreneurship centers and living labs.

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Printing om progress.

On 29th of October, Introduction to 3D printing session was conducted at the hub. The session was facilitated by miss Jacqueline Dismas one of the mentors of the “make fellows” community at the hub.  The training involve introducing people to 3D printing technologies; assembling, calibration and operation of the 3D printer. From the session Jacqueline introduce the audience to the software required to operate the 3D printer as well as on how to setup the 3D printer and get the required output.

On November 4th Buni hub was honored to host Unreasonable East Africa CEO, Mr. Joachim Ewechu who visited Buni for an info session about Unreasonable East Africa Programme and the benefit that Startups from Tanzania can get by participating in the programme. The info session lasted for few hours and people got opportunity to interact and ask questions about the programme. The Unreasonable East Africa Institute gives an “unreasonable advantage” to entrepreneurs creating solutions to the East Africa’s biggest social and environmental problems.

demolaOn 10th of November we hosted an expert from the Demola team. The expert shared the concept of Demola with the community members and stakeholders from the technology and business ecosystem in Tanzania. We had stakeholders from different public and private sector listening to the concept and how it works before start to brainstorm on whether the concept can work in Tanzania or not. It was a very interesting discussion and the attendees learned a lot from the session.

 

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Networking after the Ampion tour info session.

Ampion East Africa Tour kickoff event in Dar, On 15th of November we hosted the Ampion startup bus, the bus that was moving all over major cities in East Africa including; Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Nairobi and Kigali, creating startup teams and provide them with the skills and knowledge needed to run successive business while receiving mentoring and support from the team of experts who were travelling with them in the bus. The trip started in Dar es Salaam at Buni hub where the teams gathered together and startup experts from different parts of the world shared their experience with the team before travelling to Nairobi on the next day.

10429389_10152410889267027_2048427881280898667_nOn 17th of November startups and members of Buni hub arrived to the Slush event in Finland. Community manager, Brian Paul and some few startups from Dar es Salaam attended the largest technology event in Europe. They did get the chance to present what is happening in Tanzania and share their experience as start-ups coming from East Africa.

On November 18th, BUNI welcomed its very first hold up session organized by organization called “Why Not Women” to solve a challenge for Apps & Girls, a Tanzania-based social enterprise. A hold up, is a creative brainstorming session that would gather social entrepreneurs and students during a 2 hours-session in order to provide free creative business solutions for a social business. The methodology has been implemented by a French organisation called MakeSense.

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Brainstorming during the session.

During the hold up, more than 15 young creative people met at BUNI to help Apps & Girls change parents’ mentalities about ICT trainings for their daughters. Apps&Girls  is a social organisation based in Dar Es Salaam that provides free ICT courses to 10-18 years old girls. With Apps & Girls, Carolyne Ekyarisiima contributes to bridge the gender gap in ICT in Tanzania, and empower young girls with excellent and valuable skills.

Finally on 26th of November we had an info session of  “Intel app challenge”. Buni hub is already doing good on the challenge with over 30 mobile apps from the hub being submitted to the challenge and we are looking forward for impressive results.

Experience the tech weekend at Buni hub this weekend. 

Buni_CommunityExplore the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) available in Tanzania. Meet people who are currently working in the ICT sector, ask questions, and make connections. Find new opportunities to get involved. And win some cool prizes! The activities will be free and you are all welcome.

Buni Hub will be hosting :

Hackathon 

Show us your creativity and tech skills in solving some pressing issues in the education sector in our country. Your team will have 6 hours to come up with a prototype to win the hearts of our judges. Win entry to the mentoring program at Buni Hub to make your idea come alive! The hackathon will start from 8:00 am. The teams are required to be at the hub by 7:00 am on 13th December 2014

Software Design Showcase 

Submit your designs for a new and innovative software. You will have a chance to showcase it to our judges and sponsors to gain exposure and feedback for your ideas. Show the world the stuff! The aim is to add more some values to your application and to have real time users feedback, don’t miss this great opportunity. Software exhibitions while be from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on 12 December 2014.

Graphics Design Competition 

Design the best user interface frontend for a program developed by Smart Codes and get hired on the spot. The company is looking for talent and it could be you! The activity will take place on 12th December 2014. Don’t miss it. Be at the hub by 2:00 pm.

Where: Buni Hub (COSTECH building, Ground Floor, Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road, Kijitonyama.
When: 12-13 December 2014

Click here to sign up for the activities:

Don’t forget to the check out the event at the Kijitonyama TTCL grounds also! Music, games, prizes, and lots of interesting ICT opportunities. It will be all day fun on 13 December.

This event is organized and hosted by the following organizations:

Buni Hub is an open space at the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) for the Tanzania technologist community to foster innovation, entrepreneurship and a culture of co-creation.

Access Brand Tanzania is a marketing support firm in experiential and social marketing communication services.

Nikweli.com is a job matching platform for industry and service sector workers in Tanzania. We are a people bank; unlike traditional job banks.