Ideas, information and learning at Pivot East workshop

Yesterday we had the Pivot East workshop at the innovation space. It was organized together with Annie Njenga and Njeri Thande from m:lab Nairobi, Mobile Monday Dar and COSTECH. Aim of the workshop was to create awareness in the Pivot East mobile developer competition in the Tanzanian developer community, and also help build skills and connections needed to successfully take part in the competition. About 50-60 people took part in the workshop and the relaxed schedule between 10am-4pm allowed a lot of interactions and learning to take place.

The workshop was kicked off by Dr Raphael Mmasi of COSTECH, encouraging young Tanzanians to work together in ICT and take part competitions and community events like the Mobile Monday to keep updated on the developments. After Dr Mmasi, it was Mobile Monday Dar es Salaam team’s turn to introduce what MoMoDar has been doing recently and get people warmed up on the topic of mobile innovation in Tanzania (revisit their presentation). We watched the following video to get the warm-up discussion going:

Next up Njeri Thande introduced m:lab Nairobi and the Pivot East competition, which culminates in a pitching competition for investors on June 5-6th in Nairobi (download Njeri’s slides). The initial deadline for the competition submissions is March 31st, so there’s still a good month to prepare. They will announce the finalists in five categories on April 17th. The final competition will be a 6-minute pitch to the panel, so Annie Njenga followed Njeri’s introduction by talking about good pitching techniques (download Annie’s slides).

Focusing just on the competition is one thing, but it’s also important to understand at least the rudimentaries of business strategy and intellectual property rights behind your ideas and innovations, so closing off the presentations, first Dr George Shemdoe from COSTECH gave a comprehensive presentation on intellectual property rights (IPR) and business registrations in the Tanzanian context (download slides, presentation will be also available in YouTube), and then Mrs Kristiina Lähde from TANZICT gave a short presentation on the basics of business planning and strategy from a start-up perspective (download slides, presentation also available in YouTube later).

After lunch it was time to continue on the discussion of mobile innovation in Tanzania and brainstorm for ideas that workshop participants and community members could take forward for the Pivot East competition. Different tables competed on the number of ideas for mobile apps for a g|Tanzania T-shirt 😉 and altogether came up with A LOT of ideas:

  • Integrating web and mobile apps to facilitate the online business using different mobile money systems
  • Smartphone guard
  • Events app for ICT events
  • Government portal app for registering licenses thru mobile
  • College timetable app
  • Hair & makeup app
  • Mentorship app
  • Food diet app
  • Shopping app registering all shops with different products and sending sms and info on availability
  • Farm app on how to start a farm, info on fertilizers
  • Mobile app for police
  • An app for daily price change on selected products
  • Mobile app for cocktail recipe
  • Mobile app to look for the best hangout place
  • Caller id app with colour signals
  • Teaching aid app that works on tablets
  • Sms games
  • Bulk info sms
  • Sms advertising app
  • Service & business lookup app via sms
  • A mobile app directly linking between consumer and producer without middlemen
  • App providing availability of power at locations via sms
  • A book about farming that can be accessed via USSD
  • Sms auction app
  • Mobile online purchase app
  • Send curriculum vitae via mobile
  • Ability to make orders via mobile
  • Ability to learn different issues through mobile in agricultural issues
  • App enabling students to access learning materials from their college/uni.
  • Send sudden accidents to a certain website via mobile for journalism/TV-broadcasting purpose
  • Open up bank accounts via mobile
  • Tourism app; updates on events, destinations etc.
  • M-fixed account (mobile current fixed account), user can deposit money on a fixed mobile account
  • Changing airtime into m-money deposit
  • Video-calling app

Among the brainstorming Nisile Kaswaga briefly introduced the new Computing and Informatics Association (CIA), an organization of young ICT professionals willing to share information related to ICT in Tanzania. Gongaza Rugambwa also told about TechnoSundays, a voluntary outreach program in efficient use of ICT.

So how about the next steps? If you’re interested in working on an idea for the Pivot East and you’d like to have some support or other team members to make your submission stronger, let us know by sending us your email address so we can coordinate a follow-up & refinement session as needed.


Check out all the photos from the workshop on the Flickr gallery, share under Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution-ShareAlike:

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