23rd September 2019

April Startup Hour Review

Startup Hour audience listening to featured guests' presentation
Startup Hour audience listening to featured guests’ presentation

It’s already April and we are almost in the middle of the year. For businesses, this is also almost the end of Q1 (in most countries). It’s an exciting time because it’s not yet mid-year, neither is it the beginning of the year. There is definitely still enough room to revise your 2014 goals and do something differently. It is in this vein that the April Startup Hour took shape last night.

Airtel Zambia Managing Director, Charity Lumpa, addresses the Startup Hour audience
Airtel Zambia Managing Director, Charity Lumpa, addresses the Startup Hour audience

The featured guests were Airtel Zambia Managing Director, Charity Lumpa, and Airtel Money Director, Brenda Thole. There was also a third surprise guest, Enterprise Manager, Muyunda Muyinda from Airtel Zambia who tagged along with the other featured guests.

Airtel Money Director, Brenda Thole, addressing the Startup Hour audience
Airtel Money Director, Brenda Thole, addressing the Startup Hour audience

The tone of the April Startup Hour was different than the other events. Yesterday’s gathering almost reflected a massive pitching event. Think Shark Tank but not quite. Airtel Zambia is ready for some innovation and the featured guests had their ears wide open for creative ideas which could help propel the company to digital heights.

Airtel Zambia Enterprise Director, Muyunda Muyinda, addressing the Startup Hour audience
Airtel Zambia Enterprise Director, Muyunda Muyinda, addressing the Startup Hour audience

It is refreshing to see that the corporate creme de la creme of the telecommunications industry climbed down the ladder to meet with eager entrepreneurs wishing to make a change in the way services are delivered in Zambia.

Ms. Lumpa observed that because the majority of Zambia’s population is 14 years old and under, in 5 – 10 years time, youths will be the drivers of our economy. Therefore, Airtel Zambia recognises the significance of partnering with youth entrepreneurs in order to create long-lasting business solutions together.

Additionally, Ms. Thole also stated that Airtel Money is on the lookout for the best application (app) which will streamline the mobile money service and make it more efficient. She encouraged interested individuals to be willing to push the boundaries so as to come up with the best products. Mr. Muyinda added that the Enterprise department aims to live up to its name by acquiring enterprising people with the best talent to transform Airtel Zambia into a Complete Enterprise Solutions Provider.

Unlike MTN Zambia’s current Appathon competition, Airtel Zambia is taking a different approach of one-on-one interaction with app developers. Apparently, this will give the chance to the company and the developers to discover the best solution closely. As it turned out, the featured guests were very impressed with the potential that Zhappening could offer.

As usual, the whole event was surging with startup energy. Matthew Grollnek, the organiser and founder of Startup Junction was on point to make introductions to enhance the networking experience. Mwila a.k.a Slap Dee also made an appearance and said that entrepreneurship is something he takes seriously despite his successful music career. The University of Zambia computer science students also showed up, and many other people. You just have to attend the next Startup Hour to witness the available basket of opportunities.

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