Wow, what a night! We just concluded this month’s Pitch night. Now for those who do not know what it is, Pitch Night Bulawayo is a monthly event that brings together some of the entrepreneurs so as to support each other. The goal is to rebuild our city, three ideas and three pitches at a time. Pitch Night has really served as a gateway to the greater entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bulawayo.
Every month we have had the amazing opportunity of helping 3 young innovators to tell their stories and spend 15 minutes sharing with the world this beautiful thing that they have built. I think a lot of us take for granted just how hard it is to stand in front of so many people and share th story of your own baby, your idea that you have worked so hard to bring to life. It is
As a partner, our role is in managing most of the technical issues when it comes to each monthly event. You will find us seated at the back of the room behind computers controlling the various displays. Our job is a simple but mission critical one, it is to ensure that we help these innovators to tell their story in the best manner possible, which means its a lot of pre-event background work. We live to someday visually inspire someone in the crowd to take that first bold step and start up.
The work really starts with identifying the next innovators for the Pitch, over a period of two or so weeks, we work with them in collaboration with Terrence, from Educate to refine their pitches and to ensure that they get the most out of the entire experience. We provide guidelines and tools to help them prepare and start conversations around positioning their brand to use Pitch Night to grow! It is not just some
I think the most beautiful moment for me is watching that innovator step up on stage. Terrence, who is our MC (and original hype man) does a stella job in setting the audience up to receive the innovator, who, let’s be frank, is in general, shaking like a leaf. The audience goes silent, we beam up the presentation and count down the start of the pitch. It is like watching a child take their first step, first, with a stumble, then a hiccup and then all of a sudden, the launch forward with the blazing fire of a thousand suns.
Okay its not that dramatic, but still, with each presentation slide, you see the innovator gain more and more confidence. They lessen their grip on the microphone and face the audience head on. It is watching that transformation that hits me in the feels every single time! By the time they get to the questions they are more or less tramping around, owning that stage. This is the reason why I love Pitch Night, why we step up every month and do what needs to be done to help these three musketeers.
Tonight we had Ndabezinhle Nyathi of Mobotech, A self publishing platform and e-book store that strives to help aspiring writers graduate to being authors at the minimum cost through digital publishing. Mobotech has just completed the development of its website and is now working on the mobile app ( reader.) You can get in touch with the founder via mobotechpublishing[at]gmail.com.
We also had Gugulethu Siso the founder and head member ( wins startups title of the year) of Thumeza, an on demand delivery startup that boasts of its peer-to-peer model hyper-efficient delivery model, where fully vetted and insured individuals with private cars act as drivers on behalf of the company. Thumeza has already completed 200 deliveries as part of their validation phase and are looking to rapidly scale across the country. You can get in touch with the founder via hello[at]thumeza.org.zw.
Walter Kaymono was the last to pitch and got a tonne of questions about Palmart, an on demand grocery delivery startup based in Bulawayo. Palmart’s ingenious model enables them to sell and deliver groceries at “below supermarket prices” pushing down real value to the customers! You can contact Walter via walter[at]palmart.co.zw.
What I loved even more about the last two pitchers is how they have found ways to work and grow together. Thumeza is now Palmarts official delivery partner, which enables them to focus on driving more value for their customers whilst giving even more business to Thumeza. This is what being a part of the TechVillage is all about, and dare I say, these are the foundational principles of what can be Africa’s future unicorns. It is nolonger about individual startups growing rapidly, I believe that the future unicorns will made up of syndicates of startups, who’s shared value disrupts multiple industries! Only time will tell!
These three did not disappoint and I for one am very proud of what they did tonight, and also what they are going to achieve in the coming months.
Going forward we would like to work with them to help strengthen their brands online. As the TechVillage, we are going to avail some of our own resources, which include server space, domain names, storytelling and product development services and virtual office functions to help them to scale. Furthermore we are going to work with the rest of the community to forge new partnerships with them and for them because we believe that it takes an entire village to raise a child. Check out our blog for stories from Septembers three brave warriors as we will tweet, blog and post about them in the coming weeks. We are, as always, our startups’ biggest supporters and fan.
If you would like to come through for the next pitch night, please check out the Pitch Night Bulawayo Facebook page as well as our social media accounts. The next pitch night will be on the 25th of October here in the city of Kings, see you then!