VENTURES AFRICA – MoDe (Mobile Decisioning Africa), Africa’s leading airtime solution provider, has emerged as the winner of IBM’s inaugural SmartCamp competition in Africa.
IBM established SmartCamp t0 identifying early stage entrepreneurs who are developing business ventures that align with IBM’s Smarter Planet vision, of which the micro- and nano-credit provider, MoDe, has won in the first African edition.
Last week, in Cape Town, South Africa, IBM organized a one-day event for Smarter Planet startups to drive growth for their business through mentoring, visibility, and networking. MoDe was one of the four finalist at the event in Cape Town, and will now head to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the regional finals.
The Kenyan company provides products to prepaid telecom customers in six African countries and has now concluded more than 200 million transactions to date.
IBM vice-president of corporate strategy and general manager of enterprise initiatives Tom Rosamilia hopes MoDe will be able to obtain funding from venture capitalists through the SmartCamp programme.
According to CP-Africa, IBM has held 20 SmartCamp events globally and venture capitalists have invested $65 milllion into start-up companies that were part of IBM’s entrepreneurship programme.
Mr Rosamilia said the programme was not limited to mobile-related products only. He said the decision to expand the programme to Africa was made as IBM was impressed with the venture capital community in Cape Town.
“I would like to encourage governments to foster the venture capital community and take more interest in technology. This will improve the economic situation in the continent and lead to job creation,” he said.
SmartCamps, is a part of the Global Entrepreneur Programme which IBM launched in October this year in South Africa. According to developer relations lead for IBM South Africa, Clayton Booysen, the “Global Entrepreneur Programme is focused on helping early-stage entrepreneurs to capture emerging business opportunities, especially in fast-growing industries such as energy, utilities, healthcare and telecommunications.”