Vodacom Tanzania Plc and Smart Lab have launched a program that intends to assist early-stage and growth-stage technology startups to become profitable and revenue-generating businesses.
The program called Vodacom Digital Accelerator will run yearly with an aim to identify and support startup entrepreneurs in mobile, telecom, fintech, media, health, education, and e-commerce industries. It will have three phases; which include application, selection and acceleration.
Speaking at the launch event, Hisham Hendi, Vodacom Tanzania Plc’s Managing Director, said that the partnership between Vodacom Tanzania and Smartcodes is a right step towards providing opportunities to startup businesses via technological which will result into workable business models benefiting communities, especially the youths.
He encouraged youths to be more innovative and to take advantage opportunities of similar kinds as a path to economic empowerment through solving problems in their localities
“Vodacom always aims to create impactful sustainable change in the society where we operate in line with our strategic business focus and, the Vodacom Accelerator aims to do just that,” he added.
He further stated the company encourages technology-driven ideas that bring sustainable change.
“Digital technology is not only changing the way we do business in Africa but also revolutionizing the way we perceive and solve issues of development. It is therefore with great honor that we will once again create an opportunity for such ideas to be recognized, supported and transformed to maximize social impact”, he said.
He also added, “Vodacom has partnered with Smart Lab, a well-known innovation hub that aims to bring tangible results that will disrupt the innovation eco-system. So, this will be an opportunity for startups and innovators in the selected criteria to showcase their products and also gain from the platform including exclusive partnership deals with Vodacom, mentorship, technical assistance, marketing and exposure to Vodacom and Smart Lab’s large network of partners and finally customers to test and experience their solutions’.
Smart Codes Chief Executive Officer Edwin Bruno shared his excitement for the new program saying that “we are excited to be part of the “Vodacom Accelerator” and together with Vodacom we hope to create a brand-building platform for the tech-savvy youth. This program is in line with our corporate strategy to drive messaging around youth support in the digital age and we are grateful for Vodacom Tanzania who saw the need to create the next round of success stories for African entrepreneurs building fast-growing technology companies coming from within the country.”
He further said that “the innovation community has mushroomed in Tanzania from just a handful of hubs in 2011 to more than 45 in 2019 but there has been a slower involvement from the corporate side whereas Vodacom in this partnership with Smart Lab will lead in bridging that gap. We look forward to a tech-evolved-future for Tanzania that is full of disruptive solutions which will positively impact the coming generations.”
Vodacom’s director of Corporate Affairs Rosalynn Mworia said Vodacom is investing more than 150,000 dollars into the accelerator program which will go towards educating and empowering Tanzania‘s youth.
Culled from www.africanews.com