For every start-up in the world, the rules seem to be the same despite different social and economic conditions together. This time we take a journey into the nation of Zimbabwe where we see how a start-up hub in Sub-Saharan Africa is creating disruptive technology for the development of the continent. We look into the work of Neolab Technology.
Neolab was started by a group of freshmen in college at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Like any other start-up they have had great milestones and also downturns which have propelled their tenacity. Since its inception in 2012, the company has won various awards from both locally and regionally. There has been much of activity at the start-up which is clustered by a team of passionate and talented entrepreneurs.
The team is led by Jabulani Mpofu and Takundah Chingonzoh. These are promising industry giants with amazing skill in computer science and business. These two were delegates at the recently held Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya. Mr. Chingonzoh has had the opportunity of speaking on different platforms including World Philanthropic Forum and the Clinton Global Initiative, which were all held in 2015. Definitely, put them on your radar!
Neolab has implemented numerous projects which have been stunningly successful. Their project cum start-up Saisai was the winner at Demo Africa 2014 making them a powerful African player in the entrepreneurial sphere. Neolab loves working with transient entrepreneurs which they call "Digital Nomads" and aims to push 20 start-ups to market annually. This is why we call Neolab the start-up factory!
We invested time to profile 21 of their start-ups which are set to change the face of Africa.
This platform brings advertifi products over your own Wi-Fi network. This B2B service helps businesses increase sales and customer conversions by intelligently flagging ads over their free Wi-Fi. The team seeks to alleviate the problem of the inability of African businesses to engage the disruptive power of online advertising.
Saisai is an enterprise technology that makes a Wi-Fi network perform at 10x its original speed as more people sign in to the network. This promises to be Africa’s #NBT in terms of internet provision for Africans and is really headed for heights.
Depositor is a personal financial management service that provides a simple and interactive interface for recording both income and expenses. Whenever you need to see how well you do with your expenses, look out for Depositor. The app also runs analytics on your data and makes you financially smarter.
Frello is a combination of an IM app and an API for bulk messaging (flash texting). Users are able to send messages to a person and if they are not online (or don’t have a smart phone per se), the app then sends a text message. Another cool feature is that the app has a lot of location based services like preset sending messages when arriving at a certain location or hiding conversations depending on location.
Washen is a sophisticated service that offers premium dry cleaning and laundry services. A user subscribes using their app and laundry gets done within a day at the touch of button. This service allows users to track their clothes and check the status of their laundry as soon as it leaves their premises.
Teeme is an ecommerce platform that gives clients the opportunity to personalizing fashion through designing high quality t-shirts at a low cost and in real-time. After the order is placed Teeme through an algorithm it is send to printer who sends it to Teeme upon completion.
Gadgets constantly get lost and often difficult to recover. Teverah is there as a platform that seeks to protect gadgets from physical and software harm. They plant tracking devices as well as protective material to gadgets.
Hackshack deals with Electronics and Computer Hardware. The electronics being the services of circuit board printing and etching. They supply consumer electronics for hobbyists such as Raspberry pls graphic cards, RAMs and other related material.
2mira is a courier service provider which basically facilitates transportation of goods using already existing infrastructure. This model however introduces an efficient tech aspect which makes the whole process much faster than the traditional way.
This is a different design service that brings branding specialization, architectural, interior and product design solutions under one roof. This start-up has done almost all the branding at Neolab and their designs are off the hook. Their designs are responsive and adaptative to customer needs.
NeoStore is a sales amplification start-up that specialises in product development through market research and pushing the product to the market.
This is the typical get me on the web start-up. They do domain registration and help other start-ups and SMES in Africa go onto the web.
Room8 is an accommodation placement platform for students’ accommodation. Room8 bring social to accommodation placement taking advantage of the most “appropriate” living space. They really build a lot of functionality over that.
Start-up clinic offers legal aid services to start-ups that cannot pay for expensive legal counsel. These help curb exorbitant prices . They offer consultant services for contract drafting, legal representation and interpretation of the law.
Kuzvida is an image consultancy which focuses on both the inner and outer self of the person. It caters for both men and women. And for those that are in the fashion industry this is an awesome app.
Hunch is a B2B platform that bridges start-ups between stealth and the market. As most start-ups work on their product they need someone to handle their brand prior to launch. Hunch comes in as that “individual” and makes them ready for launch.
Xbeta helps start-ups leverage product usage before launch from its pool of betas. This allows start-ups to focus on creating a good product prior to its launch and after that.
Stylist station is a free online marketplace for independent hair and beauty professionals to showcase their work, get more clients grow their business. Clients can book for an appointment and discover stylists in their area 24/7.
This is a fashion app that assists people come up with an ideal wadrobe ie a balanced wardrobe by analysing your previous trends. Using a special kind of analytics they recommend (after a series of research) what upgrade your wadrobe needs.
Prola-health is a mobile health (mhealth) platform that addresses maternal health issues. It educates both men and women on issues affection women during after pregnancy as well as the care of babies from birth till they are a year old. It serves as a support system to help both men and women understand maternal issues to help reduce the high infant and mortarlity rates in the country.
This is a web based application offering consumer credit information in the form of a profile. A profile and score simply appear giving a complete picture of the credit worthiness of a potential borrower due their past paying habits.
Image Credits: nunnovation.com and neolab.co.zw