Friday, February 26, 2016

Agribusiness Entrepreneurs shine at the 4th Edition of Lilongwe Pitch Night

On Thursday 25th February 2016, all roads in Lilongwe led to Crossroads Hotel where the fourth edition of the popular Lilongwe Pitch Night was was taking place. By 6:00pm the Auditorium was filled to capacity with people from all walks of life ready to listen to the presentations from 3 agribusiness entrepreneurs.

The pitch night, which was sponsored by African Agribusiness Academy, attracted pitches from Frankie Washoni of Hortinet Entreprise, Frederick Mattress of Honey Products Ltd and Ngaba Chatata of Thanthwe Entreprises. They are all agribusiness entrepreneurs focusing on Bananas, Honey and Horticulture respectively.

Lilongwe Pitch Night was developed to establish a vibrant and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem in Malawi. It was launched to combat the rising unemployment crisis being experienced by a population of over 16 million of which the majority are young people. It also provides a platform to expose emerging entrepreneurs to investors, potential clients, media and fellow entrepreneurs.

The fourth edition was also graced by the Chief executive Officer of National Association Smallholder Farmers of Malawi (NASFAM) Mr Dyborn Chibonga who stressed on the importance of agriculture to Malawi's ailing economy. Chibonga also highlighted the problems smallholder farmers are facing in Malawi. He cited the lack of good farming extension services in Malawi. Currently 1 extension worker looks after over 3000 farming families.

Lilongwe Pitch Night also managed to achieve one of its objectives of facilitating linkages between emerging entrepreneurs and established business person's, financial experts and technocrats in various trades. Pitch Night is supported by mHub, Maestros Leadership, Eye Level Art, Avante Garde, Nthalo, Language Training and Consultancy Services and Innopreneur Magazine.

Here are some pictures from the event:

Photo Credits: Eye Level Art Malawi

Thursday, February 18, 2016

TNM Smart Challenge Competition to end March 4

In a few days time, Malawians and the rest of the world will know who the smartest Mobile App Developer is according to the TNM Smart Challenge Competition's calendar. The search for this developer started on 5th October 2015 with a high profile launch of the competition which is being supported by Facebook, Opera, IBM, and mHub.

According to the event calendar posted on their website, the nation will know the winner on 4th March 2016 at final event to comprise of demonstartions, awards and a cocktail.

The TNM Smart Challenge gives a chance to kids, students and their communities to showcase their innovations in mobile app development and solve various challenges in their communities. The main prize of the challenge is a trip to Silicon Valley, USA for the winners in each category.

Public voting for the shortlisted applications was opened on 1st February and will close on 28th February 2016. It will be followed by the award giving ceremony on 4th March 2016. A trip to the US will be on 16th April 2016.

TNM engaged Malawi's first technology and innovation hub, mHub as a partner in the running of the competition. Together with Facebook, Opera and IBm, mHub conducted mobile development clinics in Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe and Mzuzu to train the competition participants on various tools to use in app development. The challenge attracted a lot of interest as evidenced by the number of entries.

You can vote for your favourite application by visiting the competition's website or sending a participant's code to 575.

Pictures from the TEDxLilongwe's Live streaming of TED2016

On Tuesday, 16th February 2016, TEDxLilongwe connected live to Session 2 of the TED2016 Conference taking place in Vancouver, Canada. TEDxLilongwe is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. The live streaming event took place at mHub, Malawi's tech and innovation hub. The theme for this year's TED2016 is 'DREAM'.

A cross section of people from Lilongwe enjoyed inspiring and thought-provoking talks from various thinkers and disrupters of this time including Uber's Travis Kalanick and Joe Gibbea, Co-Founder of Airbnb.

TEDxLilongwe will have its own live event on 21st May 2016 at Crossroads Hotel under the theme, 'Demand'. Here are some of the pictures from the live streaming event:

mHub's Community Manager welcoming people to the event.

a cross section of people attending the live streaming

Live from Vancouver, Canada!

TED2016 was hosted by Chris Anderson

"We love to solve problems", Problem Solver in Chief of Uber, Travis Kalanick

Inline with the theme of TED2016, 'DREAM', people wrote their dreams on the 'Wisdom Wall' at mHub.

Photos credit: Eye Level Art Malawi