The first edition of the Techstars Startup Weekend took place at the Nedbank Campus building in the capital between 17 to 19 August.
The event, which saw 28 aspiring participants, is aimed at equipping and upskilling new to early-stage entrepreneurs on how to create, develop and grow a startup business in Namibia. The organising team behind the event partnered with experts from various professions and industries.
Techstars Startup Weekend facilitator, Sonia Mubiaelelwa said: “Being part of the Techstars Startup Weekend is an excellent jumpstart for entrepreneurs who are new to the business world. It opens doors to experts and stakeholders who may be the right contact to help entrepreneurs grow and create impact in their fields,” she said.
On the last day of training, the participants pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, encompassing the learnings from the training.
Team Eyedoc, which had an AI enhanced diagnostics system that works through retinal imaging, won first place and was awarded a full year’s subscription to Nikkle’s comprehensive suite of products, financial literacy training, N$1 500 cash prize, one-year free domain name registry from GoDaddy, USD 300 from Google for Startups, access to the Incubator program at Basecamp Hub, two months free mentoring courtesy of Techstars Startup Weekend Windhoek and Nikkle, as well as Air Pods from Nedbank’s Avo SuperShop.
The team which consists of Alberto Kapewasha, Zeca Kwenya, Tjijandjeua Kapuire, and Tjizanduu Kavari, aims to reduce the costs of diagnosis, improve health outcomes, and increase access to advanced healthcare techniques in rural communities.
Team lead, Alberto Kapewasha said: “Techstars Startup Weekend was a good experience when it came to building business around an idea with a diverse team. It takes grit. So, if you can handle the pressure to perform, I wholeheartedly recommend it,” Kapewasha said.
Nedbank Namibia’s sponsorship was valued to be over N$ 100 000, and consisted of the venue and equipment, catering, stationery as well as overall event organisation.
Nedbank Namibia Marketing, Brand and Sponsorship Manager, Helene Meintjes said: “As a company committed to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, we were thrilled to come on board as a key sponsor for the Techstars Startup Weekend training. Our mission to empower the youth by providing training sessions like these was realised when we saw how hard the entrepreneurs worked to ensure they take away key information and apply it in their work. By joining forces with likeminded entities like NAMFISA and our other generous co-sponsors, we are taking a significant step towards a brighter, more innovative future for these individuals but also the entire country,” Meintjes said.
Mubiaelelwa concluded by saying: “All the participants left inspired, trained, and developed and I am confident as their facilitator that they will take what they learnt and build the next best innovation.”