Startup Weekend Lusaka 2014 Recap

Startup Weekend Lusaka took place from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th of November 2014 at BongoHive. This is the second time BongoHive is hosting this global event that brings together and connects entrepreneurs, developers, designers and startup enthusiasts with mentors and resources. The startup weekend nurtures passionate entrepreneurs and guides them through practical sessions on how to scale up business ideas into products ready for the market.

The first day of the event started off on a good note with a keynote presentation from Erik Hersman – CEO – BRCK, Co-founder – Ushahidi, Founder – iHub Nairobi, and Juliana Rotich – a technologist, MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow. She is a board member of Ushahidi Inc, Ltd, BRCK Inc. Erik and Juliana have worked together as co-founders on a number of projects and they are very passionate about technology in Africa.They shared some insights and used some examples from their main companies; Ihub, Ushahidi and BRCK.

Erik mentioned in his presentation that what matters the most is the people that you build a startup with. He gave an example of Ushahidi saying that it was founded by people who are passionate about changing lives. Erik also said “People are your most valuable asset, before building a product; you need to think about the people”. He emphasized that teams need to build and maintain honesty and respect with each other. Juliana spoke about the importance of having different skill sets and attributes. She also emphasized on diversity of experience as it is a fundamental piece that is very complimenting.

Meet the 4 Teams:

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday; attendees brought their best ideas and inspired others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focused on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product.

  1. Career Smart – A platform that provides a link between students and companies
    • Team Leader: Chilumba Machona
  2. Infin – Energy – A hardware product that will produce energy inform of electricity
    • Team Leader: Joshua Phiri
  3. Fixer – A platform that links people to service men: plumbers, electricians, and mechanics
    • Team Leader: Jacob Mutale
  4. I-Forex – A location based comparison app for bureaus and banks (Foreign Exchange) /ATM.
    • Team Leader: Florence Inonge

Recap in Pictures


Erik and Juliana giving a keynote presentation at Startup Weekend Lusaka


Teams are hard at work Startup Weekend Lusaka. Breaking down and scaling their project ideas.


Coaches helping teams with their lean canvas.


Matthew Grollnek, Startup Weekend Lusaka coach and mentor sharing with the teams on the 4 Tips for Making a Perfect Pitch


Final Pitch at Foxdale Court

After 54 hours of business model creation, coding, design and market validation, Fixer was declared winner at Startup weekend Lusaka Pitch night, which took place at Foxdale court on Sunday evening. As Startup Weekend winners, Fixer will receive a six months business and incubation support from BongoHive. Thank you to the coaches and mentors for the hard work they put into providing advice to the teams.

Startup weekend Lusaka Highlights 


About Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.