In the spirit of the valentine’s season, the ChopUp guys decided to make a very simple game where you try to kiss your true love as many times as possible before an interloper gets in-between.
The game is available here
Mobile phone Company, TECNO Mobile is looking to further deepen smartphone penetration and expand its market share in Nigeria, with the launch of the latest addition smartphone to its phantom family, the Phantom AIII.
The highly anticipated smartphone was formally launched to the public at an elaborate ceremonyin Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos.
Speaking at the launch, Vice President, TECNO GROUP, Mr. Arif Chowdhury stated that the device was designed with a passion to give everybody access to innovation and its affordable for everybody. “It is part of TECNO’s unwavering effort in expanding its offering which can be seen in this superior, innovative phone” he said.
The Phantom AIII smartphone is an upgraded version of the TECNO Phantom A+, it has a sleeker body and bigger screen than that of its predecessor, it comes with 6.0” captivating HD touch screen, 4.2android operating system, it has3.75g network capability, with1.5 GHz quad core processor.
The Phantom AIII is equipped withmemory capacity of 16 GB rom plus 1 gb ram, 13megal pixels rear camera and 8megal pixel front camera. It also has social media application like Facebook, Whatsapp and Palmchat, applications. The Vice president added that he was very glad to announce a new collaboration with BlackBerry, whichallows customers to find,preloaded on TECNO devices, the famous and popular BBM™ application.
He further noted that the smartphone is the mobile device to watch in the years to come. The prices are coming down and the sales volumes will increase. This is driving mobile internet access, which then opens up a lot of doors for innovation.
“Studies indicate that most people now access the internet through their mobile phones as opposed to PCs, We will be launching more internet series mobile phones to serve the growing demand of our customers.
Our research from years back shows that the buyers of TECNO phones are mostly the youth and we have decided to focus on this market of people. This young people want to be unique, they want unique features that allow them to play and chat, and this is exactly what TECNO is giving them through our series of Smartphones that we have launched into the market so far” Arif added.
Also speaking at the launch, the Digital Marketing &Public Relation Manager West Africa, TECNO GROUP, Mr. Boukali Mounir lay emphasizes on the devices specifications, stressing that the Phantom AIII is a dual sim Smartphone beautifully design with an innovative package of 8.4mm slim body.
Speaking about the Phantom AIII camera, Mounir pointed out that the device has 8.0MP AF front camera, 13.0MP AF back camera with flash 5 high-precision optical lens,the blue glass filter of 5 layer glass lens that picks up all the details and help the camera to respond to light just like our eyes do. The device also has access to over 1,000,000 applications, he added.
Mounir also disclosed that the Phantom AIII comes with free monthly 500MB free data for 12 months from the Nigeria innovative network Etisalat
Mounir also announced that “TECNO is coming not only with the Phantom AIII, but with the TECNO Smart family including different smartphones created to meet all the customers needs: The M5, the M7, the P5, the A+, The Phantom Pad mini, the Phantom AIII all this family will bring Smart life to Nigerians.”
TECNO mobile phones will now pre-install BBM on TECNO phones running the Android operating system. With BBM pre-installed, customers will be able to easily get started chatting and connecting with friends and family on the popular private social network from BlackBerry.
BBM, with its privacy, control and immediacy, is very popular in the Nigerian market, where everybody wants a BBM PIN.
According to Vice President, TECNO Group, Mr. Arif Chowdhury, BBM will be preloaded on TECNO phones in 20 countries. For customers already using TECNO phones, BBM will of course be available as a free download on the Google Play store.
“This collaboration is good news for customers,” said Chowdhury. “It is our objective, not only for Nigerians, but for Africans as a whole, to acquire smartphones and enjoy a smart life and to be able to use the phone to its maximum benefit, and that is why we are working with BlackBerry to pre-load BBM on all new TECNO smartphones.
“After the huge success of the Phantom A series, TECNO is now launching the next star product named Phantom AIII, and of course, this high technology smartphone will come preloaded with BBM,” added Chowdhury.
Android customers can enjoy the rich features of BBM that include:
Executive Vice President for BBM at BlackBerry Mr. Andrew Bocking said, “BBM continues to grow in popularity and as the recent launch on Android and iOS suggests, BBM is the ‘must have’ app for active conversations. While we continue to evolve BBM with more features and functionality, we are excited to work with OEMs like TECNO to pre-install BBM, giving their smartphone customers in Africa quick and easy access to the service right out of the box.”
Do watch this space for a review of the BBM App experience on the TECNO as well as the new Phantom AIII.
With the continuing proliferation of mobile devices, there is an increasing opportunity to solve most of our common problems, especially with the right applications. Now it is almost becoming common cliché to say that “there is an app for everything”. Well that is a plus especially for a sector like Health which does a lot to improve the lives and well being of people. This is the more reason why our highlight app for this week in the Apps developed in Africa series is MedAfrica.
MedAfrica is a mobile medical directory and knowledge app, based in Kenya. With the dearth of doctors in a country like Kenya, where just about 7000 doctors have to cater to the health of over 40 Million people. It became increasingly pertinent to develop alternative solutions, which would be complementary to the ones on ground if the country was to make necessary progress in dealing with its medical issues.
In Africa, it is quite common place to find quacks posing as real medical practitioners. There is also the issue of fake drugs and not being able to verify authenticity. The application-MedAfrica provides relevant solutions to such problems, by including some major features which help to verify the status of practitioners, and the quality of drugs, among other things.
The application helps to improve access to the right doctors, even while providing a knowledge base on the sides, which helps to educate patients as to what symptoms they might be dealing with. It also pairs users with relevant specialists, helping to curb fraud and malpractice in the process, especially through its up-to-date lists of licensed medical professionals.
MedAfrica was developed in Kenya by Shimba Technologies Ltd – founded by Stephen Kyalo and Keziah Mumo, with the aid of a $100,000 seed funding from a European venture capitalist firm. The whole idea behind it was the desire to improve the health of communities and regions in which it operates. This it hopes to achieve with the MedAfrica application, by increasing access to health care related information and content to the teeming masses that need it, not just in Kenya alone, but eventually in all of Africa, and other places where the app finds relevance.
With MedAfrica you could do the following: locate a hospital within your vicinity, get drug information and authenticate a drug, monitor symptoms, and further get linked to a medical practitioner who can help with such a condition.
According to their website “MedAfrica is a Medical Services Content Platform that seeks to create health awareness among consumers from the comfort of their mobile phones. It also seeks to increase interaction and purposeful engagement between health practitioners and consumers of their services.”
In the future, Shimba plans to add a data feed from the national Ministry of Health to give people real-time information on disease outbreaks and reports of counterfeit drug-making. MedAfrica currently runs on a number of platforms including Android and Java.
As indicated earlier, the proposition to improve health cuts across all of Africa, and much of the developing world. Even with the right additions and a few tweaks, the MedAfrica application has the potential for adoption and relevant use globally.
The name might have to change, to ensure the application achieves its full potential, even outside of the African continent. It must be noted that it was initially called MedKenya. Also, with the impact and growing relevance of the application, it is hoped that it would soon be available on other platforms such as iOS, Blackberry and Windows.
The MedAfrica application won the first prize in the Company Category of the worldwide 2012 Ericsson Application competition held in Stockholm, Sweden. The €15,000-award was in recognition of specific merits such as: marketability, “Technology for Good” assessment, a hit factor, financial sustainability, and market strategy.
Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative is delivering a week of immersion training sessions for over 40 developers from innovation hubs in Lagos including CcHUB and iDEA, as well as a number of universities across Nigeria.
The week long session will provide deep dive technical training on Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Windows Azure platform. These trainings will be delivered by experienced technical specialists to ensure that the trainees can leave the session with world-class skills. Microsoft partners including Nokia and Qualcomm will also deliver sessions on various aspects of the development process, to enrich the learners’ experience and expose them to a broad set of technology solutions.
The program’s goal is to equip this elite group of developers with the world-class technical skills needed to build highly relevant, immersive applications and cloud-based solutions. The 4Afrika Initiative places a sharp focus on skills for entrepreneurship and employability, so the training will also help equip this group of developers to share their learnings with others, potentially through internships or similar opportunities in the Microsoft partner ecosystem.
The 4Afrika Initiative was built on the dual beliefs that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and that Africa can also accelerate technology for the world. This immersion program is designed to empower developers who have great ideas for a business or an application, by giving them the skills to turn that idea into a reality which in turn can help their community, their country, or even the continent at large
For more, visit the 4Afrika website.
Nokia has been known for its strong relationship with the Nigerian developer community especially with its various hands-on training on the different Nokia developer platforms. So, if you are a mobile app developer, there is another opportunity for you to equip yourself with what is required to develop for the Windows Phone platform and this is powered by Nokia. The project is termed “Build Windows Africa”.
Join the West African Developer Train as the Windows Phone takes a joyride going across Africa and bringing out the best in developers and potential developers (and non-developers) by engaging them in contests and trainings regarding development of Apps for the windows platform. The train aims to go round West African countries and states until more than a thousand apps are created and published. Brilliant developers found in each location the train stops will join a section of the train where mentoring is given to these developers. Also, these developers stand a chance to win a $1500 worth of token from Nokia to facilitate their development skills.
NOKIA is giving African, including Nigerian developers, the opportunity to develop and sell apps for their LUMIA WINDOWS Phones series.
This unique opportunity is a
“1000 + windows app challenge with great publishing opportunities worth $1500”.
You may join this event physically or be part virtually (but you need to be physically present to redeem any prize).
The train is on the move and was in Elizade University, Ondo state Nigeria on 24 August 2013.
AND arriving now in Lagos at The IDEA Hub, Herbert Macaulay way, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos on the 9th to 11th of September 2013, and will proceeds to Ghana at GIMPA, Accra from the 11th to 13th September 2013. See below for details:
The event is an open event. So, you don’t need to register to take part in the sessions.
Please note that all apps must be presented for testing at the iDEA hub on Wednesday (9am) to redeem your prize.
It is time to publish your cool apps that you were able to create during different contests but unable to publish. It is time to complete cool ideas that are hidden inside your mind. Yes, it is time to develop and deploy either a new app or a previously developed app with the windows app studio. Don’t be left out.
If you are not in Lagos or Accra at the moment, watch out. The train might just be at your location soon.
Be a part of something great, make history, have fun, and most importantly meet new people!
Editor’s Note: This post is by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji; Nigerian born and Canadian based CEO and Founder of Fora – a provider of accredited courses online for Africa, with interests in technology and education, and you can follow his blog and tweets.
This weekend, I learnt a lot about the Nigerian technology ecosystem that will host at least a portion of my company, Fora.
The lessons are many but I think the most important one is that African entrepreneurs can’t find good angels, so they need to make them.
So I decided to provide a how to on how I made an African Angel Investor when I couldn’t find one.
The truth of the matter is that African Angel investor are first human beings. They are not born angel investors and they may not even be looking at investment opportunities. But they can become angel investors by a specific circumstance of opportunity, prepared entrepreneur and a compelling growth story that convinces one in their gut that this is an immediate buy. Remember that unlike VC’s, angels invest their own money so they must be true believers.
I made my first African angel investor for Fora on a weekend trip to New York.
Truth be told, I was going to New York but I wasn’t expecting to come back with a signed term sheet. I just wanted to learn what I needed to come back in a few months to raise serious money for Fora. One person I admire a lot calls this friendraising. I was in New York to friendraise.
I did end up coming back with a fairly large cheque though.
Here is the brief how it happened :
I attended a dinner, organized at the Harvard Club by the good folks at Harambe. I presented Fora.
A South African gentleman who happened to be an investment banker at Investec with lots of institutional relationships walks up to me after my presentation and asks to meet up later. I meet with him on a cold Monday morning at a cafe in his West end apartment building (I rode the bus all night from Boston to make that meeting). We talk for 3 hours. He commits on the spot. I send him documents the next day. Wire comes in a week later. It seems quite simple right?
It surely wasn’t.
In the middle of all this process was a deeply intriguing conversation about values, timing, impact and of course $$.
So here is how you turn a New York investment banker into an African angel investor.
To make an angel you need to have a business.
African Angel investors don’t invest in dreams scribbled on napkins. If you are not prepared, don’t pitch. I’ve seem entrepreneurs do a lot of terrible things; like come to me with tons of ideas and ask me to pick the one I want to invest in. Ridiculous.
There are a few non-negotiable things you must have, a business name, an incorporated business with share capital, a specific idea or proven concept, a proof of that concept (or demo), a brief elevator pitch that clearly communicates your business. If you have read up to this point and you don’t have these things, please stop reading. This article is not for you.
Fora was born from a frustration I had with the fact that privileged Nigerians were spending $10b/year getting a foreign education – when that same education could be made available within Nigeria through cutting edge technology and instructional design for more than 10x less.
I have an elegant story I constantly iterate to tell the story of my business so angel investors find it an attractive investment.
Specific action : You need a business not an idea.
I think before you even start approaching anyone for any kind of help, you need to be very realistic about what you want to do and how YOU will make it happen – whether or not the human in front of you turns to an angel investor.
Your plan will certainly evolve (ours already has several times) but having a clear and specific idea of what you want to do and how it will happen makes you a better candidate for angel investment than some rambling fool who will waste time.
Specific action : Have a pitch deck, a program document and a budget/revenue projections ready for review by potential angel.
Contrary to what a lot of Nigerian entrepreneurs might imagine, the best angel investors don’t believe angel investing will make them $100m rich even if they made it their full time job. The nature of angel investing simply doesn’t enable these kind of outcomes. Instead, a lot of angels especially in this part of the world are investing to encourage you. Most times, they identify with the problem you are solving and they figure, but because of family or other commitments, it is better you than them.
SEE ALSO: The Anatomy Of A Failed Startup
Good angel investors often have more than a passing interest in your space and might even be playing in it at a higher level. Many of my other angel investors are potential acquirers or people doing what we do successfully in another emerging market. They all understand and deeply care about the market of digital course-ware publishing. If your potential angel investor doesn’t care intimately about your space, it will be difficult for you to get their money.
Specific action : Draw up a list of 50 successful people in your space and find a way to meet with them via warm introduction or cold email. [I might know some of them – ASK ME!)
Ask for advice you get money, ask for money you get advice. I wanted to get some advice or connections – and I keep milking him of those. But he figured out wisely, that I would need money too – so he gave me some. Another reason why it is important for you to ask for advice before money is that it is important to know that your angel investor can actually help you beyond the money. If all you get from your angel investor is money, you are getting a horrible deal.
Specific action : Draw up 10 “fork in the road” type questions for your business. Carry them with you whenever you meet with a potential angel investor so you can ask them what to do based on their experience. Always ask a potential angel investor for introductions to customers or partners. Always.
If you want to successfully turn a human being to an angel, you have to be very realistic with your valuation. Although you should take care not to immediately give up too much ownership, you should also make sure your valuation can be supported by some kind of logic (we might talk more about that in a different post).
My own logic for Fora was that I first figured out how much money I needed to get to profit. Then, I figured out how much equity I and my cofounder could offer investors while still maintaining a meaningful stake in the company (for our stage). Then I discounted it by 25% and adjusted for growth prospects and revenue projections. This was just my process. Yours might be different.
Specific action : Keep your valuation well under $1 million. Apply African discount.
People like Jason have millions of naira of other people’s money sitting in one place to invest in startups. Most angels don’t. Remember an angel is someone who invests with his own money. Take smaller amounts of money from a broad swath of angels who can give you help and advice in your business. Try not to take a large sum of money from just one person so they don’t dictate terms to you. Besides having multiple perspectives in the room is a good thing.
Specific Action : Depending on how much you are looking to raise, cut down your round to manageable 5k, 10k, 15k, 20k, chunks so that your investment opportunity is accessible to good angels.
You don’t have to prophesy, you just have to present a scenario that is likely to happen as opposed to one that is NOT likely to happen.
A lot of entrepreneurs and venture scale investors pillory talking about exit options too early because they feel it is a sign of lack of ambition. I actually don’t think so. For example, I definitely intend to take Fora to IPO, but I have told my angels who I think might find our business an interesting acquisition. I have also told them who might invest in later stages to take the equity off their hands at a higher share price. Finally, I talk to them about other companies that have traversed this road and the kind of ridiculous exits they made (Embarnet, Ahanguera, Deltak, etc) – all exits in the ‘00 of millions or even billions.
I am not a prophet and there is no guarantee this will happen – but at least they can see how it might be possible for them to get their money back and maybe a bit of return on the top if we do well.
Specific action : Draw up a list of possible companies that might buy you. Start building strategic relationships with them. Also draw up a list of investors who might find this an interesting investment at scale. Build relationships with them too.
Spending money is not easy, so if you must drag those dollar bills from your investor’s hand, you must be willing to play ball and give them a mouth watering deal. In my own case, my deal was simple, if we can close this round by Tuesday, you get a further 25% discount. Doing this will really shorten the length of your round. You need to do this if you are in a precarious money situation a-la Ticketmobile. Remember, money is the lifeblood of a company and only the living get to laugh and tell the story. Do whatever it takes to keep the company alive, down round if you must.
Specific action : Turn that successful human being that is fond of you and your idea into an angel by giving them a mouth watering deal today.
I have a lot of trouble in this area myself but without fail, I have found that any financing deal I fail to close within 2 weeks of positive conversation takes forever. I am a bit of an Ijebu+control freak in this area but I really recommend hiring or begging a very smart person(a trusted friend preferably) to deal with follow up fundraising conversation. My first angel investor closed in 2 days. Don’t let yours linger. Once the angel has made up his mind, follow up fast!
Specific action : Set up a special email account for investment conversations. Make sure those emails forward to your blackberry and reply any emails from potential angels within 30 minutes. You can also hire a smart person to manage investment conversations.
Just recently, a friend was telling me that someone was very interested in her business and wanted to invest but because she didn’t feel ready for investment she told him she will come back to him when she is. BAD IDEA! Now she has to do the awkward dance of going back to the investor now she needs the money. Listen to me, you are raising whenever someone wants to invest. Let’s repeat that. YOU ARE RAISING WHENEVER SOMEONE WANTS TO INVEST!! Asking an investor to come back later is a sure fire way of making sure you don’t get the money. It is their money and you need it or you soon will.
SEE ALSO: Understanding The Business Side Of Geek
So you should always take the money if the terms are right (and sometimes even if they aren’t). You don’t get special awards for helping a potential angel keep his money in his pocket. We didn’t need the money from this investor when we raised it but since he wanted to invest, who were we mere startupreneurs to say no.
Always be raising. Anywhere is appropriate for turning a human being to an angel. Dinner parties, one year old birthdays, dates with their daughter, funerals (ok this might be too much)… But Entrepreneurs are shameless salesmen. That’s how you survive in this game.
Specific action : Go out there and turn a human being to an angel today!
PS : My first African angel investor has now taken the bold step of quitting his job at Investec and become a professional angel investor. If you need money and I think you and what you are working on are cool, I can recommend you. Get in touch here.
Yesterday evening, six teams gathered at the Co-creation Hub Nigeria to hack for the financial literacy challenge. After several weeks of ideation sessions, 6 ideas were shortlisted for the hackathon and 6 different teams were formed comprising developers and UX designers. The hackathon started proper yesterday at the cchub and while we were all asleep, members of the six teams were awake coding all night. If this area matches your interest, you can check out what the teams are doing at the cchub from now till Monday.
In case you can’t make it to cchub today, we have you covered. You can read about the six teams and the solutions they are working on below. And remember to let us know what you think about his idea
Interested in knowing how the hackathon is going? You can follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #FinLitChallenge.
See below some pictures from the event.