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Zimbabwe will be hosting its first Startup Weekend from 16 to 18 May. For those not entirely in the know, Startup Weekend is one of the world’s most popular non-profit grassroots initiatives for entrepreneurs and has been hosted in more than 110 different countries around the globe. Made possible by the Zimbabwean tech hub Hypercube and global aid agency Mercy Corps, the weekend goes by the theme No Limits and will revolve around promoting, inspiring and furthering great entrepreneurial ideas of Zimbabwe’s tech scene.
Similar to past events, Startup Weekend Harare will follow the same model of startup pitches, networking, talks and of course, prizes. People will pitch their startup ideas and receive feedback from their peers or compete for the prize. This takes form as a 54-hour brain-storming session of model creation, coding, designing, and market validation.
Those interested in the competition will stand a chance of winning themselves tools that will help them grow. Teams will be able to win vouchers courtesy of Google and Amazon Web Services, three-month accelerator programmes with Hypercube, and a bunch of other cool stuff like smart phones and tablets, as well as financial and business development opportunities.
“We are working tirelessly to promote the event among university students and the broader community in order to attract participants with tech and business skills,” reads the site. On 10 May, Startup Weekend will also host a Boot Camp open to all registered participants in order to help refine their pitches, identify open source and other technologies, and connect with would-be customers to validate their ideas before the main event.
The three-day weekend event will cost US$99 for a general ticket, US$80 for early birds, and US$50 for students. This will cover food, drinks and networking opportunities. As also explained on the site, “Leaders in the tech, business and start-up communities will be there to provide hands-on leadership to help the teams develop their ideas throughout the weekend and guide them in ways to sustain their efforts after the event.”
Through this initiative, Startup Weekend has reached over 100,000 entrepreneurs and created 13,000 Startup teams, which help each other leverage their ideas and develop their new technologies for the benefit of their countries.