Having grown up and gone to school in Ethiopia, when entrepreneur Eskinder Mamo and computer engineer Amanuel Abrha met while working in Germany, it wasn’t long before they had hatched a plan for a startup business “reconnecting” with Ethiopia.
Software solutions company AhadooTec is the first startup venture the co-founders have created, and it launched with the aim of contributing in an impactful way to Ethiopia, but also allowed the co-founders to reconnect with their homeland and explore the opportunities in the current business environment.
The first product launched by AhadooTec is a learning platform called “Fidel” – the Amharic word for alphabet. The app enables personalised learning and access to learning materials using any device.
The co-founders are hoping to scale Fidel to other markets, and also have a range of other ideas for apps which they hope to launch as their next products. But for this, they will need investment.
“We are looking for investors, since we have many ideas and projects,” the co-founders told Disrupt Africa.
“We plan over the coming year to increase the user base of Fidel and launch the other services we are currently working on. With our mobile learning platform Fidel we will be soon active in two other African countries.”
Mamo and Abrha concede there have been obstacles along the way, such as access to information, and infrastructure limitations. However, they say the Ethiopian government is taking substantial steps to support startups and small businesses.
“Getting reliable information about regulations regarding setting up a venture was difficult. Bureaucracy and poor telecom infrastructure are still our major challenges,” they said.
“The Ethiopian government has put policies in place to ease investment in the country. There are many incentives for small and micro businesses as well as so-called priority areas where the government encourages investment. We hope the planned IT village will be completed soon where there will also be business incubators.”
Asked about the highlights of their startup journey so far, the co-founders point to their team – finding the right people for your venture is key, they say.
“Finding the right people for our team was one of our milestones. We are very grateful for our amazing team. The successful launch of Fidel was another highlight.”
Any advice for budding entrepreneurs?
“There is no patented way of becoming successful. Being purpose driven or trying to solve an actual problem helps definitely to getting started. Working in a complementary team and having fun are also essential. Last but not least embrace failure as part of the learning process,” the co-founders say.