Hypercube to host second Startup Weekend Zimbabwe

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The Hybercube hub in Harare, Zimbabwe will this weekend (November 21-23) host the second Startup Weekend event to take place in the country this year.

After Zimbabwe’s first Startup Weekend event took place at the hub in May, the latest event will take place at the end of Global Entrepreneurship Week. It has also linked up with Global Startup Battle, making the three winning teams eligible to compete with other Startup Weekend winners for a top global prize.

“Our May event was a huge success and we are keen to build on the momentum and establish a local platform with an international brand here in Zimbabwe,” Tawanda Mudzonga, Startup Weekend Harare press liaison, told Disrupt Africa.

Startup Weekend events are taking place across Africa during November, with the platform claiming to have hosted over 1,000 events across 110 different countries so far, with a total reach of over 100,000 entrepreneurs and 13,000 startup teams.

All the events follow the same basic model, with people pitching ideas and teams forming organically around the top ideas. Teams then have 54 hours to create business models and complete coding, designing, and market validation. Mentors are on hand to help the teams develop their ideas throughout the weekend, which culminates with presentations before a judges’ panel of entrepreneurial leaders, who select the winners.

Hypercube said it is also looking for greater collaboration within the Zimbabwean tech ecosystem by joining join forces with five other hubs in the country to co-organise the 54-hour marathon event and connect developers, designers and entrepreneurs to the network.

“In Zimbabwe, youth unemployment makes up 70 per cent of the official 80 per cent unemployment rate and the market for tech entrepreneurship represents great opportunities for young people to find and create jobs, driving a ripple effect of positive economic growth,” Hypercube said.

“The competition is aimed at inspiring Zimbabweans to leverage the talent they have right here in Harare, to share ideas and develop new technologies that transcend the sense of socio-economic isolation Zimbabwe has experienced in the past decade, getting youth plugged into networks of developers and tech entrepreneurs in other parts of Africa and beyond.”

The three winners of the first Startup Weekend event in Zimbabwe in May were K’Tamba Toys, Combi Code and Money Game, who walked away with a total of US$78,000 worth of prizes.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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