Africa ready to accommodate ICT start-ups
BUSINESS| Oct. 17, 2012, 1:41 p.m.
Now is the time for startups to embrace the many opportunities within the burgeoning ICT sector, says Marnus Viljoen, Chief Technology Officer at FOXit.
The ICT market would not be where it is right now without the contribution and significance of startup technology companies.
This is the view of executive management at FOXit, an Independent Software Vendor and Microsoft-certified Gold Partner.
Marnus Viljoen, Chief Technology Officer at FOXit, says “startups are the heart and soul of the ICT market. They are that special place where dreams become innovation and innovation becomes success.”
Viljoen believes now is the time for startups to really embrace the many opportunities within the burgeoning ICT sector. One of the reasons is because of the level of industry-led support, via training and development initiatives, that exists and that entrepreneurs can take advantage of.
He cites the Microsoft Bizspark Program as an example. This program helps startup companies by doing away with the initial cost of both software and servers, allowing them to focus on products and services instead of overheads.
Another similar initiative is that of South Africa's Aurik Business Incubator, a company that is focused on the development of entrepreneurial businesses.
A lack of available capital represents an ongoing challenge to entrepreneurs wanting to enter and sustain operations within ICT.
This shortage has resulted in the rapid increase in angel investors and venture capitalists. Viljoen believes the advantage of establishing a partnership like this is that in many cases it would be impossible for the startup to achieve success without this capital outlay.
But is a startup that has been able to sustain itself without any capital investment from outside the company automatically a stronger operation compared to one that has relied on investors? This is about long-term growth strategy management says Viljoen.
“Although a company that held its own knows how to conservatively grow only where it is truly able to, a company that had the advantage of capital investment will have the advantage of showing more profitability much quicker - and will reach a stronger vantage point much quicker in its life cycle,” he says.
The most important thing for any new company is to minimize overheads and only expand when this expansion can be sustained Viljoen continues.
“Africa has a fantastic supply of skilled resources and, with the constant development of infrastructure, the region’s growing ICT market is an attractive option for potential investors and entrepreneurs,” he concludes.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
RubiBlu eyes African growthSA-based software firm RubiBlu plans to expand in Africa on the back of significant growth. Read More
MTN Business partners Ghana SME 100 RankingMTN Business has been announced as the headline sponsor of the first annual Ghana SME 100 ranking, an initiative put in place to identify and honour the country's top 100 local Small Medium Enterprises. Read More
Banks deny charging customers for BVNMoney deposit banks (MDBs) have denied allegation that they were milking their customers through ongoing Bank Verification Number (BVN) project of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Read More
Schneider Electric to acquire InStep SoftwareSchneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management, has entered into an agreement to acquire InStep Software, a leading provider of real-time performance management and predictive asset analytics software and solutions. Read More
AfricaOnline managed service solution launched in GhanaPan African telecoms operator, Gondwana International Networks (GIN) has announced that its AfricaOnline business has launched a managed infrastructure and services solution in Ghana. Read More
4th Annual CIO100 awards open for applicationIn conjunction with PwC, the CIO 100 awards, now in its fourth year, is now open for applications. Read More
Kenya’s Wananchi Group raises $130m for African expansionKenya’s Wananchi Group, which owns the Zuku pay-TV and fibre brands, has raised US$130 million in funding to expand in East and Southern Africa. Read More
Investor networks to work towards pan-African Business Angel NetworkInvestor networks from across Africa attending last week’s DEMO Africa event in Lagos, Nigeria agreed to investigate how to form a pan-African Business Angel Network focused on early stage SME investing on the continent. Read More
Uche Ofodile joins Tigo as CEO in DRCFormer Chief Marketing Officer for Vodafone Ghana, Uche Ofodile has joined the Millicom Group as the Chief Executive Officer for Tigo DRC. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSCNN, MultiChoice name top African Journalist 2014
Kenyan journalist Joseph Mathenge has been awarded the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 Awards Ceremony.