M Is For … The Death of Marketing?

There is something strange and beguiling about startup marketing. On the one hand, you shouldn’t have to do any marketing at all, right? After all, your product sells and distributes itself by being functional, consumer-centric, or specific to the enterprise problem it solves. You shouldn’t HAVE to tell anyone interesting about your product, because all…


Reversing the Brain Drain in Nepal

One of the real benefits of technology we have been able to provide to rural Nepal has been to teach digital literacy skills to middle-aged women who need to get connected with their family members working abroad. Nepalese members of the diaspora are responsible for sending millions of dollars back to their home country to…


BizSpark Member and DEMO Africa Roundup

It’s time to do a quick roundup of what African entrepreneurs did this past week, while they were building their companies.  DEMO Africa ended on Friday, but that won’t stop us from running our remaining interviews with some of the participants. Big congratulations go to two of our Microsoft BizSpark members, SASA Africa and Flowgear, who both came…


DEMO Africa: Make a Business Plan that Adapts to Tech Changes

DEMO Africa ended on Friday, but that won’t stop us from running our remaining interviews with some of the participants. Before we do that, big congratulations go to two of our Microsoft BizSpark members, SASA Africa and Flowgear, who both came away with the coveted DEMO Lion title out of a field of 40.  In…

DEMO Africa: SASA Builds E-Commerce for the Emerging Billions

Congratulations to SASA Africa, one of five DEMO Lions at DEMO Africa, which wrapped up today in Nairobi. SASA Africa is a BizSpark company managed by Ella Peinovich.  We asked Ella some questions about what it is like being an entrepreneur in Africa, and we are running her interview this morning to celebrate her victory….

DEMO Africa Super Stars: Alison Jacobson, CEO, Firestring

Meet Alison Jacobson, CEO of Firestring, one of the DEMO Africa Final 40 set to pitch at the event on October 24-26 in Nairobi.  Here’s her pitch for Firestring, as found on the VC4 Africa site: Firestring is a technology company leading the field of semantic technology leveraging social architecture to radically enhance knowledge management….


DEMO Africa: Natalino Mwenda’s Dream Proves Small Iterations Make Huge Impacts

I’ve never been to Dar Es Salaam, but I imagine that methodologies that spark innovation there will be just as useful in Germany or in Amsterdam. This is especially true when the broadly-based idea that makes virtually all startups alike is that they lack resources, but that their teams are not short of the ideas…

Getting Ready for DEMO Africa: Our Brief Interview With Collins Mugume, Founder of Meka

DEMO Africa is only a few days away. So, to get ready, we are showcasing interviews from nearly a dozen we have done with some of the 40 entrepreneurs who are slated to demo or launch at DEMO Africa October 24. Here is Collins Mugume, founder of Meka. How do you know when you are…