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Finnih, Ommo Clark Share Business Nuggets at CFA’s Startups Hangout

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(L-r): Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr, presenter, Tech Trends on Channels Television and Convener, CFA's Startups Hangout; Ommo Clark, CEO, iBez Solutions and Bolaji Finnih, Fonder, TechPreneur Africa, both Speakers at the July 2017 edition of CFA's Startups Hangout.

The July 2017 edition of CFA’s Startups Hangout was held at Adna Hotel, GRA, Ikeja on July 14, 2017 and Startups that attended, had a very interesting knowledge-imparting session, listening to and asking questions on how to better run their Startups for productivity, profitability, efficiency, etc., from the two distinguished and successful Entrepreneurs who were guest speakers at the event.

First to speak was Ommo Clark, CEO iBez Solutions. She gave reasons why most Nigerian businesses fail and these are:

a) There is a world of difference between how to generally run a business and how to actually run actually do business in a particular or specific environment.

She advised the Startup attendees to always study and learn what it takes to do business in the environment where they find themselves, so, they will not fall into the kind of problem she fell into when she started her business, as she could not earn any income for a long period of time in spite of the fact that, the solutions that she was offering to the market were very good and she was very good at providing those solutions, all because she approached the marketing aspect the wrong way.

b) The second reason why businesses fail in Nigeria, Ommo noted, is the fact that most Startups do not analyse and test their ideas and solutions before hitting the market with them.

“In more developed countries; much emphasis is placed on analyzing and testing solutions before hitting the market with them after finding them viable”, she emphasised.

She advised, however, that they should not restrict the testing of their solutions with only their friends and relatives because they may not be objective sometimes, but also test them with people they do not know to get a fair result of the tests before market entry.

Ommo stated that, although, writing codes is good, those codes should, however, be analyzed and tested to ensure that they really solve the problem that are intended to be solved.

Then came the time for Bolaji Finnih, Founder, TechPreneur Africa, to speak. Bolaji noted that the main issue bothering many Startups is how to make money from using all of these technologies springing up all around us on daily basis. He stated that Startups, therefore, need to know the Apps that work for them.

“Much as business opportunities present themselves, if you don’t understand the business and control the flow, end to end, don’t do it, because, if you do, and there is any hitch along the line to that you have no control over and you can’t deliver, then, you are out of business”, Bolaji advised, giving an example of how he had to close a line of business because he could not control an aspect of it and failed to deliver.

Bolaji also stated that Startups should start with what they have and move on to grow their businesses from there.

He gave the example of a very good website developer he knew who started with only his CPU, back then, and was always looking for where to borrow a Monitor and Keyboard to couple the CPU to, so, he could work. He said that the developer is doing very well today in spite of those initial challenges that he had.

He also advised the Startups to imbibe the spirit of Entrepreneurship, so that Nigeria can move from a nation of hustlers to a nation of Entrepreneurs.

He said that the spirit of Entrepreneurship is to note that you cannot do everything, hence, have focus and stick to it. You “Entrepreneurial strategy is more of what you do not do than what you do”, Bolaji stated.

Bolaji also advised the Startups that they should not see any idea that comes to their mind as exclusively their own because there is no end to the flow of ideas, hence, they should be open to collaboration and partnership in order to achieve the bigger picture. He stated that the Startups need to learn how to scale their businesses in order to be relevant, both in Nigeria and internationally.

Three of the many other wise business counsels shared by the speakers during the question and answer session include:

a) When you are in business, be true to yourself and have someone who can tell you the truth about you and your business beside you all the time. It helps you to stay focused in your business.

b) An Entrepreneur needs to develop himself in the areas Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, etc., by studying from free online courses on them, in order to have a grip on their business.

c) In today’s world, where many staff of organizations do not concentrate on work, but would rather be busy with chatting away on social media platforms, there is the need to set up productivity targets for the staff. It is better to track productivity rather than activity.

An Entrepreneur can also activate “Performance Related Pay” strategy, PRP, whereby, staff are paid according to targets achieved and also compensated with a commission if targets are exceeded, after the periodic review.

The July 2017 edition was sponsored by TechPreneur Africa and TAMS. TAMS also made a presentation on the services it renders in the field of Human Resources from recruitment to retirement, etc., which the Startups can patronize in running the HR department.

“We also thank the Media Partners of the CFA’s Startups Hangout, Nigerian CommunicationsWeek, Guardian Tech and CFAtech.ng, Connectnigeria.com and ITPulse.com.ng for spreading the awareness of this unique opportunity for Startups to learn and grow”, CFA said.

Watch out on https://startups.cfatech.ng/ for details of the August 2017 edition of the CFA’s Startups Hangout which also promises to further enlighten our growing Startups on the path to achieving success and greatness.

CFA is the Founder, www.CFAtech.ng & Co-producer/Presenter,Tech Trends on Channels Television

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EU–Nigeria Forum to Explore Investment Opportunities in ICT, Agribusiness

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(L-r): Ibi Ikpoki, economic officer, EU Delegate; Filippo Amato, trade counselor and head of Trade and Economic section, EU Delegate to Nigeria & ECOWAS; Juan Juse Otamendi, economic and commercial counselor, Embassy of Spain at the EU Nigeria Business Forum pre-event press briefing in Lagos.

The European Union-Nigeria Business Forum will expose attendees to investment opportunities in the information and communication technology (ICT) and agricultural sectors in Nigeria.

During a press conference in Lagos to announce the forthcoming 6th edition of its Forum, scheduled to hold from 5th – 6th of October 2017 at Eko Hotel and Suites, the Group revealed the theme as “Youth as an Engine of Broad-Based Economic Transformation”.

Under the theme, the Forum will beam light on possibilities in the fields, essentially, the role of youths in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Agribusiness, which are key sectors to support the growth and diversification of the Nigeria economy.

The Forum will also have specific sessions designed to address agribusiness and developing value chains as well as gender equality and economic empowerment of women as a key factor to sustainable development.

The forum will be a platform for business leaders and policy makers from the European Union (EU) and Nigeria to explore business openings and how to increase investment , with a view to create more jobs, Particularly in the ICT sector and agriculture.

This 6th EU-Nigeria Business Forum aims to identify the key role of youth in Digital Economy and the potentials of ICT in cross cutting themes with experiences shared from the EU.

To strengthen EU and Nigeria’s business relations through identification of opportunities in the agribusiness space in creating jobs, boosting exports and addressing local food security problems.

This year’s Forum is also aimed to identify the opportunities in addressing local infrastructure challenges and establishing an EU-Nigeria dialogue.

The EU-Nigeria Business Forum will also establish a more enabling environment for the fulfillment of women’s right and to achieve real and tangible improvements in gender equality.

They also seek to identify aspirations of young people, youth organizations and networks in view of the upcoming Africa-EU summit.

Filippo Amato, head of trade and economic section, European Union delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said that “EU-Nigeria trade remains strong, standing at 19.9 billion Euros in 2016, In spite of the significant effect of recession on Nigeria’s trade.

“EU remains the top destination for oil and non-oil exports from Nigeria”, Amato said. European Union-Nigeria Business Forum believes that the success of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) launched by Nigeria in February 2017 depends on active private sector participation, and calls for effective confidence building to attract investors.

They also opined that creating jobs that will stimulate the economy and providing sustainable employment, particularly for young people, is crucial both for the present and future of Nigeria.

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IBM, MTN Deploy IoT Technology to Save Africa’s Rhinos

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IBM rhino.jpg

Ahead of World Rhino Day 2017 this week, IBM; MTN, a leading African telecommunications provider; Wageningen University (WU) in the Netherlands and Prodapt, on Tuesday announced they are harnessing IBM Internet of Things (IoT) technology as part of the MTN Connected Wildlife Solution.

The solution will help predict threats and combat the poaching of endangered rhinos at Welgevonden Game Reserve in South Africa, with the intent to expand the solution to other reserves in future.

Today South Africa is home to more than 70 percent of the world’s remaining rhino population. Conservationists are battling to protect the dwindling number of these iconic animals that are being killed for their highly-prized horns*.

Over the past decade, more than 7,000 rhinos were killed across the African continent and in 2016, 1,054 were reported killed in South Africa alone.

“One of our primary objectives is to protect wildlife, especially endangered species. We were looking for a solution that would help us better understand possible threats and weed out those coming from poachers so we can react ahead of time and prevent harm to animals,” said Bradley Schroder, chief executive officer of Welgevonden Game Reserve. “This project will be a profound breakthrough in the creation of connected wildlife solutions, a wildlife management concept that aims to harness IoT technology to better manage and protect wildlife and other assets.”

This new predictive capability stems from research performed by Wageningen University. Ranked the best university in the Netherlands for 12 straight years, the university features an animal sciences group focused on research and education related to the health and welfare of animals and people.

According to research conducted on Welgevonden Game Reserve, prey-animals in the wild react in different ways, depending on the type of threat they encounter and the perceived danger from predators such as lion and leopard or the presence of people in the vicinity.

This research has been combined with MTN’s Connected Wildlife Solution which leverages IBM’s IoT technology and the university’s predictive analytics, to create an innovative solution that gives game reserves a powerful new tool in the fight to save endangered species.

Protecting the rhinos begins with fitting collars containing custom sensors onto prey-animals including zebra, wildebeest, eland and impala, which will transmit data about their behavior to the IoT platform.

The data collected from the LoRa sensors is communicated via the LoRa WAN Network Server (LRSC – Long Range Signal & Control) and backhauled over the MTN 3G/4G network.

Through the platform, the solution collects animal location information, movement, direction and average speed of travel, along with other data.

The data is used by Wageningen University to create approximately 20 rule-based patterns based on the animals’ response to threats. As a result, animals such as zebra will act as sentinels with their response patterns becoming an early warning system to protect the rhinos.

The predictive nature of this solution takes away the reliance on game reserve teams to be in the right place at the right time, or to respond to events, such as the distant sound of gunfire; and the teams can take proactive action that keeps rhinos safe.

“Over the years, we have seen that animal tracking technology has been used reactively in game reserves. Welgevonden needed a more proactive solution to take the fight to protect the rhinos further. With the solution designed for Welgevonden, MTN, along with our partners, can better predict and anticipate potential poaching activity. This allows the ranger to take pre-emptive action before any threat happens,” said Mariana Kruger, general manager at MTN Business.

Welgevonden Game Reserve was chosen for its specialist wildlife management expertise, its well-known research and development capabilities as well as its excellent reputation in rhino protection. “Welgevonden is one of the best managed game reserves in the world and we need such skills to ensure the success of a project of this nature,” said Prof Herbert Prins of Wageningen University.

“The Internet of Things is changing the way we live and work, and we are finding new applications for IBM’s IoT technologies in businesses across the spectrum. Now we’re helping curb rhino poaching and preserve endangered species on the African continent.” says Hamilton Ratshefola, country general manager for IBM South Africa. “IBM’s IoT solutions enable businesses to solve industry specific problems and transform their companies and industries.”

MTN is an emerging innovator in the Internet of Things, with hundreds of clients across 22 countries. MTN is building an ecosystem of vertical partners and an ecosystem of over 3 million active M2M connections. Together these connected devices, sensors and systems provide insight whilst solving real business challenges around the continent.

IBM’s IoT technology features powerful cognitive computing capabilities that don’t merely gather and predict but truly understand the patterns and relationships in the massive amounts of data being collected by the sensors in field.

Today, IBM is an established leader in the Internet of Things (IoT) with more than 6,000 client engagements in 170 countries, a growing ecosystem of over 1,400 partners and more 750 IoT patents which together help to draw actionable insight from billions of connected devices, sensors and systems around the world.

 
 

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Zinox Continues ‘Future Visions’ Project with GTX Notebook, Kids Legacy Tab Launch

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(L-r): Chukwuemeka Agbata, media entrepreneur and founder CFA Tech; Mrs. Ailsa Griffiths, head teacher, St. Saviour’s School; Adebayo Adesina, zonal head of Commercial Banking Division - Island Zone and Deputy General Manager, Access Bank Plc; Leo Stan Ekeh, chairman, Zinox Group; Mrs. Bisi Olaleye, ICT Correspondent, The Sun Newspapers, and Mr. Kyle, general manager of Western African Region, Shenzhen Kstar Science & Technology Co. Ltd, along with pupils from invited schools displaying the new Kids Legacy

Zinox Technologies Ltd., Nigerian leading original equipment manufacturing (OEM) in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) space, has officially launched the GTX Notebook and Kids Legacy Tab.

The latest tech products under Zinox’s ‘Future Visions’ roadmap were unveiled at a well-attended event in Lagos on Tuesday September 19th, 2017 hosted simultaneously at the company’s branches in Port Harcourt, Abuja and Ghana via telepresence.

The event, which held at the corporate headquarters of the company in Gbagada, Lagos, had in attendance teachers and students from over 10 schools in Lagos, while students from schools in other locations such as Port Harcourt, Abuja and Ghana also participated in the launch through the telepresence technology deployed.

Further spicing up the event was the band of Southfield Academy which thrilled attendees by playing in tune to the rendition of the national anthem.

Also in attendance were Chief Executives and representatives of partners, dealers and stakeholders in the ICT sector including Jumia, Konga, SLOT, Yudala, Fine Brothers, Digital Direct, Micro Station Communication, SPAR Nigeria, Callus Miller and the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), among others.

Designed in partnership with foreign tech firms – Intel Corp., Ashour Corporation, Tecsync Technology Co. Ltd. and Microsoft; the Kids Legacy Tab and ultra-slim GTX Notebooks are cutting-edge devices from Zinox, both of which have been widely embraced by users and recording huge sales in the market.

Speaking at the event, Leo Stan Ekeh, chairman, Zinox Group, disclosed that the products were the outcome of painstaking research targeted at meeting the future needs of a dynamic consumer base, as captured in the company’s Future Visions roadmap.

“The two products being launched today are revolutionary products. They took years to develop and fine-tune and are part of the most recent creations in the Zinox Future Visions. The Zinox Future Visions mandate is to anticipate where the world is headed and be ready with the right products and solutions.

“It is an ambitious project underpinned by research and development that will see the various companies in the Zinox Group diversify into new business areas with products in critical emerging sectors including Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Healthy Living, Core ICT, Internet of Things, Medicine, FMCG, Entertainment and Education, among others.

“Today, technology has become the currency of the 21st Century. We are already in the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, as it is described – a period that will be dominated by new and emerging technologies, some of which are already here with us. Examples are driverless cars, Big Data and drones, among others. As a continent, Africa must prepare for this future or stand the risk of being disrupted. This is what the Zinox Future Visions is all about and we are determined to lead in this race to equip the continent for the future that is already upon us,” he said.

Built to meet the computing needs of a dynamic audience, the ultra-slim GTX Notebook is a powerful tool.

GTX Notebook
Available in two models, GTX 100 and GTX 200; the device runs on Intel Cherry Trail OS with 1.9GHz computing power and a durable 10,000mAh battery which offers users up to 10 hours’ average use.

Boasting a 2GB RAM and 32GB internal storage expandable to 120GB, the 14-inch GTX weighs a paltry 1.5kg thus making it a light-weight companion for work, travel and leisure.

The Kids Legacy Tab, on the other hand, is a device which parents and care-givers will find fitting to introduce their children to technology and new vistas of learning. The device is designed as a critical foundational tool targeted at children from the ages of 3 – 13.

Kids Legacy Tab
In addition to a device manager to enable parents monitor content, the tablet is pre-loaded with over 50 educational and fun games and rated as knowledge luxury platform for kids.

Available in red, blue and fuchsia colours, the Wi-Fi enabled Kids Legacy Tab assures 1.2GHz computing power and extended use with a 2500mAh battery.

Both products will complement the new 8-inch Zpad and will see an expansion of the scope of offerings in Zinox’s mobile devices products suite.

The Zpad which offers high speed voice and data services has been widely accepted in the market, a factor that is expected to weigh in favour of the new devices being rolled out.

The new products with global certifications are designed in the company’s long-standing tradition of durability and equipped with surge protectors in consideration of the peculiar power challenges on the continent.

The GTX Notebook and Kids Legacy Tab which have already gone on sale in Africa, Europe and the Middle East are available nationwide at all major online and offline retail stores, with one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

 

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