Weekly Review April 14-20

Every week, we read dozens of articles on our favorite industry trends and relate to our investment thesis. We pick the most popular trend from the week and share the top articles along with our thoughts.

This week, we read about many different opportunities available for mobile and information communication technology innovators, including incubators, market growth, and improvements in infrastructure.

Applications About To Close for Wayra London Incubator” by Mike Butcher on TechCrunch
Wayra Academy, sponsored by Spanish multinational telecom giant Telefonica, is a great opportunity for a startup looking to get off the ground, but need a key relationship with a telecom to do so. Wayra London applications are about to close, but there are also calls available in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and Spain. Startups receive 50,000 Euro and assistance raising follow-on funding from Telefonica in exchange for 10% equity and right of first refusal. The London session will host about 20 startups, and is a great opportunity for those looking to bring their innovations to Latin America through Telefonica.

CCK Sector Statistics Report” by Leo Mutuku on iHub Blog
Kenya’s mobile penetration took another big jump upward from 67.2% in September 2011 to 71.3% in December 2011. By the end of the year, there were 17.38 million Internet users, 98% of them accessing the Internet over 3G. The report is a clear demonstration of the growing market size, presenting significant opportunities for the entrepreneurs working on mobile web applications. Read the full report here (PDF).

Broadband Partnership of the Americas” by Eric Postel on USAID Blog
During President Obama’s recent visit to Colombia, he announced the Broadband Partnership of the Americas (BPA), an extension of the Global Broadband and Innovations (GBI) program. Mobile penetration in Latin America is high, currently at 80%, but Internet penetration is much lower at just 40%. The two USAID initiatives are part of the effort to achieve global access to the Internet and promote ICT for development (#ICT4D).

African Undersea Cable Map Goes Non-Linear” by Steve Song on Many Possibilities
Our BETA Resident Steve Song of Village Telco keeps close tabs on all of the African undersea cable projects. Over the past few years, he has kept track of new cables on a map of Africa, demonstrating capacity by relative linear width of the depicted cable. The recent announcements of new cables with revolutionary capacities means that he can no longer depict capacity by linear width without turning his clever map into graffiti. Now, the capacity is depicted by width logarithmically instead of linearly. The map is filling up with additions like BRICs cable, SAEx cable, and WASACE cable that are joining SEACOMamong others. The installed capability is exciting as more entrepreneurs like Steve will be able to leverage this infrastructure to distribute ICT innovations.

Steve Song's Map of Undersea Cables in Africa

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