Tech Startups and Entrepreneurs

Today we’re featuring news on tech startups and entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Novel Energy Storage to Chill Milk in Rural India” by Martin LaMonica on MIT Technology Review
Our portfolio company Promethean Power revealed good news last week: after years of technology iterations and a move to India, Promethean signed a contract with Hatsun, India’s largest private dairy, for 50 rapid milk chillers. This comes along with a new joint venture and a round of funding from First Light. You can read about Promethean’s technology journey from solar power to thermal batteries on MIT Technology Review.

Talking business with the man behind Tanzanian startup Bongo Live” by Kate Douglas on How We Made it in Africa
Douglas interviews Taha Jiwaji, founder of Tanzanian startup Bongo Live. The startup provides mobile marketing services, specializing in group messaging and SMS to serve the everyday Tanzanian customer. Bootstrapped to date, Bongo Live has stirred up competition but enjoys the first mover advantage. Although the company will face funding and talent acquisition challenges as all startups do, Jiwaji made a smart move by addressing the Tanzanian market opportunity. He says, “The market is still open and there a billion problems to solve, especially with technology…” With so few competitors on the group, now is the time to grab the opportunity.

There was no startup scene in Jordan four years ago, but now it’s thriving. Here’s why…” by Aline Mayard on The Next Web
Jordan is a good example of a small emerging market with boundless opportunities for tech innovation and entrepreneurship. With a highly educated population and high rates of unemployment, we’ve seen a boom of Jordanian startups over the last few years. They’re addressing typical emerging markets problems like poor payment systems and a lack of credit. The Jordanian innovation ecosystem, centered around the development and investment fund and incubator, Oasis 500, has started to attract smart entrepreneurs from around the globe. Check out Bluelight, a Village Capital/VentureWell Boston finalist, as an example of a startup addressing the problems existing in the Jordanian market.

Real-Time Data Means Big Ideas for African Startups – SAP” on by Chris Tredger on IT News Africa
This week, SAP engaged local South African startups and entrepreneurs with its Big Data Startup Forum. SAP is promoting use of SAP HANA, a real time big data analytics tool by African startups from South Africa to Nigeria to Kenya. According to Pfungwa Serima, SAP Africa’s Managing Director, SAP “if the startup is prepared to invest in SAP, the company will invest in the startup.” Clearly, the multinational company is excited about the opportunity in Africa. Interestingly, VC4Africa has recently been highlighting SoftCenter, a startup calling itself “the SAP of Burundi.”

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