Startups need to focus on local solutions - Ericsson

Cape Town – Technology solutions for Africa need to be developed locally to address local needs, says a network provider.

Ericsson is on a drive to support startups, but the communications developer is intent on home-grown solutions.

“There’s a lot of solutions that get developed for Africa, however sometimes the take-up is not that high because I think the co-creativity is not really there and it’s so important that we enable innovation from a local base,” Tumi Chamayou, Vice President and head of Strategy, Marketing and Communications at Ericsson Sub Sahara Africa told Fin24.

Chamayou has experience in the startup scene in South East Asia, Europe and the US and said that her return to SA had been prompted by the local need to develop efficient digital solutions.

“I was drawn to come back home to say: The solutions that we need in Africa need to penetrate much deeper.”

Venture capital

Chamayou said that venture capitalists need to accept that what worked in Silicon Valley in the US may not be appropriate in SA.

“As VC companies, we have certain funding models. The success of a VC depends on them being able to understand the market in which they play.

“I see Silicon Valley more as an inspirational story: I don’t see that when you talk about innovation that this is where the answers for Africa are going to come from.”

Ericsson at the AfricaCom tech show underway in Cape Town released its Mobility Report which found that mobile video is set to drive a massive jump in consumption.

READ: High speed networks to drive mobile data spike

Chamayou said that the ideal local start-up would focus on ways to exploit the appetite for data.

“We all understand that we a lagging continent and education is something that we need to facilitate more so if video is going to be a big chuck of the data growth, then how do we facilitate learning; entertainment. How do we do it cheaply that it doesn’t run down my battery?”


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