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Innovation

Vaccination Done On Time: How CowTribe Is Helping To Boost Ghanaian Economy

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CowTribe started with a simple conversation in a car when Peter offered Alima a lift one day. Strangers a few minutes before, they already knew that this acquaintance was not a coincidence and would grow into something bigger. At the time, Alima was working as a journalist reporting on women’s development in rural areas in Ghana and could witness firsthand all the problems facing the local population, in particular farmers. She grew up in a village with her grandma, where domestic animals were their primary source of income and food. There were times when the chickens would get sick, leaving Alima’s family struggling to make ends meet.

Peter, who was working as a crop insurance agent at the time, had a very similar childhood experience and was already thinking about how he could improve people’s quality of life in rural areas. Alima and Peter stayed in touch after their first encounter and two years later set off on a journey they called CowTribe, a solution that to this day helps farmers vaccinate their animals, preventing stock loss and supporting the Ghanaian economy.

Their startup participated in the local Seedstars World Competition in Ghana and won the first place, which gave them first a ticket to the regional Seedstars Summit Africa 2018, and then to the global Seedstars Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland, where they competed with 75+ others for the title of the best startup and $500K in equity investment.

From their home place in Ghana to the pitching competition in Lausanne, we followed their footsteps to capture their path as entrepreneurs and actors of change in their community. Alima and Peter’s story became the theme of the first Seedstars documentary about entrepreneurs from emerging markets.

Recently, we had a chance to catch up with Alima to discover how life is going after the Seedstars World Competition and how her second pitch ever brought CowTribe a victory at the local Competition and later helped them get into the 12 best startups from emerging markets at the global Seedstars Summit.

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Innovation

Digital Education is the Future and These Startups Are Here for It

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A user in the Computer Laboratory, Main Library, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

Rarely has the education system been as shaken as in the last 12 months. Years of slow progress towards digitalization and new learning methods have been replaced by mandatory use of long distance communication tools, new testing methods, and a lot of creativity from teachers and parents on how to engage children in learning. With apps and different online tools becoming a part of children’s lives, it is no wonder that the EdTech startup scene has been flourishing.

According to Crunchbase, venture funding for EdTech reached 4.1 billion USD in the first seven months of 2020, which is 1.5 billion USD more than in the same time frame a year before. It is also the highest amount raised in that frame for the past five years. Most of these deals are still for U.S. based companies, with big players like Skillshare and Materclass raising funds in Series D and E, respectively. Some of the biggest deals are also in China, for example Yuanfudao raised a billion USD in Series G and Zuoyebang raised 750 million USD in Series E.

EdTech wins two years in a row

Many emerging markets are still missing the necessary infrastructure and policies working towards keeping children in school though. Due to low income, children are often forced to leave school and work at a very young age. This is why digital education is especially important in these markets. It is often an answer to issues that involve education inaccessibility and high costs, providing an innovative and quality learning environment to children.

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Innovation

How Diversification Helped Switzerland During the Pandemic

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The Swiss flag flies high. Photo credit: Seedstars

It is well known that Switzerland has one of the strongest economies in the world. With the OECD grouping them into the high-income countries and the second highest GDP in the world, even economy newbies know that this small central-European country is synonymous with stability and prosperity.

The business environment is an interesting mix of world-famous companies, top-notch universities and research facilities, SMEs and startups working in a relatively small geographical area. Ranging from medicine, precious metals and gemstones, heavy machinery, to tobacco, chocolate and luxury perfumes and cosmetics, the 310 billion USD exports can compete with countries with more resources and population.

The Swiss economy is based on a highly qualified labour force working in specialized industries, with the main economic activities being pharmaceuticals, machinery, food and financial services. The “land of watches” can boast its high-class motors, generators, turbines and a whole range of other deep tech products. Continuous investments in research and development (about 3 percent of total GDP) has not only diversified the existing industries, but made it one one of the best places to do business.

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Innovation

Ericsson Innovation Awards 2021

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The Low-Cost Medical Ventilator (Bulamu Ventilator), a product of Makerere University and Kiira Motors Corporation on display in the Main Hall, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda on 28th August 2020 during the launch of two innovations in the fight against COVID-19.

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, the digital divide is growing. Economic, geographic, gender and access factors have left vast portions the global population at a severe disadvantage. The causes are many, including lack of infrastructure, resources and the high cost of devices. Your challenge is to identify a digital divide and develop a solution to bridge it.

How to participate

To enter the awards, you must register with a complete entry by August 5, 2021, 13:00 CET (2:00PM EAT).

A ‘complete entry’ means all required questions are answered and you have registered up to four total team members, all of whom are currently enrolled students pursuing a university degree. To qualify, each team member must be pursuing a higher vocational or academic degree (undergraduate, graduate, or doctorate), and graduating on or after the end date of the Semi-finalist period (September 13, 2021).

We strongly encourage you to embrace diversity and inclusiveness by bringing team members from different disciplines, cultures, life experience and skill sets. We’ve found that diverse teams often produce the most inspired ideas.

Entries are allocated into seven regions, depending on where your university is based.

By registering with a complete submission, you will automatically be entered to compete in the regional competition and will be eligible to be considered for the Global Semi-finals.

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