Recently, the EC’s very own Gradi Ellis, graphic designer, had the opportunity to visit Uganda Africa for The Launch Pad. The Launch Pad, an event similar to a 5-minute TED talk, invites entrepreneurs from around the region to share how their business benefits the people of East Africa. A total of eight companies pitched at the event, and Ellis went in-depth with the startups that stood out. She also had the opportunity to sit down with members of the Outbox team to learn more about their entrepreneurial ecosystem.
One of the organizations that shared was Spouts of Water, a startup born out of the need that 10,000,000 East Africans don’t currently have access to clean drinking water, 60% rely on boiled water and only 10% can afford bottled water. Through their work, Spouts of Water has created an affordable way for people to access clean water through a filtration system. The filters are made out of clay, rice husks and water and last up to two years. To see the process, head over to their website spoutsofwater.org.
Another crowd favorite at Launch Pad was Bicycles Against Poverty, a team that utilizes bicycles to increase accessibility to critical resources, facilitate community cooperation, and build financial management skills among low-income entrepreneurs. To date, BAP has distributed over 1,000 bicycles to Ugandans.
Ellis also saw Medi-Health, an organization aiming to re-do Africa’s medical supply chain. Knowing that 1 in 3 medicines in East Africa is counterfeit, Medi-Health is working to employ innovative and effective technology to ensure the distribution of safe medication Through an android tablet, Medi-Health’s application allows healthcare providers to access critical information on current inventory, analyzes finances and generates reports internally. And the best part? The service is low-cost, compared to its competitors.
While on her trip, Ellis was able to speak with Richard Zulu and Soloman Opio of Outbox, a tech collaboration and incubation space. Listen to Richard describe Outbox and how they are growing entrepreneurship in Uganda through their tech hub, below, along with the following highlights.
Like any business, finding funding can be difficult. Richard shared how Outbox is funded through a “hybrid model.”
Google for Entrepreneurs was a major part of Outbox getting started through financial support and mentorship. Richard speaks about the benefits of being a partner with Google for Entrepreneurs.
Outbox houses many technology companies in many different industries including entertainment, media, music and alternative energy. The duo gave an extensive overview of the technology scene going on within the walls of Outbox.
This is a bonus podcast on our Nashville Entrepreneur Podcast.