PitchDrive is a three week, five-city European tech hub tour across London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Zurich and Paris
This partnership will bring 15 elite African tech companies together to pitch to investors, explore international opportunities and learn about frontier technology markets. It’s organised by Co-creation Hub (CcHUB), a technology innovation center in Nigeria and Google for Entrepreneurs.
The drive to help African startup founders looking to raise Series A funding and above, that will be selected by the PitchDrive team to embark on a landmark tour that aims to build stronger networks between European investors and African tech talent.
It will be starting in London on 14th of August 2017, the cohort will visit Google’s Campus London, TQ Amsterdam, Factory Berlin and Impact Hub in Zurich, concluding at NUMA Paris. Upon completion of the tour, the inaugural cohort will have pitched to over 300 investors, with the specific goal of raising over €20M in the three week period.
This is the first tour of its kind to connect African tech companies with European capital, and the PitchDrive team is aiming to open up the sector to investors who want to build their portfolios to include emerging markets.
Africans Never Hung up on Nokia’s Old ‘Brick’
Although mobiles are now as common in Africa as they are in the United States or Europe, smart-phones are rarer, making up only one in three handsets in South Africa and one in four in Nigeria, according to a 2016 study by the Pew Research Center.
In many cases, the cost of both handsets and data is the main factor constraining smart-phone sales. But Africans also like the legendary durability of the ‘brick’ and its weeks-long battery – important considerations in countries where insurance and electricity cannot be taken for granted.
Even in the flashiest parts of Lagos, Nigeria’s brash commercial capital, bankers barking orders into the latest model iPhone will often have an ancient Nokia in their back pocket as a fail-safe for when their battery gives up.
The original Nokia 3310, a basic talk and text phone, was the world’s most popular device in 2000 and the first handset owned by many of today’s smart-phone users.
The makers of the new phone hope that its 22 hours of talk time and up to one month of standby time will heighten its appeal for customers looking for a break from smartphone overload or a reliable device for lively nights out.
As well as its battery and durability, the old Nokia has another advantage – its lack of high-tech wizardry means it is untraceable and un-hackable, another factor for those living under repressive African governments.
However, against the competition on the streets in Africa, the new 3310’s $52 price tag is raising eyebrows.
Shop and Ship to these Locations around the world for $5 to Uganda
Shop and Ship is a international shipping service powered by Aramex, to provide its customers with 18 shipping addresses all over major cities of the world. The cities include US, the UK, China, Turkey, UAE, India, South Africa, Hong Kong, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Singapore, Canada, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and Japan.
Tech launched to fight hunger, malnutrition in Africa
International researchers on Monday last week launched a new computing technology to fight hunger and malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
The researchers from the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), a global agricultural research partnership, said the Nutrition Early Warning System (NEWS) will be able to process and detect signs of food shortages long before they become a crisis.
Speaking during the launch in Nairobi, Mercy Lung’aho, the Nutritionist and Research Scientist at CIAT said the technology is based on a technique known as machine learning where computers track complex and constantly changing data in order to learn and make predictions.
“The technology will use big data approaches to process large volumes of information from multiple sources in detecting early signs of food shortages already affecting South Sudan and looming in Nigeria and Somali,” Lung’aho told journalists.
Lung’aho said the technology will help scientists and governments move away from reactive to proactive responses to crises and foster resilience in the agriculture and food systems across Africa in collaboration with both the public and private sectors.
Read more about this here http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-05/29/c_136324450.htm
Africa creates world-first next generation digital identification technology to fight identity theft
The technology is called aiDX, was developed by aiThenticate computer vision scientists to answer one of the most difficult, challenging and urgent questions of our time: “Who is someone… actually?”
André Immelman, CEO of aiThenticate Computervisio Lads, when speaking about the latest innovation said that, “With identity theft now representing the foremost white collar crime in the world, fuelled largely by the exponential growth in mobile communications, this technology has been engineered as the next generation authentication technology.”
The failure of conventional authentication methods such as signature, identity artefacts, passwords, PINs, etc to effectively arrest identity theft, has seen a rapid shift towards biometrics as a means of authenticating a person over recent years: fingerprints, faceprints, voiceprints, irisprints, etc.
“Last year, the global loss from identity theft was about $2 trillion, and it is doubling every year. In South Africa alone, R1 billion was lost in SIM card swaps last year. These figures go to show just how ineffective conventional biometrics is in the post-9/11 world where someone sitting at his PC in one country is able to hack into a bank account in another country, even on a completely different continent.”
How to identify an insecure website
Last year, Google announced that it would start ‘shaming’ websites that were insecure and did not use web encryption. This was the start of Google’s war on the unencrypted web and as of January 2017, Chrome users are now notified whether an HTTP site is secured or not.
As an internet user, it is vital that you know exactly what to look out for when browsing the internet in order to avoid falling victim to internet scams.
With Google Chrome, you will be alerted whether or not you can visit the site safely or privately. This is usually shown with three security symbols:
- The green lock that indicates ‘Secure’
- The white info icon that indicates ‘Info or Not Secure’
- The red hazard sign that indicates ‘Not Secure or Dangerous’
Secure means the information you send through to the site is private. This, however, is not foolproof. It is always a good idea to check the location bar of the website and see whether it is displaying the website’s proper name.
Artificial Intelligence – heading for The Cloud(s)
At its most basic level, AI leverages the ability to use historical data and identify patterns, to predict future behaviours. The applications for this capability extend far and wide, enabling business’ to improve their decision-making capabilities by automating processes and removing the human element where errors are considered harmfully high. Organisations can use AI and intelligent analytics to reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, enhance productivity and increase profitability.
Cloud migration in South Africa is still, relatively speaking, in its infancy. However, cloud adoption is becoming more and more prevalent and expected to become the norm by 2020. The fact that cloud adoption is still on the rise in South Africa while AI being properly introduced, however, is to be considered a boon for South African enterprises – these two, together, can combine to further grow cloud as a medium, while simplifying the deployment of AI solutions.