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AfricaCom, Ericsson launches AHUB

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Aiming to promote innovation by tech-start-ups on the African continent and their access to funding, AfricaCom’s latest community-driven event – AHUB, is presented by Ericsson. This unique innovation hub will bring together as many active funders and investors as possible, and make them available to registered AfricaCom 2015 techpreneurs looking to get a kick-start or a financial injection.

According to a recent survey produced by Ventureburn.com, while the numbers entering the tech start-up arena continue to grow, only 3% of these make it to venture capital/funding phase. Although there appears to be no shortage of ideas to go around, access to funding, remains in short supply. Discovering how to be part of the score and even to increase this funding percentage, the Ericsson A-HUB will be a pivotal place for the sharing of ideas, as well as a space to network and showcase work. Included in the mix will be one of the global winners of the 2014 Ericsson Application Awards, which will be launched in the run up to AfricaCom 2015.

Says Julie Rey-Gore, Research Director, Com World Series Informa Telecoms & Media: “With our experience of staging events across the continent, we have been struck by the continued innovation in this sector. We now believe it is incumbent on us to provide a space where real world thinking and solutions can be discussed, resolved and adopted. We strongly encourage companies who recognize the importance of investing in grassroots ICT to participate at this event.”

But it’s not just about the money. Knowledge-share also plays a vital role in a business’ survival journey. Learning from those who have gone before and applying best practice to existing and new businesses, is also on the agenda at the Ericsson A-HUB. This is particularly pertinent to the investor and incubator hubs themselves, who could do more by collaborating on lessons learned and even shared-revenue investment models that can spread risk and accelerate funding disbursements. The Ericsson A-HUB will consequently be central to understanding what makes the African start-up communities different to their European and American counterparts with guest speakers and panellists conveying insights from Silicon Valley and other successful tech hubs.

Tumi Sekhukhune, Vice President for Strategy, Marketing and Communications for Ericsson in sub-Saharan Africa, commented: “The ICT sector in Africa continues to evolve at a rapid pace and has led to the emergence of innovative solutions that address everyday living challenges. Our involvement in supporting innovation and engaging with a broad range of stakeholders across the continent inspired us to get involved in the AHUB, as there is a great need for collaboration to realise the potential of African innovation. At Ericsson, we believe that connectivity is the starting point for new ways of innovating and collaborating. By bringing together investors and potential funders together with innovators from across the continent, this is a great step towards realising the ‘Networked Society’ in Africa.”