The founders of Millbug in Port Elizabeth have been invited on a one-month trip to America to visit Silicon Valley.
A client of Seda Nelson Mandela Bay ICT Incubator (SNII) in Port Elizabeth, Millbug was founded by Sabelo Sibanda and Thulisile Volwana, who also founded Tuse along with Michael Kyazze.
Shortly after the launch of Tuse’s public beta version of the Tuse application on the Google Play store, they were invited to join Founders Space in Silicon Valley.
Sibanda hails from Port Elizabeth while Volwana is from Engcobo in the Transkei and Kyazze is from Uganda.
Sibanda and Volwana both studied commerce at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and Kyazze Michael studied computer science at NMMU. The three met through a mutual friend about three years ago.
“Founders Space is one of the top 10 start-up accelerators in Silicon Valley according to Forbes magazine. During the course of the programme, we will interact with corporates, angel investors and the top venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to hopefully take our offerings to the entire world,” says Sibanda.
The Tuse application, which launched earlier last year, is an Android app that allows people to communicate freely without the need for traditional telecommunication infrastructure.
“The Tuse app had a public beta launched and the feedback the company received from more than 250 beta testers has helped us design the final product was released in late-December last year. An iOS version of the Tuse app is also being developed,” says Sibanda. The app will be commercially available in February 2016.
“We hope our stay at Silicon Valley will help us build a large network of partners and experts who can help Millbug rapidly deploy our innovations. The problems we are solving are unique and will need significant resources to deploy at scale,” Sibanda adds.
Millbug developed the solar-powered Vuya Tablet PC in 2013.