Close the Gap's Project Manager Marnick Vanlee travels to Uganda

Posted on Nov 30, 2018 9:04 AM by

From 21 until 28 November, Close the Gap's Project Manager Marnick Vanlee travelled to Uganda. In the capital city, Kampala, he attended Ondernemers voor Ondernemer's "Sustainable Technology for Africa" (SusTech4Africa) challenge as a coach to the participants and as representative of Close the Gap. 

The SusTech4Africa challenge wants to enforce entrepreneurs and scale-ups creating innovative and sustainable products and services. The competition aims to build strong relationships between entrepreneurs, generating viable and in-depth business plans while enhancing the tools to scale-up the different players. Furthermore, the SusTech4Africa competition can be the canvas to conquer a social loan and open doors to technological expertise.

7 teams of 2 to 4 people participated in this challenge in Kampala. The participants were a mix of established businesses and startups, all motivated to discover how they could enhance their businesses or ideas. The entrepreneurs took part in a one week journey, including workshops, a masterclass on business models, and a boot camp uplifting their business plan, marketing spearheads and presentation skills.

One of the workshops was about crowdfunding. The platform used in this competition to crowdfund is Close the Gap's Leap² Crowdfunding Platform (made possible by GoodUp). Participants can gain both starting capital and exposure through this platform. The actual crowdfunding will take place starting in January 2019.

The teams were assisted by experts, from among others Unizo and Thomas More, who provided them with tips and tricks. After the challenge, the experts and coaches will stay in touch with the participants to follow their progress. 

Apart from the SusTech challenge, Marnick also met with interesting people and organisations. For example, he met with WITU (Women in Tech Uganda), the organisation that helped put together our third Leap² challenge in Uganda with a focus on "women in tech" earlier this year. They discussed ways to help bridge the digital gender gap in Uganda on all levels. Marnick also met the winner of this third Leap² challenge, the founder of mScan, who since then has helped numerous women with her mobile ultrasound device.

Click here for more information about our Leap² Innovation Challenges.