On Tuesday March, Smart Lab in partnership with Vodacom Tanzania PLC hosted an event at Kibo Hall LAPF Tower 2 as part of their participation in the Innovation Week, with the theme based on Smart Partnerships for Impact.
The event’s title was; ‘Corporate-startup collaboration through accelerators’. Given the growth of the Ecosystem we have so many disruptive innovations coming up, big corporations have started believing in Innovation and are looking for ways to dive in and be part of the digital world, Smart Lab has seen the need to emphasize on Corporate-startup partnerships through all means possible, a good example being through Accelerators. The main objective of this event was to educate corporates on how to identify and handle disruptive technologies emerging in their industries, explain to them how their organization can consistently deliver successful innovation projects when leveraging on innovation, show them how to maintain an innovative culture among employees at work and explaining to them the right time to partner with external organizations such as startups to explore emerging markets versus doing it in-house.
The main audience were corporates, a few startups and development partners. The event began with the Vodacom Accelerator team giving a presentation on the corporate accelerator model with a case study focus on the Vodacom Accelerator. The team explained the delightment from getting a large number of applications, this shows the high interest in innovation in Tanzania. Went on by explaining Innovation in Tanzania and the statistics of successful and unsuccessful startups. They went on by explaining about the Vodacom Digital Accelerator and how corporates can chip in and support startups through corporate accelerators.
The event was followed by a very intriguing panel discussion by Edwin Bruno, CEO of Smart Codes and Nguvumali Kamando, Digital Director at Vodacom Tanzania Plc, Moderated by Tunu Tunu Makamula, Development and Marketing Manager at Indigenous Education Foundation of Tanzania . They discussed how they address the gaps when it comes to corporations partnering with Startups through corporate innovation partnerships and answered different questions from the audience regarding partnerships and their experience when it comes to the Vodacom Digital Accelerator.
The Vodacom Digital Accelerator was the shining example to corporates in this event. Vodacom and Smart Lab shared their experiences in conducting this program to help corporates understand the impact they can have if they decide to partner with startups and key players in the Innovation Ecosystem. Smart Lab is envisioning Tanzania with successful innovation but to make these innovations flourish and stay sustainable, there is a need for big companies to support and empower these startups. Therefore, Smart Lab plans to keep acting as a bridge between innovators and corporations.
Smart Lab is an innovation platform that links learning institutions with corporate partners to empower groundbreaking solutions that will impact communities.