Bill Zimmerman on Africa Innovation, vc4Africa.com

 

"Africa is a forerunner in mobile technology"
Those looking for the most innovative technology in mobile need to look at Africa suggest Bill Zimmerman, a U.S. investor in African Internet.

450 million African Callers
Zimmerman worked in the U.S. including Microsoft, Visio and later the investment iStart Ventures. He claims that of the 1 billion Africans 450 million have a mobile phone, a number that grows annually by 12%. Under the slogan "trade, not aid" Zimmerman mediates between foreign investors and African start-ups. Additionally, he and his company, Limbe Labs in Cameroon, offer startups guidance in exchange for 5% of the shares.

Eat or buy an app?
There are similar companies in Kenya, the iHub, and Senegal, Bantalabs. That the African market is experiencing a major shift in development is recognized by heavyweights like Google, Nokia and others, already very active in Africa. Internet is primarily accessed via the phone, while the cost of an SMS message quickly eats ten per cent of the daily wages of lower income groups.

Investing in African startups
In South Africa a new project CrowdFunding is eager to help investors engage start-ups via the web, while VC4Africa will offer the opportunity to start investing and engaging startups in Africa this summer.

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