The 2017 Allan-Gray Orbis Foundation Jamboree event is an incredible opportunity to expose your idea to a world of possibility. Your idea is interrogated, torn-up and built-up by a room filled with bright students. This has opened up many doors for us including meeting the executives of Zoona, Silicon Cape and a large part of the tech-ecosystem in and around Cape Town.
We are currently building our MVP and are incubated with the Telkom Innotech Programme at the Bandwidth Barn.
This is our story;
“The Jamboree experience began before we had even arrived at Jamboree. My partner (Sinqobile Mashalaba) and I were on the late transport set to arrive the Friday evening. We had discussed the prospect of pitching our idea that weekend but given how little thought and effort we had given it, the consensus was that we would be underprepared and, hence, very easily overlooked. Boy, how wrong were we!
Don’t get me wrong, our business idea had undergone about 8 weeks of intense incubation and we were in the process of concluding our first transaction. So we had some traction behind us but, coming straight out of exams, we did not have a pitch-deck ready nor did we have any notion of our pitch structure or how we would respond to some tough questions. Nonetheless, we made a bold decision to put ourselves out there for the community to see. Though we lacked much, what we did have was a strong sense of purpose and validation.Simon Sinek put it best in a Ted Talk when he spoke about how people care much, much more about WHY you are doing something than WHAT it is you are actually doing. Before you can sell product, you must sell purpose. So, with that motivation, my partner and I decided to put Hlanganisa down as a Wildcard. Then, it all began…
We did not much sleep that weekend- which was difficult considering we had just come off an intense exam period. We persevered because there was strong sense of conviction to present Hlanganisa in the best way possible. In all honesty, it had very little to do with winning. It had almost everything to do with growing because as an early stage start up, your idea and the work that you have put into it is all you have. And if you are going to present it on a platform such as Jamboree, you got to give it all you got. Anything less is a disservice to your business idea and to the time and energy you have put into it.
The Open Canvas happened on Saturday and the responses we were receiving were unbelievable. On the one hand, we were receiving validation that what we are doing is necessary and makes sense (which is always so good to hear!) while on the other, we were receiving advice and tips on how we could do it better. Having made it into the top 10, excitement and nerves were high- but so was physical fatigue. We do not think we will ever be able to explain how we were able to get up on that stage and pitch, given the state we were in, but we did and it was WELL WORTH IT!.
Winning Jamboree is something We will always be proud of. We encourage every Candidate Fellow to open themselves up to at least one Jamboree experience. As the old saying goes: ”You can’t win the raffle if you don’t buy a ticket.”
– Hlanganisa Team