Innovation spirit among university students encourages them to research, explore, and use all the tools to uncover something new. Innovation involves a different way of looking at problems and solving them.
Sadly, while this could be ideal, the reality rather reads different. Most students instead focus on grabbing their degrees and that’s all.
The good news however is that with initiatives like Starthub Africa and Empower Youth in Technology (EYIT), students can now access basic Innovations Development Support (IDS).
“At EYIT, innovative students have access to Capacity building through mentorship and trainings. We also help link them to affordable financing options through EYIT Startups Financing Initiative. They equally have an opportunity to promote their initiatives through EYIT TV.” – Puts Sankara Byaruhanga, Head Business Communications at EYIT.
On the other hand, Starthub Africa’s Startup Academy that leverages on partnerships with universities in Uganda and Rwanda, aims at guiding students to start their own businesses that solve actual problems and are financially profitable and scalable.
Using Design-Thinking methods adapted to the local context, student use 8 weeks to build on their solution;
Week 1: Discover Yourself
Week 2: Solve a Problem!
Week 3: Financial Feasibility
Week 4: Customer Interviews
Week 5: Ideate and Prototype
Week 6: Minimum Viable Product
Week 7: Business Modelling
Week 8: Pitching Your Idea
The 16th of July 2022 makes a climax of the 8th week of a cohort at Mbarara University of Science and Technology, with beneficiaries pitching internally, under the theme: ‘Youth at the forefront of creating local pathways for economic recovery post COVID-19’
These students will pitch before credible Judges, to select 5 best Ideas at the University level, before they represent MUST at the national level to compete for funding.
“Over 20 students are expected to pitch their ideas that they have worked on for the last 7 weeks. The initiative is multidisciplinary in nature, and thus accepted students from different fields of study, we thus expect solutions in almost all key sectors” – Esther Munguki, Starthub Africa MUST Club President says.
The highly anticipated for event shall be at the Pharmacology Lecture Theatre (PLT) at Mbarara University of Science and Technology.
“This partnership with Starthub Africa, comes at the right time. We are looking forward to creating impact among these high spirited young innovators.” Tushabe Ronard, Director EYIT says.
A number of competitive innovative solutions are definately expected.