On Wednesday November 13, Zimbabwe’s Hypercube Hub will open it doors for the first time, and follow up with a number of launch events planned for the rest of the week. The events will include a launch party on Wednesday evening, followed by SuperHyper, a fast paced two-day hackathon, and will close off with a Kickoff event on November 17 for Startup Bus Africa’s inaugural 5 day trip from Harare to Cape Town.
The Startup Bus Africa Kickoff event will explore the role of technology in the growth and development of Zimbabwe and the region. It will be an open panel discussion aimed at generating conversation around the various sectors that digital technology can impact including health, education, agriculture and entrepreneurship. This event will also set the tone for the work that Hypercube Hub plans to do following its launch.
According to Irene Chikumbo, the Community Manager at Hypercube, “Our goal is to harness the collective intelligence and experiences of the nation’s human capital to drive technological solutions aligned to the needs of everyday Zimbabweans, from the vegetable seller at Mbare Musika in Harare to the unemployed youth; from entrepreneurs and developers, to farmers, corporates, government bodies, students, women’s groups, and digital natives. We believe in local solutions to local issues.”
She goes on to say that the hub aims to foster an inclusive and diverse technology eco-system by focusing on four dimensions – Co-working, Co-learning, Co-mmunity and Co-innovation – and will also actively encourage, strengthen, and support the participation of women in the technology sector, as well as stimulate job creation for the youth through entrepreneurship and innovation.
Membership to the hub will be on a sliding scale and based on individual needs. At every level, access to Internet and other resources will be available, suiting the needs of those requiring an inspirational space to work with stable Internet and electricity, to those needing a place and resources – hardware, software, testing devices – to develop ideas and products. The hub will provide opportunities for learning and collaboration, along with mentorship, training, and consulting.
Hypercube Hub’s international funders include Hivos, Indigo Trust and the US State Department. The team has also reached out to potential local and regional partners and anticipates greater collaboration as the initiative gets off the ground.