Linet Kwamboka addressing attendees of our regular mid-week Power Forum session.
The Six Most Important Basics for a Start-up
Our third Power Forum was exceptionally enlightening and empowering. It was facilitated by our very own successful alumnus, Linet Kwamboka, from the School of Computing and Informatics. She is the proud founder of Data Science LTD, a company which deals with data analysis and research, providing services to help business people understand and use available data for planning, resource allocation and profit making.
The nuggets she shared are likely to turn around the life of anybody with the desire to employ themselves but don’t know how to make the necessary leap of faith with their idea and make it big.
The four most important basics for a start-up are as follows:
Clarity of the problem:
There has to be a problem one envisions to solve with the idea they have; otherwise, it may not be worth the try and the trouble. This means one has to do meaningful and fruitful research about their idea before venturing out. And the start-up should be geared towards adding value to the lives of one’s clients and community.
In the process of gathering knowledge and information about one’s start-up, networking is indispensable. For the would-be successful entrepreneur is likely to improve on the idea, discard it if worse comes to worst, get all the necessary support and so on. In short, considerable success in entrepreneurship tends to go hand in hand with efficient networking.
Entrepreneurship is a calculated risk. Sometimes the person may be required to quit formal employment-which in most cases is the most reliable bread earner to many formally employed people-in order to concentrate on one’s own business. That is even the time one is very employable, but one has to be ready to face the consequences of quitting a job or rejecting an offer for one. Linet Kwamboka followed her bliss and she never regrets, for her personal venture is much more rewarding-not just financially, but also socially.
The Power Forum in session.
Planning Planning Planing:
Any successful entrepreneur is time-conscious, and a good planner. They also have to be effective and decidedly strategic. One should not even be afraid to market the product themselves to the target market. This is a measure taken to avert eventual failure if the idea or project has not been well received.
An entrepreneur’s associates are also very important. They have to be people who are more knowledgeable, accountable as well as very helpful. True friends have to be people one can confide in and be accountable to.
Linet also believes that an idea doesn’t have to be perfect for it to reap big-there’s just no way and idea can satisfy all wants and needs or overcome all challenges to its success. Also, how one begins is irrelevant to the success that ensues from the idea or product.
Another useful lesson to Power Forum was treated to is idea protection. Copyright the same to avoid the frustration that comes with suing a competitor for ‘intellectual property’ theft.
In the same vein, a successful entrepreneur understands ‘quality dynamics’ and makes all the effort not to compromise the same.
Hire Right People:
Hire the ‘right’ people. This for some means qualified, young and energetic. ‘Right’ also means, as much as possible,avoid hiring close friends- for they may take advantage of the friendship to run down an investment. A good entrepreneur also delegates, is diligent and deals with employees and clients with uncharacteristic patience as well as honesty.
About Power Forum
Power Forum is a mid-week face-to-face interaction organized by C4D Lab and facilitated by experts to empower the student body and the community at large by launching and discussing technological innovations and business ideas.
If you are interested in being a facilitator or attending a session of the #PowerForum kindly write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get updates about @C4DLab sign up to the mailing list at the bottom of the webpage http://www.c4dlab.ac.ke/
Members of the forum pose for a group photo.
C4DLab (Computing for Development Lab) is a Technology Research and Development (R&D) Innovation Lab that focuses on three things, 1) Prototyping and innovative startup incubation, 2) Research and 3) Technical skills capacity building. The innovation lab is housed at the School of Computing & Informatics (SCI), University of Nairobi. This lab was founded in 2013, launched by the Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i in April 2014, is the first phase of a bigger multi-disciplinary Centre of Excellence (CoE) called CC4D (Center of Computing for Development) to be built besides the School. The lab management is now focused in growing it into the largest innovation hub in East and Central Africa.
The lab is currently incubating twelve technology startups, is involved in a number of research projects, has conducted numerous trainings, workshop, hackerthons and competitions. The innovation lab is also piloting several new technologies including 3D technology, cloud computing and TV white space. C4DLab has become one of the Vision 2030 flagship projects in the University Performance Contract with the State
About the writer
Moses Omusolo is a Social Media Manager, C4D Lab.