PowerAfrica Post Conference News Updates

Update from Tutorial C -Innovative Entrepreneurial Opportunities. 

(culled from IEEE Society Sentinel Newsletter – 13 July 2016 (2016-07-13) Vol. 21, No. 13)

On 28 June 2016, Ken Stauffer, Chair of the IEEE Entrepreneurship Ad Hoc Committee and Rakesh Kumar, Vice-Chair of the committee piloted the IEEE Entrepreneurship tutorial event. The tutorial was organized not only to engage engineers and non-engineers interested in starting their own businesses, but also to infuse some of the realities involved with entrepreneurial startups into the curriculum. Fifteen people from Africa and North America attended the four-hour session, which successfully fulfilled goals of both committees.

In addition to learning the fundamentals, attendees divided into two teams to participate in an interactive startup idea session. The first team developed an idea for a GPS animal tracking collar and an app that enables people to spot wild game when visiting animal parks in Africa. This was targeted towards professional guide groups that take guests into game parks. The second team proposed to build on the use of a micro grid to supply electricity to the Ugandan islands of Lake Victoria. This would help provide the necessary infrastructure for their startup idea, a business that gives local fishermen access to refrigeration and ice so their catch can stay fresh longer and not spoil.

Because of this successful IEEE Entrepreneurship pilot in Zambia, a new goal of the IEEE Entrepreneurship Ad Hoc is to develop this pilot into an Entrepreneurship Tutorial for other IEEE Society conferences. Planning a stand-alone event to work in collaboration with other groups such as the IEEE and TAB Ad Hocs on African Activities is also in discussion.