The current state of the tech industry and how it relates to your business
By Pontsho Moletsane
Technology today in South Africa is akin to what is found globally and innovators have their distinct talents. A subtle outlook on what defines technology is needed to understand the space. Also, the average entrepreneur in South Africa likely has a side hustle or two, or even three depending on their circumstance needs and wants, so those with higher education experience have an edge.
The cultural and geographic setting of SA gives a unique flare to the kinds of technology that come up. Some startups make use of readily available resources and impact on either the ecology or society along a number of value chains. For example, there are startups that fuse the power of artificial intelligence with the human capacity of waste collectors while some exploit digital tools like AI to create employment for domestic labour. Others host hackathons for kids to develop their digital skills, and others do the same for manufacturing. One company makes low-cost reusable sanitary wear for underprivileged girls that also prevents landfills waste from flushed down waste. Another makes hardware that harnesses wave motion to desalinate sea water, while powering part of a coastal town. Others use environmentally safe materials to keep sharks from attacking tourists without harming the sharks. Some startups optimise on the chemical composition of rubber in tyres, and others have pressure sensors that harvest the power of moving vehicles over roads to generate electrical power…plenty!
The future of tech and how the youth can get involved
There are sustainable development goals to consider which are intertwined with our lives for clues. Somewhere there, there is room for plenty innovation. It takes identifying a problem that affects people and planet, and acting on it, to start getting involved.
I think that with awareness of SDGs, tech can take a spin on its head that shapes the planet for the better.
How to survive as a tech startup/business in the current climate
Grit is the stuff that separates the newbies from the ones who really want to make a difference.
Any other "future of tech" and "tech start-up" topics are welcome
There is interest in having solutions that help the earth, and add value to people.
*Pontsho Moletsane is the Founder and CEO of a cleantech company called Yellow Beast (Pty) Ltd.
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