Hello everyone, today I have the pleasure and honor to interview my good friend Mauro Yange. Without further ado, let’s begin with the first question….
Dizando Norton: Who is Mauro Yange?
Mauro Yange: Mauro Yange is a “forever beta”!, a founding member of Startup Angola Association (ASA), a technology enthusiast who works in sales, customer management, communication and marketing.
DN: Mauro, for how long have you been interested in tech startups and entrepreneurship?
MY: The interest in tech startups and entrepreneurship came primarily from the example of young people from other countries transforming their communities even with few resources through new technologies, which are available even in our country too.
DN: What is exactly the ASA? What is its mission and vision?
MY: ASA is a community for programmers, designers, marketers, students, mentors, etc … created with the aim of fostering the tech startups and digital entrepreneurship ecosystem in Angola. The vision is to have increasingly successful, creative and innovative initiatives to transform lives of local communities and maybe even achieve global impact.
DN: That sounds great. Can you give us some indicators about the work ASA has done?
MY: Of course. Until now, we organized six events, covered by the national television, for a total of 300 people. We also attended two national fairs (Feira do Inventor/Criador Angolano and Feira do Empreendedorismo). We participated in scientific meetings in public and private universities. More than 10 startups have our “support” and some of their products are being launched and having a good public acceptance, for instance: SendOut by Célio Garcia, one of the winners of the African Android Challenge 2014 and the Epic Adventure by Keven Chantre, the first Angolan game on GooglePlay.
DN: Mauro do you believe it’s already possible to talk about a startup ecosystem in Angola? If not, what do you think is missing? If yes, who are the actors in this ecosystem and what they do?
MY: The ecosystem has taken the first steps, but we still lack networking between the different players who have the power to develop digital entrepreneurship. ASA has done some “noise” and a few local businesses, universities and even the government are being more open to this new kind of entrepreneurship.
DN: What is the main difficulty of tech startups in Angola?
MY: The main difficulty of tech startups in Angola is the lack of means of digital payments which ultimately condition the entire business model. On the other hand, the ecosystem of startups in Angola is still taking its first steps as I said before, seeking to understand how everything works and how local issues can be best addressed.
DN: … and where do you see this startup ecosystem as soon as KiandaHub gets up and running?(KiandaHub will be the first Angola’s tech hub. It’s an ASA initiative and will provide a co-working space and free mentorship for entrepreneurs.)
MY: With the operation of KiandaHub, Angolan startups will have a “bunker” where they can sit down and create. It will also provide access to networking and mentoring. It is also intended to serve as a platform for projecting local startups to the world.
DN: Nice one. Do you guys receive any support from some institution?
MY: No. ASA is not supported by any institution, but we’ve obviously counted on the collaboration and partnership of some public and private institutions for the projects and events we organize.