Want to know how to do a startup in Africa?

(Barrett Nash) #1

Hey team, I’m Nash, the cofounder of Rwanda’s SafeMotos. We pull sensor data from motorcycle taxi driver’s smartphones, crunch their data on things like acceleration and speed management, then use an Uber style app to connect our customers to drivers who are above a certain safety threshold.

We’re totally failing, but hopefully failing in the right direction, we have had a really successful year and are probably one of the top 5 African startups right now.

Sub Saharan Africa is a bit frontier for most people, but if anyone has any questions about what it’s like running a startup in this region, or would like advice on different markets, or any connections to industry players: ask away!


(Victoria Williamson) #2

Hi Nash!

My organization is partnered up with Moringa School in Nairobi, Kenya. It’s a coding school like Hack Reactor or Bloc.io.

I’d be more than happy to connect you with a group of excited and encouraging engineers.

Also, I’m curious about a few things: 1. Where in Africa are you? 2. Why do you think your start up is “failing in the right direction”? 3. What made you choose Africa for this initiative over Thailand which has a similar problem with motorcycle taxis being un-safe.


(Barrett Nash) #3

Hey Victoria,

Sorry for the delayed response, I had to travel suddenly. Hiring talented devs is one of our greatest bottlenecks, I would love to connect over Skype and talk more deeply on this. Can you send me an email at nash.barrett@gmail.com?

To your questions:

  1. We are located in Kigali, Rwanda
  2. We’re failing in the right direction in that we always are having the pressure of being a startup, putting out fires, raising money, but that we are meeting the challenges
  3. We chose Rwanda / Africa for the scale of the problem, just in Kigali more than 200,000 trips per day happen and our local knowledge, I have been on the continent for more than a decade now. SE Asia is a terrific opportunity for a company like SafeMotos but there is huge need in Africa too, while being a substantially more underserved market


(Ian Mwaura) #4

Try hooking yourself up with Andela.

They have access to the top 1% of developers in Africa.

(Lin Ling) #5

Hey, sorry I’m a bit late to this but http://thebaobabnetwork.com/ helps African start ups by leveraging talent from big corporations.