Dakar Hosts Two-day “BootCamp” to Train and Fund Young Technology Entrepreneurs
On July 10, Mr. Robert Yamate, Chargé d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, along with the representative of the Minister of Telecommunications, chaired the opening ceremony of the Global Innovation Through Science & Technology (GIST) West Africa BootCamp "Financing Innovative Companies". GIST BootCamp is part of a partnership between the “Dakar Information and Communication Technologies Incubator” (CTIC) and GIST Dakar, supported by the U.S. State Department, the Foundation of ICT Incubators in Senegal, the World Bank’s infoDev program, the ARTP, Microsoft, and Sonatel.
GIST groups together the best West African young entrepreneurs in technology projects. They will receive training from U.S. experts as well as U.S. and Senegalese investors on how to access financing.
The interactive seminar allowed young entrepreneurs at different stages of development (working on ideas, pilot projects, or growth) in ICT to follow the presentations of international and local experts. The 30 best entrepreneurs had the opportunity to talk with the experts during the individualized mentoring sessions. They were also given the chance to pitch their ideas in front of a jury. The winner will win a business jet in the United States.
The event was also an opportunity for high level Senegalese businessmen to meet their American counterparts and share experiences about growing opportunities in the ICT field.
During his remarks at the opening, Chargé d’Affaires Robert Yamate said: “The GIST initiative aims to strengthen technology development in entrepreneurship at the local, regional, and global levels through a partnership focused on start-ups, development, and funding.”
You can listen to the interview given by Dr Jeffrey J. Margolis of the Department of State who took part in the event at http://southafrica.usembassy.gov/mediahub_av_margolis_20120710.html