Startup Grind Gaborone Chapter launches

It’s a mean world we live in on many levels. Some are more gruesome than others and we all perceive them differently but the end of the day it’s all up to the viewer…

The Gaborone Chapter of Google’s Startup Grind Initiative was launched yesterday and it was an interesting business event. The event was aimed at sparking conversation between entrepreneurs and making sure that there is a lot of business networking that happens during the event. It was not about handouts, or presentations but open dialogue with entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs and industry leaders from different organisations.

The first launch had a target of 50 entrepreneurs but had over 100 in attendance. The thirst and hunger to make it in business locally is so huge the Culture Café in Molapo Crossing was almost taken over. The entrepreneurs were joined by Arun P. Iyer of Alpha Direct who has also founded many other businesses and sold them off. Arun shared his story with the entrepreneurs on how he started off in the U.S.A and at some point told himself that he was not going to return to Botswana, something he later changed after circumstances forced him to return to Botswana where his family was and still is based.

Other panelists included Tshepo Tsheko, the Director Marketing & Partnerships at the Botswana Innovation Hub who shared insight on the innovation landscape of Botswana and how entrepreneurs can harness it through functional ecosystems. Susanne Swaniker-Tettey, Chief Financial Officer of De Beers Group also shared her experience with local entrepreneurs and advice on what entrepreneurs can do to advance their businesses and better serve corporate clients.

Last but certainly not least was Monametsi Kalayamotho, a local entrepreneur who in his introduction spoke of how he hasn’t made it yet and is still after his entrepreneurial ambitions. “I haven’t made it yet, I am not a successful entrepreneur but hope to be one”, said Kalayamotho who shared his various challenges in this journey of entrepreneurship and urged upcoming startups to ready themselves for those.