The Innovation Week Tanzania: Vodacom Digital Accelerator Co-Creation workshop

May 24, 2022

By Brian Daniel Swai, Communications Associate.

Co-creation is a momentum accelerator to innovating

Smart Lab in partnership with Vodacom Tanzania took part in this year's edition of Innovation Week Tanzania on 13th May 2022 to co-create with the innovation ecosystem through our Vodacom Digital Accelerator workshop, which aims to support startups to take their businesses to the next level. The co-creation workshop highlighted the effectiveness of bringing about meaningful collaborations within the ecosystem. 

Innovation Week Tanzania is a two-week-long platform that hosts a series of events and exhibitions in the innovation ecosystem of Tanzania. This year, UNDP Tanzania jointly organized it in partnership with the Funguo Innovation Programme (FUNGUO) and the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) under the coordination of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MST).

"Innovation for the sustainable development of Tanzania"

This year's theme was Innovation for the Sustainable Development of Tanzania. As Smartlab, we took this chance to revisit our core value of being "committed to innovation" because we believe Africa can overcome its challenges with partnership and innovation. Only in alignment with this, we created the Vodacom Digital Accelerator in partnership with Vodacom. The program supports early-stage and growth-stage technology startups with disruptive products & services that have the potential to be brought into the market and scale into profitable, revenue-generating businesses, with applications now open until 30th June.

"Co-creation is a momentum accelerator to innovating."

Our co-creation workshop for the Vodacom Digital Accelerator was a part of this tremendous successful movement, and we are deeply grateful to the organizers. Co-creation is a momentum accelerator to innovating how we collaborate as critical ecosystem stakeholders. Smartlab and Vodacom co-created the solution—Vodacom digital accelerator, which puts the startups and the communities they impact as our core beneficiaries by developing the key activities to help them thrive and become revenue-generating businesses. The following are the focal points of the co-creation workshop;

"Identifying the beneficiary and key issues facing them."

In the art of co-creation, we need to identify the primary beneficiary and analyze their profile. In our case, the beneficiary being the startup community, we break down the problems that prevented them from growing their businesses and generating revenue. During our workshop, the participants brainstormed according to the different sectors within the technology atmosphere to identify the resources that could be in place to help support the beneficiary in combating the challenges they face head-on. 

"Recognize the right partner based on the values."

After pinpointing the beneficiary's challenges, it was time to recognize the right partner based on the values we wanted to foresee for the solution to come alive. The main aim was to lay down key activities to ensure alignment and set expectations while considering the limiting conditions and unique strengths that the partners bring into the co-creation partnership. 

"Vodacom Digital Accelerator program was co-created to accelerate the growth of technology startups".

The participating audience was able to draft solution statements and the benefits that all parties will obtain from co-creating a feasible environment for our communities to flourish. We aligned the mission and objective to add value that reflected the solution we had in place for startups through Vodacom Digital Accelerator. 

The Vodacom Digital Accelerator program will support early-stage and growth-stage technology startups with disruptive products & services that have the potential to be brought into the market and scale into profitable, revenue-generating businesses. It was co-created to accelerate the growth of technology startups within the Tanzania innovation ecosystem through the partnership with Vodacom expecting to have three winners by the end of the program.

Smart Lab is an innovation platform that links learning institutions with corporate partners to empower groundbreaking solutions that will impact communities.


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