Here's an amazing fact about Africa: You can fit nearly all of the land masses of nearly all of the most economically prolific countries in the world INSIDE Africa. See this graphic below, courtesy of a question on Quora.
Here's another mind-blowing fact about Africa. The cloud computing industry is growing massively, and at DEMO Africa, Alexander Mehlhorn from South Africa will be pitching about his startup's cloud solution to an audience eager to understand how innovation is pitching forward on the continent.
We've been asking a series of questions to entrepreneurs based in Africa in the run up to the Microsoft BizSpark-sponsored event in Nairobi on October 24. Mehlhorn's Framework One specializes in bespoke enterprise system development and business process automation using the cloud, namely Windows Azure services.
According to Mehlhorn, "Rapid development is done using our own in-house developed framework “CloudCore” and custom built Visual Studio extensions. Our focus is on automating your business processes to ensure you can rapidly deliver high quality cost effective products/ services to your clients. We are able to maintain a high level of scalability whilst decreasing your overall expenditure by understanding and applying cloud computing principles."
We asked him a few questions about his experience as an entrepreneur, and this is what he told us.
BizSpark: What have you learned about managing a technological business that you would pass on to the next generation?
In the age of cloud computing and SaaS, all tools a technology driven company requires can be found online at a much lower cost of ownership than setting up a traditional, on-site IT infrastructure.
BizSpark: What signals from your consumers do you look for to signify that you are winning? When I justifiably know that we have improved their business to an extent where they now spend less or make more money than we are costing them.
BizSpark: When was the last time you fell in love with a product?
When I realized the benefits of SaaS for any business and was able to adjust our own offering by using Windows Azure as a platform for our own system framework.
Visit us to see how you can become a Microsoft BizSpark company, which offers free software, support and visibility to startups making less than one million dollars in revenue each year. Visit these sites for more information on DEMO Africa, and Lions@frica.