AU Expo prize kickstarts expansion
Winning the prize proved the value and potential that my innovation has to enhance quality education in Zimbabwe and elsewhere on the continent.
Due to the recognition by the African Union, Phenomenon Technologies has since been recognized by the UN World Tourism Organization and NEPAD as a top 5 tourism tech startup in Africa (see NEPAD publication here) thanks to our efforts to promote low cost educational tourism experiences for disadvantaged learners.
Winning the AU prize also helped increase our market from 15 registered schools to over 200 schools, meaning that thousands of learners will be able to take our virtual excursions and to experience the various destinations.
Edgar Moyo, the Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education of Zimbabwe, who was present at the Expo, was delighted to see my innovation being rewarded. His office has since promoted the use of the innovation in Zimbabwean schools. For example, he facilitated our invitation to the National Association of Primary School Heads conference held in Victoria Falls, during which I was able to demonstrate my innovation to thousands of school directors. The ministry has also offered clearance for us to conduct the virtual excursions to schools in Matopo district.
FundoVR is now being accepted in the communities by the district school inspectors, provincial education directors, headmasters and teachers.
I hope to see more communities welcoming our innovation as we aim to be the leaders in low cost educative virtual experiences.
What’s next: more VR field trips
The prize money of $4000 is helping us to scale up. Over the next 12 months, I hope to see the FUNDOVR service available in more schools throughout the country. I am seeking additional funding from investors as more schools keep on registering for our platform due to the cheap educative experience it brings for learners.
The whole team at Phenomenon Technologies will strive to create more experiences for Zimbabwean schools, cutting across all subjects. We ask that all interested investors get in touch with us to help us scale up even more.
I would like to encourage African leaders to support and fund innovations such as those presented at the AU Expo, as I believe they can greatly help improve African education.
Innovation is critical to develop education and bring it into the world of digital technologies. It is crucial that Africa plays a leading role in innovation. The best way to support Sustainable Development Goal 4 for education is by making sure that the innovations developed are supported by our leaders.
I encourage other innovators in the education field to engage with the African Union and its Expo, which will be held every year. This is a great platform to meet other innovators, to share with each other and to improve each other’s ideas.
Moreover, the AU allows innovators to gain exposure, which is vital in implementing our innovations. I’m certainly glad I participated this year!
Read the other posts in this series: