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Launch of the Basecamp Programme

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Everything we do is about purpose-driven entrepreneurship: improving innovation ecosystems, supporting ventures & building ventures. Why? Because we believe innovative entrepreneurs are essential for a successful transition towards a sustainable and equitable world. Sometimes we play a small role in this, sometimes we are fundamental and we work shoulder to shoulder for years.


We believe in the power of an inclusive startup ecosystem where support organizations work together to provide the best possible service for startups. In this story, we want to introduce you to the new startup in the exploration phase Batazia that has just joined our brand new Basecamp programme for early stage startups. The mission of Batazia is to offer Africans everywhere the knowledge and know-how to thrive in today’s global society, in the language they know best.

Introducing Batazia


Batazia was first conceived at the end of 2020 when it became clear that books written in African languages had little or no option of finding a place on the platforms of major retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc - never mind traditional bookshops. Realising the impact on access to knowledge that this caused, I decided to begin plans for an online book shop for books in African languages. 


In the course of research for this bookshop, the extent of the knowledge crisis in Africa reared its head. And for several months, I was confronted by literature after literature on the impact of the marginalization of the African language on the African populace. The true face of poverty in Africa became known to me - in a continent where over 80% of the people are not conversant with the language of education and government of their countries… a continent where the rate of school dropouts is highest in the world (largely caused by the problem of learning in a foreign language)... a continent where books are a luxury item rather than a necessity, and even the custodians, creators and interpreters of knowledge and culture are bereft of any real way to touch the minds of their peoples. How do you escape poverty or underdevelopment when you cannot access the information you need in the language you know best? 


By the end of the first phase of background research, Batazia was no longer about books, but about alleviating poverty through knowledge. We were no longer going to get people to buy books through a means that was itself elitist (online sales), and which would make it hard for those we needed to impact, to access (cost of books). We were now going to attack widespread poverty at its root, through making relevant knowledge available to people in the language they understood best, in a manner they could access, and in a way that the street cleaner would be able to afford. Books, in all African languages, would only be part of that knowledge dissemination and democratization process, and so would Storytelling (Africa’s most widely recognized means of knowledge transfer). But above all, Batazia would set in motion a ferocious process of digging out the roots of poverty in Africa through targeted knowledge aggregation and dissemination - offering inhabitants of the continent not just causes, books, stories or any form of learning and information per se, but a massive inventory of curated opportunities. In other words, Batazia would not just stream content for the sake of knowledge acquisition per se,  but content to instantly target the most urgent knowledge-need on the continent, in a strategic move designed to attend to all knowledge-needs starting from the most urgent… as well as a strategic move designed to start with the needs of the population sector in Africa best positioned to affect all other population sectors of the continent.


One year after the idea of Batazia was conceived, it had drawn to itself one of the best tech minds in the world, a business strategist and marketing expert, a social scientist educated  in African studies, an SEO specialist and a South African language insider. In that one year, it had set its trajectory to open a world of opportunities, books and stories to Africans, as well as an escape door from poverty for inhabitants… in that one year, Batazia had drawn a plan to conclusively transform the lives of Africans through knowledge that matters.

Founder Team

Solution

The Mission of Batazia is to offer Africans everywhere the knowledge and know-how to thrive in today’s global society, in the language they know best.  

Batazia is creating a digital knowledge-streaming platform that uses proprietary AI translation technology to make learning and knowledge available to Africans in all 2500+ of the continents indigenous languages (one-set-of-languages-at-a-time); and that employs a content strategy designed to skill-up Africans for a digital-age global economy – starting with the most pressing knowledge-need to that end; and thereafter progressively exposing users to more and more content of existential and cultural currency. All of these undertakings built around a modus operandi to make learning and reading easy, fun and finally effortlessly understandable in the language every user knows best.  

About Basecamp programme

Basecamp is a 12-month support program for purpose driven startups in the exploration phase. During these 12 months a startup gets complete support in all the needs from problem definition to validation to MVP. Basecamp is divided into three stages, depending on the level of the startup they can go through all of them or continue where they have stopped.

Basecamp stages

1. Problem Definition & Validation: Analyze the challenge you want to solve and validate it.

2. Potential validation: Research the impact your solution will have.

3. Solution prototype: Understand your customer and create a minimum viable product.


During Basecamp, startups get personal mentors that help them on their way as well as tailored co-creation sessions, where together with experts, they work on certain topics. One of the examples is a stakeholder’s session. All together we identified main stakeholders, we grouped stakeholders in several categories: problem owners, customers, influencers, competitors, enablers, others for further prioritisation by power and interest. Looking at today's challenges, we noted down current needs, then prioritised them and identified who can help with those needs and who can connect to people that can help. 


There are many more sessions and explorations ahead and we are excited to share with you Batazia’s path on becoming a successful startup. Follow the updates on our social media channels.


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