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March 25, 2014

VentureOut
Final Project Report

www.ventureoutchallenge.org

VentureOut Final Project Report


Table of Contents
VentureOut Executive Summary................................................................................................................... 4
Participants engaged through VentureOut............................................................................................... 4
Outcomes for the VentureOut Entrepreneurs .......................................................................................... 4
Evaluation of Finalist Pitching & Training Session .................................................................................... 5
Participants feedback on participating in VentureOut ............................................................................ 5
Key Statistics for top 13 VentureOut Finalist apps ................................................................................... 6
Milestones of VentureOut for enabler organizations ............................................................................... 6
Online Presence and Branding .................................................................................................................. 6
Knowledge Management .......................................................................................................................... 7
I. Introduction ............................................................................................................................................... 8
Program Background ................................................................................................................................ 8
VentureOut Partners................................................................................................................................. 8
VentureOut Enabler Organizations ........................................................................................................... 8
II. Program Components and Modules ......................................................................................................... 9
VentureOut Challenge .............................................................................................................................. 9
TechConnect VentureOut ....................................................................................................................... 10
Virtual Training........................................................................................................................................ 13
Mentorship ............................................................................................................................................. 14
Mentorship Process ............................................................................................................................ 14
Online presence and branding ............................................................................................................ 14
Working with local enabler organizations .............................................................................................. 15
Conference: Supporting Access to International Markets for Startups & SMEs .................................... 16
Internationalization events hosted by enabler organizations ................................................................ 17
Knowledge Management ........................................................................................................................ 19
III. Introduction to the VentureOut Finalists............................................................................................... 21
Mentor Testimonial ................................................................................................................................ 23
Entrepreneur Success Stories ................................................................................................................. 23
Teddy the Guardian ............................................................................................................................ 23
Waabeh ............................................................................................................................................... 24
Nearest Locator ................................................................................................................................... 25
Marodi TV............................................................................................................................................ 25
X-Rift.................................................................................................................................................... 26

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M.A.D.E. - My App for Disasters and Emergencies ............................................................................. 27
IV. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) ......................................................................................................... 29
VentureOut Mixed Methods of Measuring Results ................................................................................ 29
A Four-Level Model Approach to Measuring Results ............................................................................. 30
V. Summary of Findings .............................................................................................................................. 31
Results of the Four-Level Approach ........................................................................................................ 31
Feedback on participation in VentureOut .............................................................................................. 32
Baseline evaluation of the top 24 VentureOut participants ................................................................... 32
Mentorship Evaluation by Entrepreneurs............................................................................................... 35
Comparison of top 24 semi-finalists with top 13 finalists ...................................................................... 38
Baseline data comparison ................................................................................................................... 38
Analysis of judges responses to the Submissions .................................................................................. 39
Judges comments on the Strategy for Internationalization of the App ............................................ 40
Main observations of judges comments to improve Internationalization Strategy .......................... 41
Judges comments on the Company & Management Track Record ................................................... 43
Enablers feedback about the VentureOut program .............................................................................. 44
VI. Lessons Learned & Recommendations .................................................................................................. 46
Mobile App Competition......................................................................................................................... 46
Webinars ................................................................................................................................................. 46
Mentorship Program ............................................................................................................................... 47
Integrating Lean Startup Methodology .................................................................................................. 47
Curriculum Development ........................................................................................................................ 47
Website and Social Media....................................................................................................................... 48
VII. Conclusion............................................................................................................................................. 48
Annex 1: Follow-up Survey ......................................................................................................................... 50
Annex 2: Key VentureOut Metrics .............................................................................................................. 56
Annex 3: VentureOut Moldova Agenda ...................................................................................................... 57
Annex 4: Case Studies ................................................................................................................................. 60
Cellulant - Kenya ..................................................................................................................................... 60
eMedia Jamaica.................................................................................................................................... 63
Recommerce - Belarus ............................................................................................................................ 68
Annex 5: Bios of Experts Participating in VentureOut ................................................................................ 71
Speakers for VentureOut in Moldova: .................................................................................................... 71

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VentureOut Global Mentors ................................................................................................................... 71
Virtual Training and Tool Kit Development............................................................................................. 74
Annex 6: Profiles of VentureOut Finalists ................................................................................................... 76
GoMetro .................................................................................................................................................. 76
Prowork ................................................................................................................................................... 76
Idram Mobile Wallet ............................................................................................................................... 77
Manifesto ................................................................................................................................................ 77
Dorian Postevca, Moldova ...................................................................................................................... 77
Tuning Fork ............................................................................................................................................. 78
Grik.ly ...................................................................................................................................................... 78
M.A.D.E. - My App for Disasters and Emergencies ................................................................................. 78
SweetSOA ................................................................................................................................................ 79
Attachment: Moldova Evaluation Report ................................................................................................... 79

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VentureOut Executive Summary


In collaboration with infoDev, CRDF Global created and launched the VentureOut Challenge, a
multifaceted program focused on giving entrepreneurs the tools, inspiration and opportunities to take
their mobile apps to new markets. Throughout this project CRDF Global was tasked to coordinate with
eight local enablers in eight countries to reach out to local networks in 33 countries, promote the
competition, recruit speakers and mentors for the program, and build the VentureOut brand online
through Facebook and Twitter. The program was managed from August 2013 to January 2014 and
engaged hundreds of entrepreneurs through hands-on training, virtual learning opportunities,
mentorship, international exposure, and seed funding. The project was recognized by participants,
enabler organizations, mentors and the judges as a true success. Entrepreneurs came from local
technology community enabler organizations located in eight countries: Armenia, Jamaica, Kenya,
Macedonia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Trinidad & Tobago.

Left: Day 1 panel discussion and Right: VentureOut judging panel

Participants engaged through VentureOut

809
510
122
113
64

Total connections with mobile app developers during VentureOut


Viewers of TechConnect VentureOut
Attendees at local internationalization events
VentureOut Challenge Applicants, 6 female
Attendees on training webinars

Outcomes for the VentureOut


Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs at YES Foundation in Macedonia


participation in TechConnect VentureOut

Twelve entrepreneurs responded to a survey that was


given to the top 24 entrepreneurs. 100% of these
respondents have either developed or strengthened
their internationalization strategy as a result of
participating in the VentureOut Challenge. Collectively
these entrepreneurs count 77 useful connections they
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have made with business partners, angel investors, or other strategic people as a result of participation
in VentureOut. Furthermore, two of these twelve entrepreneurs report having entered new markets
since participating in VentureOut Challenge. These entrepreneurs have spent $5000 and hired an
additional five people specifically to enter a new market. As a result of entering the new markets, these
enterprises have gained 70,000 new downloads and $10,000 USD in revenue.

100%
70K
$10K
77

Respondents who have either developed or strengthened their


internationalization strategy as a result of participating in the
VentureOut Challenge.
Downloads as a result of entering new markets since participating in
VentureOut.
Revenue as a result of entering new markets since participating in
VentureOut.
Useful connections entrepreneurs made with business partners, angel
investors, or other strategic people as a result of participation in
VentureOut.

Evaluation of Finalist Pitching & Training Session


Respondents found the sessions offered in Moldova to be extremely valuable for increasing their
understanding of market and sales techniques, both of which are critical for successfully navigating the
international marketplace. A sampling of the positive ratings (very valuable and valuable) from the 22
responses to the end-of-training survey are illustrated below:
100% (22) - Business model canvas and
95% (21) - Understand international marketing
international customer discovery
and sales techniques
overview
95% (21) - Top 10 monetization hacks on mobile
95% (21) - Building a startup from
90% (18) - Determine value of your app
emerging markets
internationally

Participants feedback on participating in VentureOut


Of 112 applicants who applied to participate in the VentureOut community, 16 respondents shared their
thoughts on participating in the VentureOut Challenge. They ranked the helpfulness of the feedback
they received from the VentureOut judges about their submissions, giving an average score of 4.13,
using a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is not helpful and 5 is very helpful. A few of their comments follow:

Participating in the competition was great training and experience for me.
The judges feedback on my submission was concrete and provided value.
The feedback helped us to reshape our pitch deck in terms of the business model.
The best advice I received was, While my idea may make sense to me, I need to find out how it
would make sense to others (customers, investors). Input for others is vital in structuring your idea.
What you think the customer wants may not be what the customer actually needs. Investors are
looking for a return on their investment so your idea needs to show how it would benefit them.
The best thing I learned was, Everything related to Lean Startup methodology. I found a lot of new
ideas because I went out to my customers.

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Key Statistics for top 13 VentureOut Finalist apps

100
38
1.7M
$30K
$930K

People employed by the 13


VentureOut Finalists ventures
of those employees are women
Downloads
Average monthly revenue
Entrepreneurs watching TechConnect from CC Hub Nigeria

Total funding raised

Milestones of VentureOut for enabler organizations


The following VentureOut program milestones were achieved through working with local enablers:
Seven of eight local enablers hosted a viewing site for the virtual broadcast TechConnect
VentureOut
All enablers have hosted or plan to host internationalization events
Six of eight enabler organizations participated in a capacitation webinar with an interactive
discussion led by Dr. Chuck Eesley, Assistant Professor at Stanford University.

Online Presence and Branding


The VentureOut Challenges online presence was marked via a dedicated website, Twitter account and
Facebook Page. Below are the links to VentureOut online pages and some statistics associated with the
social media:
680+ likes on Facebook
220+ Twitter followers, with 630+ Tweets on Twitter
Live Blog of VentureOut event in Moldova

Mentorship during VentureOut Finalist event in Moldova

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Knowledge Management
Knowledge management was comprised of THREE
major deliverables including:
Case studies of technology startups from three
different regions- the Caribbean, Eastern
Europe and Africa that can be used for
educational purposes by local enabler
organizations;
The Organizational Tool Kit and
Internationalization Strategy Content; and
Monitoring and evaluation output to inform
program organizers of future programs.

Participants filling out surveys at Moldova VentureOut


event.

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I. Introduction
Program Background
On August 2, 2013, CRDF Global was selected by infoDev to serve as the Global Expert and Project
Coordinator of VentureOut. VentureOut is a partnership between infoDev and CRDF Global to propel
expansion-ready mobile entrepreneurs into international markets. The CRDF Global team created and
launched the VentureOut Challenge, coordinating with eight local enabler organizations in eight
countries to recruit applicants and promote the competition. CRDF Global also enlisted speakers and
mentors for the program, and built the VentureOut brand online through Facebook and Twitter. The
program ran from August 2013 to January 2014 and engaged hundreds of entrepreneurs through handson training, virtual learning opportunities, mentorship, international exposure, and seed funding.
Entrepreneurs came from enabler organizations, which are local technology community partners,
located in eight countries: Armenia, Jamaica, Kenya, Macedonia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and
Trinidad & Tobago.

VentureOut Partners
About infoDev - infoDev is a global partnership program within The World Bank
Group. Its Mobile Innovation Program supports growth-oriented mobile app
businesses by enabling entrepreneurship, building mobile innovation
communities, and researching the app economy of emerging and frontier markets. www.infodev.org
About CRDF Global - Founded in 1995, CRDF Global is an independent nonprofit
organization that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration through
grants, technical resources, training and services. www.crdfglobal.org

VentureOut Enabler Organizations


Armenia: mLab ECA @ Enterprise Incubator Foundation
www.eif.am and www.mLabECA.com
Mariam Davtyan, mariam.davtyan[@]eif.am
Serving: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine
and Uzbekistan
Kenya: mLab East Africa
mlab.co.ke
John Kieti, john[at]mlab.co.ke
Serving: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Nigeria:CC Hub Nigeria


www.cchubnigeria.com
Tunji Eleso, tunji[at]cchubnigeria.com
Serving: Nigeria
South Africa: mLab South Africa
mlab.co.za
Derrick Kotze, derrick[at]mlab.co.za
Serving: South Africa

Jamaica: ConnectiMass
www.ConnectiMass.com
Ingrid Riley, ingrid[@]connectimass.com
Serving: Jamaica

Macedonia: Youth Entreprenerial Service (YES) Foundation


http://www.yesincubator.org.mk; Akeksandar Filiposki,
aleksandar.filiposki[at]yes.org.mk
Serving: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech
Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland,
Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Senegal: CTIC Dakar
www.cticdakar.com
Yann LeBeux, yann.lebeux[at]cticdakar.com
Serving: Senegal
Trinidad & Tobago: The Enterprise Hub
http://www.enterprise-hub.com/
Nigel Roach, info[at]enterprise-hub.com
Serving: Trinidad & Tobago

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II. Program Components and Modules


VentureOut Challenge
VentureOuts central component was a competition called the VentureOut Challenge. This competition
was open to startup and early stage mobile app developers. The top entrepreneurs were then selected
from the applicant pool based on the strengths demonstrated in their submissions including the team
and mobile apps track record of success, and internationalization plan they had created for introducing
their mobile app to new markets. The competition motivated the enabler organizations to provide
training and mentorship for its entrepreneurs to prepare the applicants for success, incentivized
entrepreneur participation in communicating their business and creating strategies to internationalize,
and provided a process for business experts to share relevant venture-related feedback with the
competition entrants. For this competition, the VentureOut Challenge has:
Trained applicants on how to complete the application for the Challenge competition with
virtual materials and a live webinar led by Scott Gillespie on August 30, 2013. Hear Audio >>
Offered a scholarship to TechCrunchs Disrupt Europe via partnership with TechCrunch
Received 113 submissions from 19 countries
Collected feedback from 23 judges (three judges rated each submission)
Delivered judges feedback anonymously to all VentureOut Challenge participants
Figure 1: Process of VentureOut Competition
Amazing mobile app
developers submit their
Internationalization
Executive Summaries

Seasoned entrepreneurs &


investors judge
submissions and provide
feedback

24 Semifinalists selected: 6
from Caribbean, 10 from
Africa, and 8 from Eastern
Europe & Central Asia

13 Semifinalists selected to
travel to Moldova: 3 from
Caribbean, 5 from Africa,
and 5 from Eastern Europe
& Central Asia

Seasoned entrepreneurs &


investors judge
submissions and provide
feedback

Semifinalists receive
mentorship and training to
improve their submissions.

Three $10K awards


distributed

2 months of mentorship
for all finalists via
LaunchPad Central

Seasoned entrepreneurs &


investors judge pitches in
Moldova

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TechConnect VentureOut
TechConnect is a series of interactive videoconferences that bring great entrepreneurial minds together
to spark the creation of new technology ventures to address specific societal problems and market
opportunities. The VentureOut edition of TechConnect focused on internationalizing entrepreneurs
mobile apps and the steps an entrepreneur can take in order to bring their app to new markets. Topics
discussed included user acquisition tips, marketing the power of your app, the importance of social
media encourage downloads, and more. A visual summary of the topics discussed during the
TechConnect is available on the following two pages. 386 online viewers from 23 countries joined in for
this event in addition to the 124 viewers who joined in live from eight viewing sites in seven countries.
The TechConnect created a community environment to learn from experts, and announced those who
would be headed into the next round. Seven of the eight enabler organizations held viewing sites:
386 unique web visits from 23 countries during TechConnect VentureOut
124 viewers joined live at eight viewing sites in seven countries
Table 1: Distribution of viewers by Country
South Africa, Johannesburg
South Africa, Cape Town
Lagos, Nigeria
Trinidad & Tobago

15 viewers
15 viewers
17 viewers
10 viewers

Senegal
Jamaica
Macedonia
Armenia

10 viewers
22 signed up to view online
20 viewers
15 viewers

Video of the TechConnect has been posted online for viewing:


mms://wbmswebcast1.worldbank.org/FIE/2013-09-7/FIEID_Tech_Connect.asf

Entrepreneurs at mLab South Africa watching VentureOut TechConnect

--The audience really loved hearing from experts they would


otherwise not have access to. Lots of questions and engagement
followed post the broadcast. Also a little bit of a competitive spirit
was born to grow fast and possibly qualify for similar future
challenges. Derrick Kotze of mLab South Africa

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Figure 2: Mind Map created from TechConnect VentureOut

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Mind Map from TechConnect VentureOut continued:

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Virtual Training
Webinars were an important vehicle to share knowledge associated with mobile app business
development skills and information about going global. The virtual training was offered to all 113 who
had applied to the VentureOut Challenge. As such, the attendance rate was high, with 36 (32% of the
113) people attending the first webinar, and 28 (25% of the 113) people attending the second webinar.
Internationalization Webinar
On Monday, September 23, 2013, 36 entrepreneurs from a diverse number of countries joined the
internationalization webinar during which Mr. Augie Rakow, a Corporate Attorney with Orrick's
Emerging Companies Group in Silicon Valley, answered entrepreneurs questions about bringing their
businesses to new geographies. The webinar covered a wide range of topics, including:
When to create a presence in the USA
How to protect your ideas
What type of businesses should use patents and how to identify which type of business you
have
Financial concerns such as taxation and bank accounts in the US market, and
Setting up business in the USA: Why Delaware?
The webinar recording can be accessed here

Mento
rship
Kickoff
Webin
ar
On
Thursd
ay,
Octobe
r 10, 2013, Mr. Jim Chung, Director of the Entrepreneurship Center at George Washington University,
led a workshop focused on applying Lean Startup Methodology in domestic and international contexts.
This webinar was offered to entrepreneurs and mentors, as the mentorship that VentureOut finalists
would receive would be centered around seeking new markets internationally using Lean Startup as a
means to gain market knowledge, create a plan and expand. The webinar targeted the top 13
entrepreneurs who received mentorship during the month preceding and following the finalist event in
Moldova. The webinar was also opened to all of the entrepreneurs within the VentureOut Community.
28 participants joined the event. The webinar recording can be accessed here.
Entrepreneurs from Macedonia and Nigeria tune in for TechConnect VentureOut

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Mentorship
Mentorship is a key component of VentureOut. As the mentorship began one month prior to the event
in Moldova, the top 13 entrepreneurs received advice from mentors before heading into the final
pitching room. The mentorship platform Launch Pad Central was used by mentorship teams, allowing
entrepreneurs to create and virtually share their business model canvases with their mentors.
LaunchPad Central served as a starting point for the mentorship as mentors could quickly understand
how the entrepreneurs thought about their businesses, and more efficiently make suggestions to the
entrepreneurs.

Mentorship Process
The process was comprised of three hours of mentorship that were offered from October 15 through
January 31, 2014.
Preparation of mentors: Mentors received a mentorship plan that included a description of the Lean
Startup Methodology and LaunchPad Central, suggestions for topics to cover during mentorship,
and a set of learning outcomes. During the initial meeting, mentors were introduced to the venture,
discussed where the entrepreneurs should improve their messaging, and how this could translate
into a better pitch for internationalization at the VentureOut Challenge finals event.
Preparation of mentees: Mentees were briefed on the Lean Startup Methodology by Mr. Steve
Blank, a serial entrepreneur and Founder of the Lean Startup Methodology, via Udacity courses
online. Entrepreneurs then constructed their business model canvases, which were used as a central
place to share their business ideas and operations with their mentors. Mentees were encouraged to
schedule the mentors meetings and keep track of the notes and actions they would take via
LaunchPad Central.

Online presence and branding


The VentureOut Challenges online presence was marked via a dedicated website, Twitter account and
Facebook Page. Below are the links to VentureOut online pages and some statistics associated with the
social media:
680+ likes on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/VentureOutChallenge
220+ Twitter followers, with 630+ Tweets https://www.facebook.com/VentureOutChallenge
Live Blog of VentureOut event in Moldova
http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/

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Working with local enabler organizations
Local enabler organizations are in-country technology partners that were key to the success of
VentureOut. Their outreach to the entrepreneur-applicants was personal and engaging. The
communities that they build and sustain on the ground is a true asset that enabled the VentureOut
program to reach hundreds of entrepreneurs. The Enterprise Hub of Trinidad & Tobago mentioned that
at both events they hosted for VentureOut (the VentureOut Challenge Outreach event and the
TechConnect VentureOut), participants were very engaged and many of them stayed after the
scheduled program for hours to discuss plans for building their ventures and the entrepreneurial
ecosystems in their country. Milestones of the VentureOut Program in enabler organizations countries
include:
All local enablers confirmed local mentorship for the top 24 semi-finalists;
All enablers received internationalization content materials and hosted, or plan to host,
internationalization events
Six of eight enabler organizations participated in a capacitation webinar with an interactive
discussion led by Dr. Chuck Eesley, Assistant Professor at Stanford University.
Figure 3: VentureOut Partner Logos

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Conference: Supporting Access to International Markets for Startups &


SMEs
The 13 VentureOut Challenge finalists who were selected through two rounds of judging, gathered in
Chisinau, Moldova, on October 2013 for a three-day conference that was focused on skill set
development, networking, mentorship and pitching. These finalists were mobile app entrepreneurs who
were selected by judges during the VentureOut Challenge competition. During the course of the event,
over 100 members from the Moldovan entrepreneurial community came together including
entrepreneurs, incubator organizers, local government officials, community volunteers, and members of
the press. Around 25 of the participants were startup entrepreneurs who joined for all three days of the
training. Day One featured regional leaders from incubation and accelerator programs who shared best
practices from their work. Days Two and Three focused on entrepreneurship trainings, engaging
participants in a series of seminars on practical skills in a variety of areas, ranging from creating a
business plan, business model, and pitch, to tips for monetizing mobile apps, and leadership activities.
Day Two featured one-on-one mentoring, where each VentureOut finalist received a 45-minute
mentorship. The entrepreneurs also worked on improving their pitches based on the training and
feedback received during mentorship sessions. The highlight of the Day Three was the pitching
competition where finalists presented their mobile apps.

VentureOut finalists, speakers and organizers

View from the panelists table in Moldova Finals event

Please see Annex 3 for the agenda of the three-day event in Moldova or here for a complete evaluation
report of the VentureOut event in Moldova.

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Internationalization events hosted by enabler organizations
The internationalization curriculum was developed to guide enablers to host internationalization events
for their communities. Six of eight enabler organizations hosted events between December 2013 and
February 2014. These events, hosted in six countries, engaged a total of 122 entrepreneurs. The other
two enablers plan to host events in March. Details from each of the events are available below:
YES Macedonia
YES Foundation of Macedonia hosted an internationalization event on December 25, 2013 for an
audience of 16 entrepreneurs. Aleksandar Filiposki, the organizer for the event, noted that The
materials provided were used for the training and the structure of the presentation is really well defined
and all aspects when penetrating new markets were addressed. The group was really interactive and
were discussing almost every step of the process.
mLab East Africa
mLab East Africa hosted the internationalization event on
January 9, 2014 for an audience of 15 entrepreneurs. It is
important to ensure you gain the product/market fit at
home first before entering new markets, says Agosta Liko,
the CEO and Founder of Pesa Pal who was presenting
during the event. Cynthia Ndeti, the organizer at mLab East
Africa said, Participants were excited and appreciated the
information they were given. They found this very helpful.
mLab East Africa hosts an internationalization event

CTIC Dakar
CTIC Dakar hosted a focused event about internationalization on February 28, 2014. Four entrepreneurs
participated, but although the group was small, the participants were focused in their purpose. Yann
LeBeux, organizer with CTIC Dakar cites that the entrepreneurs had very interesting discussions since
all of their companies already had international plans. He goes on to note that learning about a
structured mobile app internationalization process has been the most valuable part of CTIC Dakar
teaming up with VentureOut.
mLab South Africa
mLab South Africa hosted an internationalization event on January 17, 2014 to an audience of over 20
entrepreneurs. Justin Coetzee, CEO and Founder of GoMetro and also a finalist in the VentureOut
Challenge, was a facilitator in the event. Derrick Kotze, the organizer for mLab South Africa, said of the
event, It was an interesting experience for us to see how the conversation moved completely off the
provided or planned content to direct peer engagement. There was a lot more interest in the local
teams and their stories around the topic than in international case studies. Also more interest in
internationalizing into Africa than other global markets. A webpage about the event can be seen at:
http://www.mlab.co.za/internationalization-mobile-apps/

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CC Hub Nigeria
CC Hub Nigeria hosted the internationalization event on January 17, 2014 for an audience of 17
entrepreneurs. Tolu Agunbiade, the organizer said, The interactive platform and the activity sessions
made them more open and vocal about concerns they had about internationalization and their startups.
They were very excited about the event and all of them went back fulfilled. A webpage announcing the
event is available here.

CCHub Nigeria hosts an internationalization event

mLab ECA
The Internationalization of Mobile Apps - Mobile Monday Yerevan event was held on February 3, 2014
at AEON anticafe. Around 50 representatives of mobile community, mobile application developers,
telecoms, mobile operators, entrepreneurs and tech students attended the event. During the event
entrepreneurs discussed issues related to when and how to go international. The participants also highly
appreciated short presentations by Lionsharp Solutions, Idram and Moveo Technologies startups, which
shared their experience concerning internationalization. Gevorg Poghosyan of Idram Mobile Wallet, who
attended the VentureOut conference in Moldova on behalf of his startup app team, was present and
gave a small testimonial at the event as well. An article about the event is available here, and photos are
available here.

mLab ECA hosts an internationalization event

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The Enterprise Hub of Trinidad and Tobago and ConnectiMass Jamaica both plan to host their
internationalization events in March. The decision to wait until March was made as many people are
busy with carnival and attendance at events is low during February.

Knowledge Management
The VentureOut program is multifaceted, and a key component of the program is Knowledge
Management (KM). KM is the process of capturing, developing, sharing, and effectively using
organizational knowledge. In this program KM is shared in four key deliverables:
Creation of case studies of technology startups from three different regions of the Caribbean,
Eastern Europe and Africa
The Organizational Tool Kit for Internationalization
Internationalization Strategy Content Development
Monitoring and evaluation output

Creation of case studies of technology startups


These studies were requested by infoDev and show the diversity of experiences that successful
entrepreneurs have had starting and expanding tech businesses to new markets. The cases come from
the three VentureOut regions of the Caribbean, Africa and Eastern Europe & Central Asia. The case
studies are to be used by enabler organizations to start discussions and inspire entrepreneurs to take
risks. The case studies are included as material in the curriculum for internationalization that CRDF
Global developed for the VentureOut program. Mobile app case studies were created to analyze the
three following companies: Recommerce, eMedia and Cellulant. Please see Annex 4 for the case
studies. The Mobile App Case Studies, internationalization content and, logistics handbook and outreach
materials were posted on the main VentureOut website and shared via social media.

Organizational Tool Kit for Internationalization


An electronic reference tool kit was developed for entrepreneurship enabler organizations located all
over the world including mLabs, mHubs, incubators, accelerators, and mobile development and
entrepreneur community groups. The purpose of the VentureOut tool kit is to empower these
organizations around the world to help their entrepreneurs to consider bringing their mobile apps to
new geographies, and if appropriate, take action to do so. The first section of the tool kit covers content
for enablers to run an internationalization event. There are activities and an agenda for one full day of
programming that introduces and guides entrepreneurs as they develop their apps for multiple markets
and bring their apps to new countries. The next sections of the tool kit offer step by step guides for
programs ranging from startup boot camps, mentorship programs, business competitions, and
international web broadcasts; all of which engage entrepreneurs. The programs are vehicles that can be
used to deliver knowledge and guidance that will help entrepreneurs achieve professional goals. With
the basic framework, the organizer can implement many types of trainings from introducing the idea of
internationalization, to other goals such as improving business planning, forming and managing their
team, and more. The last section of the tool kit shares techniques for how to monitor and evaluate
programs, along with providing some sample surveys. All throughout the tool kit there are other sample
or template documents such as sample press releases, social media strategies and email templates. All
of this content is ready to use, develop, customize, change and implement. The library of documents can
be found via DropBox at this link. The Tool Kit PDF is available at the link below:

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https://www.dropbox.com/s/n5gjxf1ffikx35u/CRDF%20Organizing%20Tool%20Kit.pdf

Internationalization Strategy Content Development


The presentations and materials were shared with enablers. Representatives from six enabler
organizations joined in for a webinar with Chuck Eesley, Associate Professor of Management Science
and Engineering at Stanford University, to receive training and orientation on the content. This webinar
was held to prep enabler organization leaders to organize an event or workshop focusing on the topic of
internationalization in their communities. The elements of the internationalization content are:
Internationalization Workshop Agenda This sample agenda can be served as a guide on how to
present this material in the format of a full day workshop.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/woy3gmnxyt89fn1/Internationalization%20Agenda.docx
Introductory remarks from Chuck Eesley, Assistant Professor at Stanford Chuck guides the
viewers through using the curriculum in a 7 minutes video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikb3kgq1fbM
Internationalization white paper Good material for organizers to read. Organizers may also
assign entrepreneurs to read ahead of the Workshop, provide copies at the workshop, post the
paper online, and discuss sections of the paper during the workshop.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/j5y6ol6yq5m5vyj/Internationalization%20White%20Paper.docx
Internationalization PowerPoint presentations These three PowerPoint presentations can be
useful in presenting the topics during the workshop. The content and activities can be taught
during a daylong workshop, or over the course of three meetings.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/cfax0x0hlz0oeo2/Intro%20%20Internationalization%20PPT.pptx
https://www.dropbox.com/s/2l03nqn8be5ocvi/Collecting%20Market%20Feedback%20%20Internationalization%20PPT.pptx
https://www.dropbox.com/s/p1e6gu0atferwp9/Entering%20new%20market%20%20Internationalization%20PPT.pptx
Customer development interview worksheet This worksheet should be printed to accompany
the interactive activity. The worksheet includes the activity rules as well as a feedback sheet.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vah9t72k35y5muy/Customer%20Development%20Interview%20Wo
rksheet.docx
Case Studies These case studies can be discussed during the presentation of the material.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/fcwo3c3wrtgf3h8/Internationalization%20Case%20Studies.docx
The internationalization checklist This is a worksheet to keep track of the progress of
internationalization throughout and after the workshop.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/mi0iw4q5jvq1m1b/Checklist%20for%20Internationalization.docx

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III. Introduction to the VentureOut Finalists


13 VentureOut Finalists were selected from the VentureOut Challenge by a panel of judges. Three
judges rated each finalist and those scores were averaged together and the top scores from each of the
three regions of Africa, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe & Central Asia were selected. Here you will
see a comparison of key statistics of the Finalists at the time of participating in the training in Moldova
from October 2013, and then their metrics three months later in January 2014.

Baseline information collected from the top 13 participants (October 2013):

Eight of the top 13 apps are registered businesses.


Eight of 13 founders work full time on their business. Four entrepreneurs work 30 hours per
week on their business, and one works for three hours per week.
These 13 ventures had generated a total of $435,800 in funding.
The 13 ventures employ cumulatively 79 people, 35 of them are women.
Six of top 13 have revenue streams.
Of those six the average monthly income is $1,588.88.

Follow up information collected from the top 13 participants (January 2014):

Eight of the top 13 apps are registered businesses. None of the five unregistered businesses
have registered their businesses since participating in VentureOut.
Two founders have begun working on their ventures full time since participating in the
VentureOut program, so that now 10 of 13 founders work full time on their businesses. Two
entrepreneurs work 30 hours per week on their business, and one works for four hours per
week.
These 13 ventures had generated a total of $930,500 in funding; $494,700 more in funding since
participating in VentureOut.
The 13 ventures employ cumulatively 100 people (21 more than in October 2013, 38 of them
are women (3 more than in October 2013).
The same six ventures of the top 13 have revenue streams.
Of those six, the average monthly income is $1,667 in January 2014, an increase of $77.22 from
October 2013.

On the following page you will see tables that describe venture by venture the metrics that have been
collected on the 13 VentureOut Finalists mobile apps.

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Table 2: Comparison of key venture metrics during and after the VentureOut Challenge
Venture

Total Funding

Country

Oct. 2013 Jan. 2014


GoMetro
Grik.ly

South Africa
Jamaica

Senegal
Nigeria
Nigeria
Jamaica
Croatia
Azerbaijan
Kenya
Kazakhstan

TOTAL

Employees

Women
Employees

Oct.
2013

Jan.
2014

Oct.
2013

Jan.
2014

Oct.
2013

Downloads

Jan.
2014 Oct. 2013 Jan. 2014

160,000
4,500

160,000
4,000

10,000
-

10,000
-

8
-

8
5

3
-

3
-

450,000
987

1500000
2,871

24,000
10,000
10,000

24,000

15,000
500

15,000

10,000
30,000

10,000

4
3

17
3
-

17

500

27
5
3

27

21,000
10,000

50,000
10,000
40,000
300
100,000
10,000
6,000
11,000

60,000
15,000
60,000
500
540,000
10,000
15,000
11,000

2,440
500
150
-

4,000
250
250
-

10
4
4
2
2
5
3
6

10
3
5
1
8
4
3
19

6
1
2
1
2

5
1
1
5
1
3

26,000

26,000
100,000
14,500
150
2,800
24,324
20,000

435,800

930,500

28,590

30,000

79

100

35

38

620,409

IDRAM Mobile Wallet


Armenia
M.A.D.E (My App for Disasters
Trinidad
and Emergencies)
& Tobago
Manifesto
Moldova
Marodi.tv
Nearest Locator
Prowork
SweetSOA
Teddy The Guardian
Tuning Fork
Waabeh
X-Rift

Avg Monthly
Revenue

2
-

70,000
12,000
122
2,800
7,500
11,000

31,000

1,731,645

*A pink cell denotes an imputed value, assuming no change between Oct. 2013 and Jan. 2014 as data was
not available

N e ar es t Lo ca
t or

P ro w or k

S w ee tS O A

X -R if t

M ar o di .t v

W a ab eh

M an if es to

T un in g F o rk

M .A . D . E

T ed d y T he
G ua rd ia n

I D R A M M ob
ile W a lle t

G oM et ro

R e s ults

G ri k . ly

Table 3: VentureOut Finalists achievements

T o ta l

Access to Finance
Personal funding
Friends and family
Angel Investors
Grants / Seed Funding

>$215000
$50000
$100000
$145,000

50
40
38

>750,000
>$30,000 / month

Jo b Creatio n
Full Time Jobs
Part Time Jobs
Jobs for Women

Market Validatio n
Downloads
Revenues

The following section includes detailed qualitative stories from one VentureOut global mentors as well
as success stories about six of the thirteen VentureOut Finalists. Additionally, you can find profiles on
the remaining seven of the VentureOut Finalists in Annex 6.

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Mentor Testimonial
Mark Thirman, Vice President, Indirect Channels, M2M Americas, Vodafone Group
Enterprise, Inc.
Mark Thirman was paired with Daniel Tonkopiy of X-Rift. Mark has over 25 years of
experience in executive, business development, and sales roles gathered in a broad
range of telephony, infrastructure, networking, and computer companies, which he
was able to share with Daniel Tonkopiy.
I had the opportunity to work with a great entrepreneur, Daniel Tonkopiy, of X-Rift. He is from the Ukraine, which
Im sure youre aware is very much in the news these days. While many of our entrepreneurs are from emerging
markets with difficulties, I fear that things are so unsettled in that region, that Daniel and his company will benefit
from further opportunities outside his home region.

While working with Tonkopiy, Thirman shared that Daniels biggest improvement has been that he now
adds, more detail to his pitch, understanding the need to tell a story, be succinct, understanding that
the product is important, but the business is the thing being discussed.
Furthermore, Daniel and I have remained in touch since the end of the mentorship period, which is another sign of
an entrepreneur worthy of further consideration and support. I act as a guest lecturer on occasion at MIT Sloan and
Tufts, and one of the hallmarks of Sloan students is their ability to network and follow up. Daniel would fit right in
with any of the Sloanies, with his skill set.

Thirman also sends a warm message to VentureOut: This was a great program. Thank you for including
me in this!

Entrepreneur Success Stories


Teddy the Guardian
Ana Burica and Josipa Majic, Croatia
Category: Health
Josipa Majic and Ana Burica, co-founders of Teddy the Guardian, are the recent
winners of the 2013 VentureOut Challenge, which was sponsored by CRDF
Global and infoDev. As a result of the teams fantastic performance, the team
was selected to attend TechCrunchs Disrupt Europe event on October 26-29,
2013 in Berlin, Germany. CRDF Global also decided to sponsor medical device
startup Teddy the Guardian during the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 7-10,
2014.
Developed in Croatia, Teddy the Guardian is an individually designed plush teddy bear with built-in
medical sensors that track a child's vital signs and send recorded values wirelessly to a physician or
parents tablet or web application. Teddy the Guardian is focused on supporting parents, children and
physicians in making the medical care process happier and less stressful.
In todays global economy, the ability to solve problems requires not only innovation, but
determination, CRDF Global Senior Vice President John Hurley said. Teddy the Guardian embodies the

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type of innovation we strive to support at CRDF Global. With an entrepreneurial spirit, it bridges the gap
between children, their families and medical providers, which is very innovative and valuable.
During the event in Moldova Ana stated, We developed broader perspective on employment and
fundraising issues and gained some relevant insight from mentors like Amir and Augie, especially.
Before and after the VentureOut event in Moldova, the team received mentorship from Andres Blank,
the founder of Pixable - one of the biggest photo apps in the mobile space with almost 10 million
downloads before selling to SingTel for $26.5M in 2012. Blank said that during the mentorship, I'm
helping them mainly with a fundraising strategy and I believe it has improved.
The team feels that Blank has been very helpful in developing and advancing our business goals and
strategies. Ana has reports that talks with mentor are more illustrative and to the point. We really
appreciate dedication that has been delivered from the organization team, are very grateful for the
mentors you chose due to their extensive experience and very helpful advice that we could apply to our
specific case.

Furthermore, the team reports that participating in VentureOut has helped them access people in
new markets. As a result of some of the contacts they have made, Teddy the Guardian established
its presence in even more market niches than they had originally planned. Their team of
extraordinary PhD level engineers, experts and partners from CEE region, Western Europe and the
States are ready to deliver Teddy the Guardian which they believe will redefine the medical
industry.

Waabeh
King Ori Maina and Jeff Maina, Kenya
Category: Entertainment/Games
https://waabeh.com
Waabeh is Africas audio market for music, audiobooks and podcasts
available on the Web, as an Android app and Nokia Windows 8 app. The
venture helps people discover new and vintage African sounds. Two of
three co-founders of Waabeh, brother duo Jeff (the teams front-end
developer) and Kingori (the teams CTO) of Kenya, traveled to Moldova
together as a part of VentureOut Challenge. Before attending the event in Moldova, the team had
already reported that VentureOut provided them with crucial knowledge. Jeff reports, The whole
business model & lean startup canvas model; the entire lesson in the Udacity course was great! Kingori
was looking forward to the VentureOut event Moldova to learn how to present and pitch the business.
The team was paired up with mentor Scott Hartley, who is a Venture Capitalist in mobile and consumer
electronics with Mohr Davidson. Over three meetings with Scott Hartley, Kingori indeed reported that
Scott helped the Waabeh team improve on the pitch and use the time given well. Scott noted that the
team has improved on their ability to articulate simply and clearly the problem statement and solution
they are offering, and that hell definitely keep in touch with the team in the future. Kingori reported

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that since being involved with VentureOut, the team has been able to scale and expand their business
and that they can attribute some of this growth from the lessons they had learnt from the event in
Moldova.

Nearest Locator
Ayoola Ajebeku, Nigeria
Category: Navigation
www.getnearest.com
Nearest Locator is a mobile application that helps you locate nearest points of
interest; like banks, ATMs, hospitals, filling station, interesting events and where
to get products at reduced prices. All this information is even more crucial in
emerging economies as data from larger providers is often inaccurate for developing markets. Ayoola
has reported, The number of downloads we have has increased greatly, from just 200 to over 61000,
from October 2012-October 2013. Ayoola was a great contender in VentureOut as his app was already
going global. As Ayoola notes, Our initial market was Nigeria, but today we have active users from
India, Ghana, and Kenya.
For the VentureOut mentorship program, Ayoola Ajebeku was matched with Alex Bashian a Senior
Investment Manager for Invested Development, which is an impact investment fund manager investing
in seed-stage, for-profit social enterprises with innovative solutions to poverty in mobile technology and
alternative energy that serve emerging markets. Alex shared with us the details of the mentorship
conversations, I have offered guidance on critical issues as the company develops and emphasized that
the questions must be clear and concise and well thought out. Alex noted that Ayoola had gained
longer term thinking and improved understanding of the value proposition and revenue model, during
the conversations that Ayoola and Alex had together.
Ayoola feels enlightened by his mentor saying, He has given us great insight into what investors are
really looking out for whenever we apply for funding. With the help of Alex, I now know how investors
think and that has helped improved my pitch deck. We recently got $5000 grant from a local venture
capitalist, thanks to improvement of our pitch deck. As a result of his participation in VentureOut,
Ayoola now believes that the business model is as important as the product itself. Today Nearest
Locator counts over 180,000 downloads and preinstalls and they are expanding from Android to other
mobile platforms like iOS, Windows Phone and Nokia X.

Marodi TV
Jimmy Kumako, Senegal
Category: Entertainment/games
http://www.marodi.tv
Jimmy Kumako is the Mobile Project Manager at MarodiTV, a company based
in Senegal that streams African content online and on mobile phones. Before
coming to VentureOut Challenge event in Moldova, Jimmy noted that
MarodiTV had experienced growth from 500000 page views to 1 million page

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views per month. Just prior to attending VentureOut Challenge, the company had launched its mobile
app, bringing the desktop experience of MarodiTV to mobile phones.
For mentorship, Jimmy was paired with Anju Aggarwal, Associate Director of Mobile Financial Services at
LeapFrog Investments, a company that invests in high-growth companies in Africa and Asia. Anju shares,
They became much more informed on what should go into an investor presentation and pitch and
followed a number of my steps such as an elevator pitch and structuring an investor presentation. I've
let them know I am always available and open to them bouncing ideas off me, asking for my help on
presentations, making intros or more.
Jimmy shares that Participating in VentureOut helped us realize our potential. It also helped us get out
of technical matters and think more business. Jimmy found the mentorship very helpful. The mentor
helped us to get prepared for meeting investors. In the mentorship process, I learned how to present
the venture to an investor by focusing on the appropriate points. Investors have specific areas of
interests that we must address correctly. Jimmys biggest take away has been the importance of a
well-defined and tested business canvas, and that a startup is not a smaller model of a bigger company.
As of March 2014, MarodiTV has more than 30,000 downloads combined from iOS and Android stores,
and more than 40% of its users come from mobile, as opposed to only 20% in October 2013.

X-Rift
Daniel Tonkopiy, Ukraine
Category: Entertainment/games
www.x-rift.com
Daniel Tonkopiy is a serial entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of X-Rift, he
previously founded best.ua (the Yelp for Ukraine), and co-founded adlog.tv
(video search on TV, "google for TV"), chudocard.com.ua (coalition loyalty
program), mp.kz (procurement system) and others. Tonkopiys X-Rift is an augmented reality game that
is the first of its kind, with the development team based in Ukraine. The concept was inspired by the
game Ingress that integrates mobile technology into group gaming. After creating the first version of XRift in February 2013, the team began showcasing X-Rift to many people in the gaming industry and
community, and they found strong interest to try out the game from everyone from designers,
programmers. Ingress players in particular were interested to try it out.
Throughout 2013, X-Rift has been networking, entering, and placing very high in competitions including
the Best Mobile App Game in Europe and Central Asia and taking 2nd place in CRDF Globals Science and
Technology Entrepreneurship Programs IT Startup Boot Camp in Lviv of Western Ukraine. In October of
2013, X-Rift participated in VentureOut and was one of the top 5 mobile apps from Eastern Europe and
Central Asia who was invited to participate in the finals event in Moldova and receive 3 months of
mentorship via the program.
Tonkopiy met two mentors David Kirsch, a professor of business at of University of Maryland and Mark
Thirman, a Vice President at Vodafone via the VentureOut program. Tonkopiy subsequently won a
contest hosted by the government of Kazakhstan which sent him and four other Kazakhstani
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entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, CA for two weeks. These two introduced Tonkopiy to
many valuable connections in Silicon Valley. The mentors that Tonkopiy met during VentureOut were
valuable allies that helped him maximize the benefits of the business development trip to the USA.
Tonkopiy highlights, Mark Thirman helped every day while I was in the U.S. via emails and Skype.
David Hirsch introduced Tonkopiy to staff from a couple of game studios with whom Daniel was able to
set up meetings during his time in California. These introductions helped X-Rift find a potential partner
for publishing their game and Tonkopiy is discussing the next steps to take in that relationship.
The most valuable part of working with VentureOut has been the mentors, connections and network,
says Tonkopiy. When sharing advice with other entrepreneurs, Tonkopiy is resolute: When
entrepreneurs work with mentors, they should always ask about relevant contacts for their projects.
Contacts are the most relevant resource for new startups. There are some problems we as
entrepreneurs can solve with money, but contacts, you cannot get by sitting in the office. The most
powerful thing Ive received from participating in VentureOut and other tech development programs are
new friends, and colleagues.
The X-Rift team is currently working on the second version of X-Rift and plans to have a Kickstarter
campaign in 2014.

M.A.D.E. - My App for Disasters and Emergencies


Ade Inniss-King and Elisia Madonna Corrian, Trinidad & Tobago
Category: Safety
M.A.D.E. is a Caribbean based startup that creates value for its users by
effectively delivering actionable, location-specific information about natural
disasters and emergencies. The Caribbean has its fair share of natural
disasters, so there is a market for the app. In 2012 Trinidad & Tobago
experienced flash flooding that caused over US $15 million in damages in Diego Martin. In Haiti, a 7.0
magnitude earthquake struck in 2010, resulting in at least US $8 billion in damages and left hundreds of
thousands dead. It connects those in need directly with first responders and disaster response
coordinators, enabling them to optimally allocate resources, something greatly lacking in the Caribbean.
The project director, Ade Inniss-King has fifteen years of experience at Kronus Geological Services
Limited, a geological consultancy operating in Trinidad and Tobago whose major clients include Centrica
Energy, BG T&T, BHP Billiton, and Repsol YPF.
The VentureOut mentorship program has been instrumental in helping the MADE team decide on a
specific business plan. Of the support she has received Inniss-King said, Ovidiu Bujorean [Senior Project
Manager at CRDF Global] and Simon Obstbaum [Founder of the IT firm YOPESO and a mentor at VO
Challenge] were particularly useful in giving us global insight on how to grow our startup. Santiago
Tenorio, our mentor, continues to act as a sounding board for new ideas and is kept up-to-date with
latest developments. His input has been invaluable. One of the most important principles the MADE
team has learned under mentorship is the idea to, as Ade says, Nail it, then scale it.

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Another valuable lesson MADE has learned is to not focus on what they as a team think is a good idea,
but to focus on the people they are making their product for. Designing for the customer is the only way
to make demand sustainable. Under the supervision of mentors, the staff of MADE hosted a Startup
Weekend event in Trinidad and Tobago, the first event of its kind. Not only is MADE a force in their own
field, but they are seeking to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem for the whole Caribbean region.
Since participating in the Venture Out program, MADE has:
Extended their professional networks regionally
Established meaningful relationships with two local insurance companies who signalled
their intent to advertise on the platform
Completed the alpha build prototype on the Windows Phone 8 platform
Scheduled a Beta release for May 1st, 2014
Not only has mentorship allowed for these things to happen, but the whole MADE team has expressed
their deepened understanding of the benefits of mentorship and is committed to maintaining
mentorship relationships for the entirety of their time in business.

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IV. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)


Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are key program components of Knowledge Management that assure
transparency, quality control, monitor program progress, address problem areas during the course of a
programs lifespan, and evaluate short-term, intermediate and long-term outcomes of VentureOut.
Below we present our methodology of M&E and our findings.

VentureOut Mixed Methods of Measuring Results


A mixed methods approach to collecting and analyzing the qualitative and quantitative data was
employed. The use of mixed methods allowed the triangulation of data collection and the provision of
multiple lines of evidence of program successes and/or shortfalls. A participatory, collaborative
approach seeking input from all stakeholders was used to bring together data points that illustrate the
achievements of VentureOut. A listing of the mixed-methods approach used in VentureOut is visually
presented below.
Figure 4: Components of VentureOuts M&E Approach

VentureOut's Mixed
Method Approach
Review of competition
applications

On-Site: observations, feedback from


program participants, finalists, mentors and
enablers, informal interviews

Surveys of the enablers; end-ofevent evaluation

Participatory
monitoring and
evaluation
Baseline & end-of-program
surveys with partcipants

The following types of evaluations were conducted during the course of the program:
A survey of all 113 applicants was conducted via Google with 16 responses, constituting a
14% response rate.
A baseline survey was conducted via SurveyMonkey with the Top 24 participants to collect
information on their venture startups and to seek their feedback on the on-going trainings.
21 participants responded to the survey, constituting an 87.5% response rate.
A follow-up survey was conducted with the Top 13 entrepreneurs via SurveyMonkey to
collect information on participants experience with the mentorship and its usefulness for
making positive changes in their business ventures (11 of 13 responded with an 85%
response rate).
A comparative analysis of the top 13 finalists and 11 semi-finalists VentureOut Submissions
was conducted to analyze strengths and weaknesses of the submissions to determine
concrete ways that curriculum, mentorship and training might address weaknesses.
An end-of-event evaluation of the Moldova Boot Camp Participants, a hard copy survey, was
conducted and the final evaluation report of the Moldova conference was written.

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A survey was conducted with VO Mentors via Survey Monkey two months after the event to
understand their satisfaction with the mentorship, seek feedback to improve the program
and explore their willingness to stay in touch with their mentees; eight of 13 mentors
responded, constituting a 61.5% response rate.
A survey with enabler organizations was conducted via Survey Monkey at the end of the
program; 100% (eight of eight) in-country enablers responded to the survey.

Feedback through in-person communication was also solicited by CRDF Global team from all
stakeholders, including mentors, participants, finalists and enabler organizations. The results based on
data collected from each group is located in the Lessons Learned and Recommendation section in this
report.

A Four-Level Model Approach to Measuring Results


A four-level model of measuring results is employed to quantify the VentureOut-related benefits as well
as measuring success of the program as a whole. These levels are illustrated below:
Level 1: Satisfaction: Was VentureOut and its multifaceted components and modules valuable
and beneficial for participants and enablers? Did the program deliver expected outcomes? Did
VentureOut meet participants and enablers professional goals and expectations?
Level 2: Knowledge Gains: Did the program encourage subject-related knowledge gains? Does
the program encourage a realistic plan to use the knowledge?
Level 3: Behavioral Change (anticipated outcomes): Will participants use their new knowledge
and experience to benefit their ventures? Will enablers apply new knowledge to strengthen
their organizations and provide further support to entrepreneurs as well as to encourage new
startups? What are the major areas of new knowledge application?
Level 4: Institutional Change & Sustainability of Effort (anticipated outcomes): Will VentureOut
result in internationalizing mobile apps, ventures growth, new job creation, new funding
obtained? What regional and international contacts and linkages have participants built as a
result of VentureOut? Will VentureOut encourage new initiatives in each participating county
and the regions?
Figure 5: A Four-Level Model of Measuring Program Results
Level 4: Sustainability of Effort
Has VentureOut resulted in internationalizing mobile apps, venture growth,
new job creation, new funding obtained, new regional & international
contacts & linkages?
Level 3: Behavioral Change
Have participants used their new knowledge and experience to benefit their
ventures? Have enablers applied new knowledge gained?
Level 2: Knowledge Gains
Did the program encourage subject-related knowledge gains? Is the
knowledge actionable?
Level 1: Satisfaction
Was the VentureOut project-related activity/training beneficial and dit it
produce the expected outcomes?

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V. Summary of Findings
Results of the Four-Level Approach
Below we will explore a summary of findings as they relate to the four level approach.
Level 1: Satisfaction: Was VentureOut and its multifaceted components and modules valuable and
beneficial for participants and enablers? Did the program deliver expected outcomes? Did VentureOut
meet participants and enablers professional goals and expectations?
Over 90% of participants at the VentureOut Finalist Event found all sessions at the event
valuable or very valuable.
Participants rated the judges feedback on their submissions at an average score of 4.13, a score
between very helpful and extremely helpful
All eight enablers reported acquiring new ideas and skills as a result of participating in
VentureOut
Level 2: Knowledge Gains: Did the program encourage subject-related knowledge gains? Is the
knowledge actionable?
18 of 20 VentureOut semi-finalist and finalist respondents reported learning useful knowledge
during VentureOut in the baseline survey
13 of 13 VentureOut semi-finalist and finalist respondents reported either creating or improving
their internationalization plan as a result of being involved with VentureOut
Level 3: Behavioral Change (anticipated outcomes): Will participants use their new knowledge and
experience to benefit their ventures? Will enablers apply new knowledge to strengthen their
organizations and provide further support to entrepreneurs as well as to encourage new startups?
What are the major areas of new knowledge application?
10 of 11 VentureOut finalists reported that VentureOut has improved their professional skills
and helped them improve their venture pitch
The majority of VentureOut finalists reported that VentureOut has empowered them to improve
outreach to customers, form key connections and networks and make key operating decisions
6 of 8 enabler organizations have hosted internationalization events, showing they have already
put to use the knowledge on internationalization that has been developed
Level 4: Institutional Change & Sustainability of Effort (anticipated outcomes): Will VentureOut result
in internationalizing mobile apps, ventures growth, new job creation, new funding obtained? What
regional and international contacts and linkages have participants built as a result of VentureOut? Will
VentureOut encourage new initiatives in each participating county and the regions?
The Enterprise Hub Nigeria, mLab South Africa have given indications that they will incorporate
internationalization into their future programming
2 of 11 VentureOut finalist respondents have reported entering 3 new markets by investing
$5,000 USD and employing an additional 5 people resulting in 70,000 more downloads and a
growth in revenue of $10,000 USD
11 VentureOut finalists reported making a total of 77 strategic connections via VentureOut

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The 13 VentureOut finalist ventures reported to employ 100 people in March 2014, up from 79
people reported in October 2013

Feedback on participation in VentureOut


As VentureOut is designed to inspire the mobile app entrepreneurial community to internationalize their
innovations, all 113 applicants who applied to participate in the VentureOut community were invited to
share information about the application procedure and helpfulness of the feedback received from the
judges. Of this group, 16 respondents responded, and all of these respondents shared that the written
feedback they received from the VentureOut judges about their submissions was either helpful or very
helpful. They ranked the feedback helpfulness with an average score of 4.13, using a scale from 1 to 5,
where 1 is not helpful and 5 is very helpful. Many of these respondents offered detailed comments,
including the following quotes:

Participating in the competition was great training and experience for me.
The judges feedback on my submission was concrete and provided value.
The judges made clear what I was feeling deep down about my business.
The feedback helped us to reshape our pitch deck in terms of the business model.
The best advice I received was While my idea may make sense to me, I need to find out how it would make sense
to others (customers, investors). Input for others is vital in structuring your idea. What you think the customer
wants may not be what the customer actually needs. Investors are looking for a return on their investment so
your idea needs to show how it would benefit them.
The best thing I learned was Everything related to Lean Startup methodology. I found a lot of new ideas because
I went out to my customers.
I appreciate that the webinars were recorded and available later when we could not attend.
We are very positively surprised by the concept of this event and would definitely like to encourage this to go on
as something that diversifies itself from other mainstream startup competitions.

Baseline evaluation of the top 24 VentureOut participants


A baseline evaluation survey was conducted with the top 24 VentureOut participants to collect data on
participants ventures, number of employees by gender, the size of the ventures and growth within the
last twelve-month period, funding sources and prospects for the future. The survey was administered to
the top 24 ventures who were at the semi-finalist level. All 13 finalists responded, and 8 of the semifinalists responded, for a total of 21 respondents. Survey questions addressed only the programming
that was offered by VentureOut up to October 26, 2013. Therefore, the survey results do not include
benefits that may have been attributed to participation in the finalist event in Moldova, or to
mentorship that occurred during or after the Moldova event. These survey questions were designed to
collect the following information:

Basic baseline statistics of the status of the mobile app at the time of response
Strengths of and suggestions for the VentureOut program as reported by the respondents

Answering the question regarding the best single professional/personal experience that entrepreneurs
had during their participation in VentureOut, a wide range of answers was provided, indicating a
number of benefits received. One entrepreneur mentioned the best experience they had with
VentureOut included: business development, networking, fleshing out business model with a lean
canvas approach, how to make business development - with focus on monetization and business model,

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and a focus on customers. Additional quotes, depicting the whole spectrum of best experiences are
provided below.

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Comments from the top 24 participants on the best single experience

My best personal experience was to learn the importance of getting international patent for the project, in September,
during travel to Silicon Valley arranged by CRDF Global Program.
Having my question on viral social media advertising, answered at a seminar at the World Bank!
Our mentors, local and global, were very helpful. They listened and gave insights, suggestions and specific action points.
In the mentorship process, I learned how to present the venture to an investor by focusing on the appropriate points.
Investors have specific areas of interests that we must address correctly.
Connecting with a Turkish-American mentor, when we are looking at Turkey as our next market for expansion.
The efficiency of Amanda Gant to get my passport to the US and back to me on time.
Reviewing and refining the business model canvas with our mentor. He provided AMAZING insight that allowed us to
create the minimally viable product and achieve good product-market fit.
Amazing talk with Andres Blank (mentor) on sales and raising investments in the USA where his company is located.
That particular connection will help us contact best VCs and angel investors once Teddy the Guardian moves to the
States.
Everything was professionally done, the feedback from the judges useful and the handler (Amanda) was amazing and
getting everything together.

Participants were asked to share the best lesson that they had learned while participating in the
VentureOut Challenge, and to indicate which component of the program that lesson (new knowledge)
came from. Participants listed different aspects of knowledge that they gained through a variety of
program activities and interactions, including webinars, videos, interviews and mentor sessions. One
entrepreneur highlighted a better understanding of thinking globally, how to prepare presentations for
interested investment and how to do a lean canvas and flesh out business model, how to prepare a
business attractive pitch for investors, and focus on customers, the true value of the business model
canvas and customer interviews as being essential data points. Many participants stressed that
learning they gained from the webinar about business model and focus on customers was crucial and a
true discovery. Additional quotes, highlighting knowledge gains are listed below.

Comments from the top 24 participants on the best single experience

The best lesson was that advertising may not be a viable sole income model for a social platform until the user base
has reached critical mass. It forced us to reassess and to quickly find other ways in conjunction with advertising to
monetize the app in order to survive.
The whole business model & lean startup canvas model. The entire lesson in the Udacity course was great!
In listening the founder of Pixable, I found out that you should never give up on your idea. When something doesnt
work, pivot.
Minimal Value Product concept from videos I watched as well as Lean Start up methodology. Not everything could be
used daily, but I found a lot of interesting stuff including how to test my ideas and future developments. On top of it
during interviews I found some very nice ideas that I intend to test and implement according to priorities.
From videos watched, the best lesson was "A startup is not a smaller version of a bigger company"
The need for more customer interviews. We already subscribe to the lean startup methodologies at Prowork, usually
we did 1-3 customer interviews weekly but the Launch Pad Central course challenged us to do more. Now the target is
10 weekly, such that every opportunity we are speaking with people and learning the business problems, some of
them become paying customers at the end of the interview.
The lean startup methodology - Udacity videos Nail it, then scale it - Mentor
The extent to which VentureOut Challenge is international taught us a great lesson and focused our attention on the
countries and continents that have extraordinary projects and teams which we will meet in Moldova and that is
specially exciting and provides opportunities for collaboration because we do not have a chance to spend time with
entrepreneurs from Africa, Caribbean Islands and Asia.

Answering the question on what major things participants wanted to learn and apply in their venture,
the majority who responded to this question highlighted that revising commercialization strategy

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would be critical. When providing their recommendations on what activities, sessions, and additional
training topics to be included in order to help to further develop their ventures, participants highlighted
among others, market acquisition technique, marketing and sales, customer development,
introductions to serious mobile investment firms, how to manage and motivate project team members,
as well as to learn more about social media /online marketing, lean start-up survival techniques for the
first year of operations, and to develop skills in financial management.

Mentorship Evaluation by Entrepreneurs


From December 19, 2013 to January 31, 2014 the top 13 entrepreneurs were invited to respond to the
follow-up survey regarding business statistics and their participation in VentureOut mentorship. This
survey served to gauge the entrepreneurs satisfaction with mentorship. Thirteen participants received
mentorship, eleven (85%) responded on the final survey about mentorship and their satisfaction with
the VentureOut program as a whole. The analysis of the responses from the final survey are presented
below.

Finalists satisfaction with mentors and benefits of mentorship:


The mentorship was one of the key components of the program and was designed with three objectives
in mind: Preparing the entrepreneurs for the pitching competition, guiding them through their work
with the business model canvas and encouraging entrepreneurs to improve their mobile apps based on
feedback from their customers and the market. Based on the survey responses from entrepreneurs, the
mentorship program was evaluated overall as very helpful in improving their mobile apps.

82% (9 of 11) found their mentorship helpful, very helpful or extremely helpful
82% (9 of 11) found the use of LaunchPad Central and the Lean Startup Methodology helpful,
very helpful or extremely helpful in improving their mobile apps

Graphs 1 and 2 below illustrate participants satisfaction with the VentureOut mentorship program as
well as with LaunchPad Central and the Business Canvas.
Graph 1: How helpful was the VentureOut global mentorship?

How helpful was the VentureOut global


mentorship?
18%
18%
27%

37%

Extremely
Helpful
Very
helpful
Helpful
Somewha
t helpful

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Graph 2: How helpful was the use of LaunchPad Central and the Business Canvas?

How helpful was the use of LaunchPad & Central


Extremely
& Business Model Canvas?
Helpful
18%

Very
helpful
Helpful

37%

18%
27%

Somewha
t helpful

Satisfaction with and benefits of VentureOut Program


Participants were asked a multiple choice question to report on benefits received as a result of their
participation in VentureOut. All 11 entrepreneurs (100%) reported on benefits of participating in the
program, marking one answer or the other. Those benefits included improving professional skills,
preparing a stronger pitch, improving outreach to customers, establishing linkages and contacts,
building networks, developing skills on how to make key operating decisions, understanding and utilizing
business models and improving the venture outcomes. Table 4 and graph 3 below illustrate a wide
spectrum of benefits listed by the participants.
Table 4: Benefits received by participants as a result of VentureOut
Benefits received from VentureOut
Improve my professional skills
Prepare a stronger pitch
Improve outreach to customers
Form key connections and networks
Make key operating decisions
Understand and utilize business models
Improve the venture outcomes

% and # answered
91% (10)
91% (10)
64% (7)
64% (7)
55% (6)
45% (5)
36% (4)

Graph 3: Benefits received by participants as a result of VentureOut

Participation in VentureOut helped me and my team...


Improve the venture outcomes
Understand and utilize business models
Make key operating decisions
Improve outreach to customers
Form key connections and network
Improve my professional skills
Prepare a stronger pitch

36%
45%
55%
64%
64%
91%
91%
0%

10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

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Answering the question whether participants established useful connections as a result of their
participation in VentureOut, 73 percent (8 participants) gave a positive answer and 27 percent (3)
provided a negative answer. These three, however, provided remarks that improved their professional
skills and learned how to prepare a stronger pitch. One of these individuals specifically thanked the
great mentors: We are very grateful for the mentors you chose due to their extensive experience and
very helpful advice that we could apply to our specific case. Graph 4, below, shows the breakdown of
answers into positive and negative.
Graph 4: Connections established as a result of participating in VentureOut

Did you establish useful connections as a result of


your participation in VentureOut?
No, 3, 27%

Yes, 8, 73%

Additional comments from the top 13 participants

Amazing talk with Andres Blank (mentor) on sales and raising investments in the USA where his company is located. That
particular connection will help us contact best VCs and angel investors once Teddy the Guardian moves to the States.
Travelling to Chisinau and experiencing the way people utilize the internet is an eye opener for me. It shows that every
region is peculiar and should be treated as such.
Everything was professionally done, the feedback from the judges useful.
The best experience was reviewing and refining the business model canvas with our mentor. He provided AMAZING
insight that allowed us to create the minimally viable product and achieve good product-market fit.
Our mentors, local and global mentor, were very helpful. They listened and gave insights, suggestions and specific action
points.
Most meaningful to me in the VentureOut program was connecting with a Turkish-American mentor, when we are
looking at Turkey as our next market for expansion.
In the mentorship process, I learned how to present the venture to an investor by focusing on the appropriate points.
Investors have specific areas of interests that we must address correctly.

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Comparison of top 24 semi-finalists with top 13 finalists
This section of analysis deals with comparing two groups of applicants; those who made it to the finals,
and those who did not. First, we will do an analysis of baseline mobile app data provided to us by the
top 23 ventures in order to compare the semi-finalists with the finalists. Second, we will analyze the
scores given to the applicants by the judges to determine which sections of the application have a larger
difference in average scores between the two groups, in particular high performance in which sections
of the VentureOut Challenge were associated with success in this competition. Third, we will analyze
judges responses to the submissions to ascertain the type of knowledge and skills that would encourage
success is these sections. This information will help inform what might help the semifinalist
entrepreneurs and other entrepreneurs like the semifinalists improve their mobile apps quality.

Baseline data comparison


CRDF Global collected baseline data from the top 24 applicants to the VentureOut Challenge. The data
was analyzed comparing group characteristics from the top 13 finalists with group characteristics from
those 11 applicants who were in the top 24 group but did not make it to the final round. The former
group is from now on referred to as finalists while the latter group is referred to as semifinalists.
Following the breakdown of data, shown in the table below, CRDF Global summarizes the trends.
As there are few respondents in each of the groups (13 in the Finalist group, and 8 respondents in the
Semifinalist group), we must be conservative in assuming that the group differences represent a large
difference between the two groups. We see that between these groups age of the company and prior
years of professional experience of the founder do not very, and therefore seems not to be an
important factor in predicting the relative success in the VentureOut Challenge.
Other categories in which are associated more with the finalist group than with the semifinalists are: the
more time the founder spends on the company; higher amount of personal funds investment; higher
amount of total funding raised; more people employed by the venture, and more app downloads. The
details are provided in table 5 on the following page. These findings makes sense, as these metrics are
correlated with a more developed business. So, the second layer of analysis is to see how those
successful companies achieved their level of development, and how programs like VentureOut might be
developed to help all types of venture teams achieve success.

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Table 5: Comparison of baseline metrics of the finalists to the semi-finalists
Top 13 finalists
(13 respondents)

Top 24 who did not make it to


final level
(8 respondents)

Basic comparison

Years of professional
experience before
launching business
Age of company

6 years
Range: 0-12 years

5 years
Range: 1-12 years

Two groups not


meaningfully different

1.42 years

1.48 years

Percentage of founder
who work full time
Those founders who
work part time, how
many hours?
Average personal
funds invested into
the business (USD)

61.5%
8 of 13 respondents
3 hours (1 respondent)
30 hours (1 respondent)
30 hours (1 respondent)
$15,830
Range: $0-$50,000

50%
4 of 8 respondents
2 hours (1 respondent)
20 hours (1 respondent)
20-25 hours (1 respondent)
$3337.50
Range: $0-$10,000

Two groups not


meaningfully different
The top 13 finalist
founders show a greater
time commitment to their
mobile app companies.

Average total funding


raised (USD) since
company was founded
Average number of
people employed*

$13725.50
Range: $0 - $39,000

$29,676.90
Range: $0 210,000

6.07 people

3.00 people

Average number of
downloads

53431.46 downloads
Range: 0 450,000

39566.25 downloads Range: 0


300,000

The top 13 finalist


founders show a greater
personal financial to their
mobile app companies.
The top 13 finalist have
raised meaningfully more
money.
Evidence that the top 13
finalists ventures
employed more people
on average.
Evidence that on average
the top 13 finalists apps
have more downloads

* One outlier in the top 13 group whose mobile app venture employs 27 people was removed.

Analysis of judges responses to the Submissions


The judges scores of the 24 semifinalist entrants are analyzed to help us learn about the differences in
the strength of VentureOut Challenge submissions between the finalists and semifinalists. We will look
at the scores received by each group for each of the five categories the submissions were judged:
potential commercial value of the app, strategy for internationalization of the app, position in the
marketplace and the pitch presentation. From this analysis we will see where the biggest gaps between
the semifinalists and finalists are, and then focus in on the judges comments to compile suggestions for
curriculum to help prepare entrepreneurs for greater success where they most need it.
To start on this task, we take data from judges of 23 of the top 24 entrepreneurs; one of the top 24 was
ineligible for the final judging as the submission was late. Each of the 23 submissions was rated by three
judges in five categories. The data analyzed therefore contains 39 scores for the top 13 group who made
it to the finals level and 30 scores for the semifinalist group. Scores were given in each of the five
categories on a scale of one to five, with five being the strongest score.
The average scores for the top 13 finalists were higher than the scores for the remaining 10 semifinalists
at 3.89 and 3.35, respectively; a difference of .53 points. By design of the competition, those applicants

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who received higher scores moved on to the final round. The analysis begins when we determine the
categories that have a larger gap between the average scores given to the top 13 and the top 24. The
table below summarizes the average scores given to each group for each of the 5 categories.
Table 6: Average scores given to each group for each of the 5 categories.
Potential
Commercial Value of
the App (25.0 %) Score

Strategy for
Internationalization
of the App (25.0 %)
- Score

Top 13

3.79

4.00

Top 24

3.33

Difference

0.46

Position in the
Market (15.0
%) - Score

Company &
Management
Track Record (15.0
%) - Score

Pitch
Presentation
(20.0 %) - Score

Average of
all scores

3.54

4.26

3.85

3.89

3.10

3.30

3.53

3.60

3.35

0.90

0.24

0.72

0.25

0.53

We can see that the larger differences in performance between the two groups are in the categories
Strategy for Internationalization of the App (a difference of .90 points) and Company & Management
Track Record (where the two groups differ by .72 points). There is more diversity in performance
between the two groups in these two categories than in the other categories, and this points to the
need for entrepreneurs to become more qualified in responding in these areas in order to convince
judges that their venture is strong. In the following section we will more qualitatively analyze judges
comments from those two sections in order to guide us to make relevant suggestions for supporting
entrepreneurs to become champions.

Judges comments on the Strategy for Internationalization of the App


From a programmatic view, the VentureOut program was designed to help entrepreneurs become more
familiar with their ventures own strategy for internationalization. The VentureOut Challenge thus
rewarded those submissions that created stronger plans for internationalization. The importance of this
category is shown in the design of the program as 25% is the highest percentage allocation to a
category. Interestingly, this category was also the category where semifinalists performed most poorly
in comparison with the finalists. Therefore we will search the judges comments for the areas of their
weakness.
Common suggestions for entrepreneurs from judges fell into one of five main categories: managing
partnerships, supporting localization of the app, proving or building success at home first, user
acquisition strategies, and detailing the timing and providing reasoning for entering specific countries.
The number of comments in each category are listed in table 7 on the following page. Purely laudable
comments were not included in the count, as this analysis is trying to find where the applicants
internationalization plans were lacking.

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Table 7: Number of comments in each category
Comments received

Top 13

Top 24

Total

Partnerships

Localization

Country

14

Success at home

User acquisition

11

18

Total suggestions critical of internationalization strategy

27

26

53

Total suggestions made about internationalization strategy

39

30

69

Main observations of judges comments to improve Internationalization Strategy


The judges comments support the idea that success of a venture at home is correlated with a venture
that is ready to go global. The semifinalists received suggestions to prove their success in the home
market first; however, the finalists did not receive those suggestions. This illustrates that the judges
understood that the finalist ventures were already successful at home. As this is the case, it points that
one difference between the finalists and semifinalists is that the finalists were better able to
demonstrate domestic success to the judges. This ability impacted their scores on the
internationalization strategy category of the VentureOut Challenge.
User acquisition was a section that most judges commented on for both the finalists and top 24 groups.
The second most popularly criticized aspect of the applicants internationalization plan concerned the
targeting, timing and reasoning of entering new geographic markets. Together, these two popular
categories point to where international skills building programs can focus to improve entrepreneurs
outcomes. In order to support entrepreneurs to have stronger internationalization strategies,
competition organizers and enabler organization leaders can provide entrepreneurs with a template of
what should be included in an internationalization strategy. This template would include the following
sections: Partnerships, applying success at home abroad, user acquisition strategies, localization plans,
and timing and rationale to the new expansion. The following paragraphs share a few representative
comments from each category of critiques and then briefly discuss what can be done to address
entrepreneurs shortcomings in these areas.
User Acquisition in the new international market
Judges Comments

Needs attention - what strategies will you use to reach international markets? Will word of mouth be sufficient?
Good start, but you need more details and methods to push your product - app stores are flooded with apps nobody
wants.
The team is employing a crafty, grass-roots strategy to establish the marketplace. The team should explore additional
venues to bolster its international strategy.

What can be done?


To address the shortfall in the international user acquisition plan, entrepreneurs need to become aware
of the general techniques for customer acquisition, and which techniques would work for their business.
Trainings can be developed around creating marketing plans and designing and communicating value
propositions.

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The VentureOut Challenge Organizing Tool Kit includes an internationalization curriculum that
addresses marketing and partnerships in new geographies. The curriculum also includes an
activity to create and manage a marketing strategy to become proficient in the tools and directs
entrepreneurs to decide how to work towards those goals.

Timing and Reasoning for entering into new markets


Judges Comments

Need market prioritization for international expansion and target demographic.


I am left wondering about the roll out strategy into international markets and the appeal of the concept
internationally. Where are you launching first and how do you see the business expanding?
The app is scalable and has potential; however, this is really a physical product which will require global distribution
and logistics infrastructure in order to achieve scale. I would be careful about expanding globally too quickly. Identify
target markets and distribution partners in those target markets.

What can be done?


Entrepreneurs were criticized generally for not knowing how to create or communicate a roll out plan.
Organizers should strive to give entrepreneurs tools to make more detailed multi-market roll-out plans,
including arguments for which countries first and why.
The VentureOut Challenge Organizing Tool Kit includes an internationalization curriculum that
addresses these questions of researching and selecting new markets and then creating the case
for entering those new markets.

Managing Partnerships
Judges comments

Its going to be difficult to expand to foreign markets because its about forming those relationships with partner
providers. It might make sense to just sell or lease the infrastructure to other partners who work on content and have
some financial incentive to expand.
Partnerships are laudable and the team should clearly articulate how these relationships will enable them to create a
global company.
Partnerships with carriers take a lot of time and don't always promise large distribution. You should think more about
viral growth using social networks

What can be done?


Partnership building is a key component of taking a business into new markets. New curriculum covering
specific skills involved with partnership building could help entrepreneurs strengthen this ability in their
ventures. Curriculum should help entrepreneurs to do the following:
Understand and identify different models to form international partnerships
Create more articulated partnership plans
Describe how the venture will maximize value from partnerships

Addressing Localization
Judges Comments

Something important that's missing is translating the app into multiple languages.
Gaming is universal and a huge market; there are some language barriers and also technology fragmentation so
internationalization is not so straight forward but definitely doable.
How will you address multi-lingual support in the application?
I would think through what translation and UI changes will be required to grow to new markets--my hunch is that
these costs alone could be quite prohibitive.

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What can be done?
In some cases it can be as simple as an entrepreneur understanding and describing how they will be sure
to be able to translate the app into multiple languages. They may need to assess and lay out the human
capital or technological resources it requires to do that. In other cases, the entrepreneurs should
consider the value of doing beta testing in new markets and adapting their apps to meet the new
markets needs.

Showing success at home first


Judges Comments

I think you do have potential to expand into foreign markets but because you haven't demonstrated success you don't
have specific evidence to support it.
Product is not ready to go international it seems. Establish traction in Romania first.
In terms of your internationalization strategy, starting small and expanding gradually to other Caribbean destinations
makes sense If I were you, I would nail it in the Caribbean - focus on curating awesome local content - and then scale
it.

What can be done?


Many of the applicants were counseled by the judges to show success in the local market before
expanding internationally, which is sound advice. Most locally-based entrepreneurial organizations are
focused on helping their entrepreneurs achieve success in their domestic market. The message that can
be emphasized by the local enabler organizations while supporting entrepreneurs is that success at
home is most always necessary before entering a new market. Creating entrepreneurial success at
home, however, is a broad category, and there is no single recipe for success. The general
entrepreneurship development work generally encourages the domestic success of companies, and
should continue to this end. Entrepreneurs can be given a check list of milestones their company should
hit before they decide to expand to another country
This type of checklist is included in the VentureOut Internationalization curriculum.

Judges comments on the Company & Management Track Record


The second category of the VentureOut Challenge where performance gaps between the semifinalists
and the finalists were the largest was Company & Management Track Record. A quick sampling of the
judges comments leads us to see areas of shortcomings as the entrants described their teams. Entrants
were critiqued for:
Omitting support members from mention of their team

There's no mention of other team members, an advisory board, investors, etc. These are important additions
to the team that can help with decision making.

Not giving enough background information on the team members

The team is impressive and it would be helpful to have additional background information on them.

Missing an additional team member who would bring key skills to the team

Designing a mobile / web application's UI requires specific technical skills and I don't see whether [the
teams] training or past work experience included any of that. I think the team would benefit from someone
with a design or direct mobile development background.

What can be done to help entrepreneurs get up to speed?


Some of these issues that the applicants had in describing their teams can be resolved by giving the
entrepreneurs a very clear template to follow. This template can include exactly what the entrant
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should list of each key team member including: Name, role and achievements on team, past educational
achievements, accomplishments and tenure in former roles, and how and why they came to the
company. The template should also directing teams to discuss key board members or partnerships
theyve already made, or other support team members they have already hired.
An additional help to the team would be to educate the entrepreneurs on the composition of a solid and
well-rounded venture team. The entrants could be directed to recognize where their teams weakness
is, so that they can create a plan to fill any knowledge gap the current team may have. So, even if some
entrepreneurs may not yet have a solid team, they would know who a solid team consists of and be able
to demonstrate a plan for building the team they need.

Enablers feedback about the VentureOut program


Local enabler organizations were key to the success of the VentureOut program. The communities that
they build and sustain on the ground are a true asset that enabled the VentureOut program to reach
hundreds of entrepreneurs. As the organizers of the enabler organizations are quite close to their
entrepreneurial networks, collecting their feedback on the program was important. Below we will
share a few charts that represent their feedback, and some specific comments. We can see from the
feedback in table 8 that all enabler groups agree that they acquired new ideas and skills through
participating in VentureOut, and most (6 of 8) agree that they developed more capacity to host
international events and that their organizations realized increased visibility as a result of the
participation.
Table 8: Enablers share feedback of VentureOut on their organizations

Perceived Results of Participation in VentureOut


You raised your visibility as an organization

You developed more capacity to host international events

You acquired new ideas or skills to bring to your organization

0
Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Undecided

2
Agree

Strongly Agree

We can see from the feedback in table 9 on the following page that most enabler groups agree that their
entrepreneurial community was strengthened by participating in VentureOut, that VentureOut provided
good business development opportunities to the entrepreneurs, that the entrepreneur benefitted from
joining in for the VentureOut TechConnect and that the Organizational Toolkit provided is or will be
helpful for implementing entrepreneurship and internationalization activities. All enabler groups agreed

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that the entrepreneurs benefitted from the written feedback provided about the VentureOut Challenge
submissions.
Table 9: Enablers share how they observed VentureOut benefitting their organizations entrepreneurs

Enablers' observations of impact of VentureOut


The organizational toolkit is/will be useful for implementing
entrepreneurship activities
Your local entrepreneurial community benefited from the
VentureOut TechConnect broadcast
Entrepreneurs benefited from the written feedback about
their submissions
VentureOut provided good business development
opportunities for your entrepreneurs
Your local entrepreneurial community was strengthened by
participating in VentureOut
0

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Undecided

Agree

Strongly Agree

The organizers of the enabler organizations also shared some helpful comments. A sampling of the comments
shared is displayed below.

Access to relevant and useful information not readily available locally and that we can access that information post
event for ease of reference and ensuring others outside of attendees benefit, was listed as a capacity building aspect
that their organization has developed as a result of VentureOut.
Our organization benefited by being directly involved with an organized forum for discussion on commercial
technology development. This has helped our positioning in the market for the provision auxiliary services.
As a small program with tight deadlines and goals we are very internally focused. VentureOut made the larger and
broader vision a priority.
The single best benefit one enabler reported receiving was, Being able to convince startups that they should not focus
on one region alone. That they are capable of scaling into new markets.
We realized that we need better video call/skype/telco and streaming capabilities to connect our community to
global mentors and knowledge. We also learned that we needed to bring in more local experts outside the technical
sphere (and have now made those connections). A global outreach for mLab and an internationalization strategy
should form part of our next program.
Learning about a structured mobile app internationalization process and the international visibility and connections
for our entrepreneur, were the top skills building benefits recognized by one enabler.
The program opened the minds of entrepreneurs who otherwise were looking only into their local markets. It also
validated the assumptions of some entrepreneurs who are positioning themselves for the world beyond Nigeria.
Venture out brought a very interesting international perspective to the local tech community. Entrepreneurs learned
to think globally. Furthermore, the entrepreneur selected from Senegal was the African winner, which brought a lot of
visibility and credibility to them, the incubator, the country, and Francophone Africa.
One notable impact seems to have been the discussions that provided encouragement and served to add fuel to the
passions of, not only mobile, but other entrepreneurs at the gatherings.
VentureOut has put the importance of other markets, asking questions and having it on their "to-do list." It honestly
never featured much in any of our strategies, now it does. It might not be an immediate focus due to many other
important milestones in their business development but its there and will most likely have an impact going forward as
they become more mature.
The target audience received contact and guidance with experienced mentors that opened new horizons. Taking into
account that most of the consultants were from the U.S., the entrepreneurs got an opportunity to receive more insight

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how things are functioning on the most developed market in the world and what are the steps they need to follow to
get there and compete with the best.

VI. Lessons Learned & Recommendations


During the course of the program the CRDF Global team assured an on-going and sound monitoring and
periodic evaluations, to ensure that all targets were on track and recommendations from different
interested parties and stakeholders contributed to improving program management and program
performance. The section below highlights recommendations received from participants by the CRDF
Global team as well as made by the CRDF Global team based on their observations of different
components of the program.

Mobile App Competition


In garnering applications it is important to build strong relationships with on-the-ground organizers.
VentureOut was able to receive interest from over 400 individuals and applications from 113 individuals
within a span of less than 3 weeks as the organizations were very committed to promote the
competition.
Enabler organization mobilization: Two important tasks should be given to the enabler
organizations: 1) To send the outreach to their entire network, and 2) To encourage or require
the enabler organization to ensure that at least ten of their top entrepreneurs submit
applications.
Entrepreneur Preparation: From analyzing the judges comments it became possible to learn
more about how to prepare entrepreneurs for success in the competition. One recommendation
is that competition organizers provide a very simple template for how they would like the team
information to be assembled. Organizers goal should be to help the entrepreneurs showcase
themselves and their team to the best of their ability. This template should include: name,
position, number of years and types of achievements at prior company/project, demonstrate
previous skills developed and how this plays into specific role in the venture.
Timeframe for Competition: It also helped that CRDF Global had previous working relationships
with some of the enablers and they were quicker to get on board given such limited timeline for
the competition. For others, more time was required to cultivated these relationships and
transfer knowledge. CRDF Global recommends building at least one month for working and
preparing enablers before the competition launch, and to have at least one month for the
collection of submissions. Another challenge was presented when this competition was
organized during summer months. While an impressive number of applications was received, we
believe a deadline at a later month would have led to a greater number of application.

Webinars
Based on observations made during the production of two webinars, the CRDF Global team members
identified the importance of scheduling webinar presenters to join 30 minutes in advance to ensure
smooth operation of the technology.
Timeframe for Webinars: The CRDF Global team has also observed that it is best to schedule the
webinars at least two to three weeks in advance, to allow for appropriate promotion. This is not
always possible due to securing speakers, but should be attempted.

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Mentorship Program
Some mentors reported problems with mentees keeping their scheduled meeting times. CRDF Global
has learned that it is important for organizers to find and implement a program where people can make
their appointments, and that automatically reminds people of their meetings, which program managers
can observe.
Timing of mentorship program: CRDF Global staff observed that most entrepreneurs are very
keen to receive mentorship before the pitching competition event, and following the event, an
entrepreneur may or may not be as enthusiastic in participating in mentorship. Thus, a great
model for a project designed like VentureOut is to provide one hour of mentorship before the
pitching event in order to prepare entrepreneurs for the event. Then following the pitching
event, organizers invite all participants to opt-in to the follow-on mentorship program. This
ensures that the entrepreneur wants to be receiving additional mentorship.
Participant Preparation: Many VentureOut mentors have reported that there were a variety of
topics that entrepreneurs wanted to discuss. Mentors may be better prepared if they were
given an informational form that mentees were directed to fill out. The form will allow
entrepreneurs to share the type of advice they would like from their mentors.

Integrating Lean Startup Methodology


Lean Startup Methodology and the use of a business model canvas can be nice tools and structures to
help entrepreneurs learn about reaching out to and customizing their products, services and mobile
apps for new, and often international, markets. The business model canvas (BMC) was found useful by
many, but not all mentor groups, as shown in the surveys of both entrepreneurs and mentors. Almost
everyone agreed, however, that the BMC was useful in the beginning of the mentorship, to get the
mentors up to speed on the entrepreneurs vision of the company.
Role of Lean Startup Methodology in Mentorship Program: Program organizers that will use
the BMC should emphasize that the BMC is to be used either only as a tool to start discussion
between a mentor and mentee, or to really emphasize the use of the Lean Startup Methodology
throughout the whole program. If the latter is done, then customer development must focus
prominently not only on the mentorship, but also the design of the competition and the pitching
sessions. The BMC will then take on a central role as a location to keep track of their customer
development efforts and the pivots the business will make as a result of this customer
development work.
Including Lean Startup in the mobile app presentations: Another way to integrate LSM into a
program is to structure the pitch to reference as key metrics: the number of customer
interviews given, key insights from the interviews, pivots made by the company, and surprises
the team learned along the way. By making these customer development metrics necessary for
success in the pitch competition, the entrepreneurs will have the incentive to use the Business
Model Canvas to its full degree.

Curriculum Development
Insights gained from analyzing 69 judges comments of the top 24 applicants from the competition have
shown CRDF Global three areas where curriculum development could support entrepreneurs in
succeeding in competitions, and also in their business outcomes.

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Areas for curriculum development: Key areas that entrepreneurship development curriculum
should cover are: 1) User acquisition and marketing tools, 2) Partnership formation and
management, and 3) Steps to create your internationalization plan. The last of these topics is
covered in the VentureOut Organizer Tool Kit.
Locally based case studies: Feedback from the enabler organizations showed high interest from
entrepreneurs in discussing case studies of locally-based entrepreneurs who have succeeded.

Website and Social Media


Social media is a great way to connect entrepreneurs across geographies. During the VentureOut
program eight enabler organizations worked together to share internationalization news with their
entrepreneurs.
Continuity of Website and Social Media: In order to keep the momentum of VentureOut
moving forward, CRDF Global suggests that representatives each of the enabler organizations be
given administrative rights to the website, Facebook page and Twitter account to continue
sharing news about their entrepreneurs successes and information about internationalization.
Each enabler organization could be responsible for two months of the year, but also be
encouraged to contribute at any time. In this way, the VentureOut community built around
internationalizing mobile applications will be sustained.

VII. Conclusion
The VentureOut program was a success. The ultimate goal of sharing tools with entrepreneurs to
expand the reach of mobile applications startups in Africa, ECA and the Caribbean outside of their
national markets was achieved. 113 entrepreneurs received valuable feedback from international
venture judges, thus making their venture stronger. Hundreds of entrepreneurs tuned in for the
TechConnect VentureOut discussion with top mobile entrepreneurs about taking their apps global. Six of
eight enabler organizations hosted internationalization events that engaged 122 entrepreneurs between
December 2013 and February 2014 using curriculum that was developed by CRDF Global. Another two
of the enabler organizations will host events this March 2014. Finally, a community of 13 finalists
learned lessons, received mentorship and pitched in Moldova. All of these thirteen finalists reported
that they had benefitted by participating in the VentureOut Program.
This project created networks, shared expertise across borders via the webinars and TechConnect, and
empowered local organizations to bring new knowledge about internationalization to their
entrepreneurs. As the project was successful in creating a community around the notion of entering new
markets, CRDF Global encourages infoDev to continue in this area to foster a sustainable engagement of
these topics with entrepreneurs and enabler organizations globally. The curriculum can be shared with
more enabler organizations, and future trainings and competitions can be even more fruitful now that
relationships have been developed. It is important to continue this engagement so that mobile
application entrepreneurs continue to receive the training, network and resources to help them succeed
in new markets.

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Figure 6: VentureOuts Global Reach

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Annex 1: Follow-up Survey


Plans for ongoing monitoring of follow-on results of VentureOut entrepreneurs
CRDF Global has developed a set of survey questions that will be included into two follow-on surveys of
entrepreneurs. The evaluation studies are planned to be administered in April 2014 and October 2014,
approximately six and twelve months after the first baseline evaluation study was conducted. The
survey questions are designed to track any progress during these periods of time that entrepreneurs
have achieved after their participation in VentureOut and to explore which of the accomplishments can
be attributed to VentureOut. Quantitative data will be collected on such metrics as new funding
obtained, revenues generated, any increase of the number of clients and employees. The survey design
will also have open-ended questions that will allow collecting anecdotal evidence by exploring how new
skills and knowledge gained during VentureOut have been applied, what successes have been achieved
by ventures and what aspects of ventures growth may be attributed to VentureOut. The same survey
questions can be used for both the 6 month and 12 month follow up survey, for easier data
compatibility.

Follow-on Evaluation Studies of VentureOut participants


The objectives of the follow-on evaluations are threefold:
To explore which ideas presented by VentureOut have remained important to participants;
To assess how new knowledge gained and skills built during VentureOut have been applied to
support ventures growth; and
To collect evidence on any success stories that may be attributed to VentureOut.

A sample of a follow-on survey design


Please complete this survey. We would like to hear about any progress your venture has made since VentureOut, to hear your stories of success, and
learn about any challenging areas if such take place. We are interested in your thoughts what new program modules, new components or areas of
knowledge you would recommend us to include into similar programs in the future.
We welcome your feedback and appreciate your answers!

SECTION I: BACKGROUND INFORMATION


What type of mobile app do you have? Mark one.

Finance
Weather
Navigation
Productivity
Health
Education
News
Agriculture
Social networking
Entertainment/games
Other (please specify) __________________________________________

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SECTION II: VENTUREOUT LEARNING OUTCOMES AND RETENTION OF NEW KNOWLEDGE


1. What were THREE best things that you learned as a result of your participation in the VentureOut
which you apply in your daily work?
1. ________________________________________________________________________________________
2. ________________________________________________________________________________________
3. ________________________________________________________________________________________

2. Please self-evaluate the extent to which you have retained and/or advanced your level of
knowledge and skills since your participation in VentureOut.
Program Topics

Basic
After
VentureOut

Average
Now

After
VentureOut

Advanced
Now

After
VentureOut

Expert
Now

Prior

My knowledge of internationalization
strategy was
My knowledge of marketing, including
customer interviews was
My skill to venture pitching present to
investors was
My knowledge on how to improve apps
visibility in app stores was
The importance of beta testing and
iteration in improving their app

Comment: _________________________________________________________________________________

SECTION III: VENTUREOUT OUTCOMES SUSTAINABILITY OF ENGAGEMENT


3. Please describe the SINGLE best experience (new knowledge gained, mentors advice received,
professional contacts established) that played a meaningful role in improving your venture:

4. Since VentureOut what other things have you done differently as a result of your participation in
VentureOut that you would not have done otherwise?

5. Please share what accomplishments have you achieved with your mobile app since submitting
your app/venture to the VentureOut Challenge in September 2013. Please include any key

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professional awards that you or your venture has received. ______________
6. Did you establish any new contacts and linkages during this workshop? Yes No
If yes, please state how many contacts approximately you have established: _______________
Comment:__________________________________________________________________________________
7. What steps have you undertaken within the next three (six) months as a result of VentureOut?
Mark all that apply.
Revised internationalization strategy and revised my business/financial planning
Started interviewing more customers on a weekly basis
Stayed actively engaged with entrepreneurs, mentors, and enablers
Business due diligence
Conducted new market assessments
Identified new potential funding sources
Learned about winning entrepreneurial strategies and available resources
Other (please specify) _________________________________________

Comment: ________________________________________________________________________________

8. Have you entered new markets since participating in the VentureOut Challenge?
Yes
No (if no, please skip the following question)

9. If you have entered new markets since participating in VentureOut Challenge (October 2013), please
provide us the following information:
Number of new countries entered
Number of new customers gained
by entering new market/s
Number of new employees hired
in order to enter new market/s
Amount of funds raised in order
to enter new market/s
Number of downloads gained as a
result of entering new markets
Total amount of money in USD
secured through new contracts
Seed funding/grants
Other

SECTION III: VENTUREOUT RESULTS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

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10. Have the number of your customers/clients increased as a result of your participation in
VentureOut? Yes No
10a. If yes, how many new clients have you gained since VentureOut? ______________
10b. If yes, please write the number of clients and describe them, e.g. 2 companies, 300 individuals,
450 downloads etc.
Clients name (business names)

Country

Nature of
collaboration

Month/Year of starting
relationship

11. What funding sources has your venture used or received since your participation in VentureOut? Please
provide the totals in USD in the appropriate boxes below.
Personal funds
Friends and/or family
Angel investor
Venture capitalist
Microfinance loan
Traditional bank loan
Seed funding/grants
Other

12. How much revenue have you generated since your first engagement with VentureOut?
Please use USD amount. _______
13. What is your companys average monthly revenue in USD for three periods of time, indicated below?
(E.g. September, October, and November 2013: "an average revenue is about $500 USD per month."
The response would be "$500").
September, October,
November, December
2013:
January, February, March,
April 2014:
May, June, July, August

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2014:

14. How many employees does your company currently have? Please indicate how many new employees
did you hire in each category listed below since VentureOut? For example: if you have currently 14
employees and 5 new hires since VentureOut, please list 14/5.
Full time:
Part time:
Females (full or part
time):

15. How many new downloads have you registered since VentureOut? _________

SECTION V: RECOMMENDATIONS
16. Given another opportunity would you submit your mobile app/venture to a similar contest
as VentureOut Challenge? Yes No
17. What additional components, modules or topics of VentureOut would you recommend to
include in the similar programs in the future?

18. What changes/improvements would you recommend to the VentureOut program (if any)?

19. We welcome additional comments about the VentureOut, enablers, mentors, and program.

SECTION V: DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION


Please provide the following information:

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Mobile app name, website


Name (optional)

City/Town

Country

E-mail/telephone (optional)

Years of experience as an entrepreneur


Highest education
Gender
Age

High school
Undergraduate MS or MA (graduate)
Ph.D. Postdoc
Skype (optional)
Male Female
up to 25
26-35
36-45
46-55
55+

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Annex 2: Key VentureOut Metrics


Key VentureOut Metrics
Activity
Training event
&
Entrepreneur
Ecosystem
Discussions

Metrics

Two-day training event

13 VentureOut Entrepreneurs and 10


locally-based entrepreneurs trained
13 entrepreneurs receive one-on-one
mentorship
13 entrepreneurs received mentorship pre
and post training event
6 mentors/experts were involved

VentureOut
Challenge

1 Competition
1 Preparation Webinars
7 Local Outreach Events

386 online viewers; About 135 viewers at 9


viewing sites internationally.

1 Tech Connect
Online
Education

Webinar on Taking your business to USA


36 Webinar Attendees
Webinar
on
Lean
Startup
for 28 Webinar Attendees
Internationalization
7581 total views from 5216 visitors
13 Profiles of entrepreneurs in brochure
listed online
Organizational
tool
kit
and
internationalization content listed online

Website

Media

Social Media

Print pieces
Promotional Materials
Mentorship

113 submitted applications


40 Webinar attendees
Held in: Armenia, Jamaica, Kenya,
Macedonia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Trinidad
& Tobago.

Global Mentorship
LaunchPad Central Platform

Twitter 222 followers; 650 tweets


Facebook 683 Likes
1 announcement of partnership
1 blog post
1 announcement of semifinalists
1 announcement of finalists
Flier and Eventbrite for Moldova event
13 Global Mentors: 3 hours of mentorship
each = 39 hours of mentorship
462 Hypothesis on LaunchPad Central
19 Pivots recorded on LaunchPad Central

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Annex 3: VentureOut Moldova Agenda


Wednesday, October 30, 2013:
Welcoming Remarks
- Abdoulaye Seck, Country Manager, World Bank Moldova
- Ovidiu Bujorean, Senior Manager, CRDF Global

9:30-10:30

Partnering on the mind-to-market path (Davos style discussion)


Moderator: Ana Chirita, Executive Director, Moldovan Association of Private ICT Companies (ATIC)
- Ghenadie Cotelnic, Private Sector Development Specialist, The World Bank
- Doina Nistor, Chief of Party USAID CEED II
- Alexandr Muravschi, Senior National Advisor, GIZ
- Iulia Iabanji, General Director, ODIMM (organization for SMEs)
- Sperana Olaru, Project Manager, EU Delegation to Moldova

10:30-11:00

Break

11:00-12:30

Internationalization through enablers case study discussion:


- Soroca business incubator, Moldova: establishing a new service, together with sector specialists and service
providers.
- Mogilev Technopark, Belarus: scaling an existing service

12:30-13:30

DAY ONE

9:00-9:30

Lunch

13:30-14:15

Global Networking and Session: Polish your networking skills through tips from which events to attend, how
to know who you need to meet, opening a conversation and effective follow up.
- Ovidiu Bujorean, Senior Program Manager, CRDF Global

14:15-15:00

Partnership Formation: Conversation with international tech experts


Moderator: Ovidiu Bujorean, Senior Manager, RDF Global
- David Kirsch, Associate Professor, University of Maryland
- Philipp Kandal, Co-Founder and CTO, Skobbler
- Augie Rakow, Managing Associate, Orrick Emerging Companies Group

15:00-15:30

Break

15:30-17:00

Strengthen the entrepreneurial community: through providing value to entrepreneurs - In this practical
session we will discuss how to run compelling business competitions and how to maximize the benefits of
mentorship. With clear plans and skill building events, we can help unite the community and leave lasting
lessons for entrepreneurial success.
- Mariam Davtyan, Director, mLab Eastern Europe & Central Asia: a view from Armenia
- Radu Ticiu, Coordinator, ECAbit: Eastern Europe and Central Asia network of business incubators

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Thursday, October 31, 2013:
Icebreaker and Entrepreneur Introductions
- Ovidiu Bujorean, Bujorean, Senior Program Manager, CRDF Global
- David Kirsch, Associate Professor, University of Maryland

9:30 10:30

Learn: Business Model Canvas & International Customer Discovery Overview:


Learn how to create your dynamic roadmap to market validation and success.
- David Kirsch, University of Maryland

10:30 10:45

Break

10:45 - 11:15

Learn: Building a startup from emerging markets


- Philipp Kandal, Co-Founder and CTO, Skobbler

11:15-12:00

Learn: Top 10 monetization hacks on mobile


- Philipp Kandal, Co-Founder and CTO, Skobbler

12:00 - 13:00

Lunch

13:00 - 14:00

Learn: Understand international marketing and sales techniques.


- Amir Hasson, Chief Development Officer, Oxigen

14:00 - 14:45

DAY TWO

9:00 - 9:30

Learn & Do: Investor Pitching Session:


Learn how to tell a story and convince an investor to buy-in to your vision. All entrepreneurs will have an
opportunity to practice their elevator pitches.
- David Kirsch, University of Maryland & Amir Hasson, Oxigen

14:45 - 15:00

Break

15:00 - 15:45

Learn: How to build a kickin product: Introduction to product development


- Philipp Kandal, Co-Founder and CTO, Skobbler

15:45 - 16:25

Mentorship - Session One: 13 ventures are divided into two groups (Group A & B)
Group A VentureOut Entrepreneurs: One-on-one mentorship to go over business presentation and overall
questions of feasibility and internationalization.
Group B Entrepreneurs: Interactive learning environment to ask questions and work on presentations for future
use.

16:25 - 17:00

Mentorship - Session Two: 13 ventures are divided into two groups (group A & B)
Group B VentureOut Entrepreneurs: One-on-one mentorship to go over business presentation and overall
questions of feasibility and internationalization.
Group A entrepreneurs: Interactive learning environment to ask questions and work on presentations for future
use.

17:00 - 17:30

Debrief, prep for following day

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Friday, November 1, 2013
Learn: Determining Cost Structure and Revenue Streams

9:00 9:45

- David Kirsch, Associate Professor, University of Maryland


Do: Determine Value of your App Internationally: Practice determining your value delivered to the customers
abroad, what problem you solve, your customer segments, & your channels to reach customers.
- David Kirsch, Associate Professor, University of Maryland

10:15-10:45

Localizing your Mobile Business


- Augie Rakow, Orrick Emerging Companies Group

10:45 11:00

Break

11:00 11:30

Learn: Access to Finance: Crowdfunding Platforms


- David Kirsch, Associate Professor, University of Maryland

11:30 12:00

Your App on Multiple Platforms


- Luca Sale, Developer Relations, Blackberry

12:00 13:00

Lunch

13:00 14:30

Dragons Den Part I Open to public


5 entrepreneurs from Africa and 3 from the Caribbean Islands pitch for a total of 10 minutes each.
Presentations/ Q&A 5 min each (in alphabetical order)
Africa:
1. Go Metro, Justin Coetzee, South Africa
2. Marodi TV, Jimmy Kumako, Senegal
3. Nearest Locator, Ayoola Ajebeku, Nigeria
4. ProWork, Francis Onwumere, Nigeria
5. Waabeh, Kingori Maina and Jeff Maina, Kenya
Caribbean Islands:
1. Grik.ly, Dwayne Samuels, Jamaica
2. M.A.D.E., Ade Inniss-King and Madonna Corrian, Trinidad &Tobago
3. SweetSOA, Jerome Campbell, Jamaica

14:30 15:00

Break

15:00 16:00

Dragons Den Part II Open to public


5 entrepreneurs from Europe/Central Asia pitch for a total of 10 minutes each. Presentations/Q&A 5 min each
(in alphabetical order)
1. Idram Mobile Wallet, Gevorg Poghosyan, Armenia
2. Manifesto, Dorian Postevca, Moldova
3. Teddy the Guardian, Ana Burica and Josipa Majic, Croatia
4. Tuning Fork, Dilara Rustamzadeh, Azerbaijan
5. X-Rift, Daniel Tonkopiy, Ukraine

16:00 16:45

Judging deliberation / Reception for participants

16:45 17:30

Award Ceremony

DAY THREE

9:45 10:15

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Annex 4: Case Studies


Cellulant - Kenya
Background
Cellulant was founded in 2004 on about $3,000 USD, and a credit card. The original business plan was
sketched out on a napkin over a meal between co-founders Ken Njoroge and Bolaji Akinboro. Their
vision was to create a fortune 500 company in Africa, out of Africa and by Africans. Before Cellulant,
Njoroge helped to start 3Mice, a well-known African design and marketing agency that Njoroge has
since sold. Njoroge is happy to point out that 3Mice is still in business today.
Cellulant first began as a music distribution company that hit a big obstacles when trying to collect
payments from the users of their music platform. Njoroge noted that other companies were having
similar problems, and at the time there were no solutions to the payment problem. To solve this
problem his team built an online payment solution so that their music company could prosper, while
simultaneously they entered the new market of online payments.
Today Cellulant is a mobile value-added services company focusing on mobile content and mobile
financial services. It started in Kenya and has quickly grown its presence to encompass many other
countries throughout the African continent. Its two main business hubs are Kenya and Nigeria with
further presence in Tanzania, South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia,
Ethiopia and Uganda.
The Cellulant team is now at 220 employees and growing. The team serves more than 44 banks, 34
mobile operators and 4 million customers. These clients include some of Africas most influential
businesses including Kenya Airways, Kenya Commercial Bank Group, Barclays Bank Africa and Standard
Chartered Bank. In 2012, Cellulant was estimated to be worth around 12 million USD.
Main Products and Services
Cellulant helps customers maximize mobile infrastructure through the three branches of its business:
mobile banking, mobile payment methods and online and mobile music distribution platform. Cellulant
has worked both directly with end users, and specifically with large and medium banks and governments
to create banking and payment solutions for these larger clients. In 2009 they developed M-Wallet
which allows for mobile payments to be made both online and offline.
Cellulant also continues to run its original business, a mobile-based music downloading system called
Lupika. Lupika accounts for 30% of Cellulants revenue stream today, so even as the scope of Cellulant
has grown from solely music distribution to now encompass mobile payments and mobile banking
solution, the music and digital content distribution branch remains a strong component of the Cellulant
family.
Market Advantage:
Cellulant is the largest player in mobile payments, mobile banking, and music distribution in Africa, and
it is a growing market. Not only is the market for mobile payments growing in Africa, but it also appears
that it will remain a dominant form of value transfer for the continent. In Africa credit card penetration
is very low, and mobile phones are the de-facto credit cards. Africa is the worlds fastest growing market

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for mobile subscriptions as well as mobile money. The advantage of the growing mobile market is
magnified by a still-lacking physical infrastructure. Travel to places of business and banks is still difficult
and time-consuming, increasing the relative convenience of mobile applications and banking. In general,
Africas economies are growing quickly. This growth will sustain trends towards mobile use as well as a
need for banking.
Cellulant is not only the first company to offer mobile payments in Africa, but also the largest company
to do so. The founder sites that there may be competitors who are strong, but they are only strong
competitors in one or two countries, and do not cover the breadth of geography that Cellulant does;
therefore Cellulant is able to appeal to new client companies by offering easy integration of technology
across many African countries, that other mobile payment companies do not currently offer.
Cellulant also has competitors that compete on only one of the three markets that Cellulant serves
(mobile banking, mobile payment methods and online and mobile music distribution). Among the
competition, no other competitor is a strong competitor on all three markets. Cellulants breadth of
expertise allows them to seamlessly tie payment receiving with music distribution and banking in a way
that minimizes transaction costs and increases service their customers receive.
Cellulants Challenges has overcome:
Access to Venture Capital: For the first six years of Cellulant, the company had to bootstrap. It wasnt
until 6 years later when Cellulant had significant market coverage that a Private Equity Fund invested in
Cellulant. Many startups may face a similar issue of a lack of venture capital, so having a business model
that can create revenue that can be invested into growing the is a large help in showing market
validation and growing the business to a point where funders, if you still see that they would play a good
part in your business, will be interested in lending to you. Often time a multifaceted business model
where one branch of the business can subsidize the growth of another branch, can be helpful in
bootstrapping.
Finding the business model: Njoroge says, If you dont have a business model that works, the market
will teach you really quickly, so as you are starting, make sure that you understand the process. The
process of your customers finding you, selecting your products, paying you. How you stay in business.
Njoroge also believes entrepreneurs should be open about their business model and about sharing their
product. The more potential customers your share your product with, the more scrutiny you will receive
and the better you can change your product to serve the customers. He has found that taking time to
fundamentally understand your business model, and sharing your companys products has led him to
success. A great way to get started is to view the Lean Startup model on Udacity at
https://www.udacity.com/course/ep245
Recruiting and Retaining Talent: Getting a talented workforce is one of the main challenges that
Cellulant and many other startups that are growing face. Njoroge notes that he often needs to recruit
not only from top universities in Africa, but also from Europe and India to supplement his companys
talent needs. Once Cellulant has hired a great employee, the focus is on empowering that employee,
giving her or him a great opportunity while he or she works at Cellulant and building a relationship with
that employee. Njoroges strategy is to prepare each employee to become a CEO. A formula for this is to

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be forgiving of mistakes while giving a lot of responsibility to each team member, thus encouraging the
team member to perform well and be creative.
Moving to new markets
As Cellulant is currently in nine countries, they certainly have experience to share about moving to new
markets. Njoroge mentions that in most cases it was actually his current clients who brought him into
new countries. For example, Cellulant would be providing services for a bank in Kenya that happened to
have branches in many countries, so after successfully implementing mobile payments in Kenya, the
client was naturally interested in applying the technology in the other countries the bank served. In this
way, Cellulant already had a client in a new country, and moving to a new market was natural.
Cellulant has also received references from its current clients to work with other clients in various
countries. Njoroge says that his companys HQ location in Nairobi also plays a large part in their ability to
go global, as many multinational companies that have a presence in Africa have that presence in
Nairobi. This point can be telling for entrepreneurs from various countries. The lesson can be: have a
presence in an international city in your country or region, and then network. Entrepreneurs can ask
themselves what is their national or regional hub, and are they building a presence in that market? If a
company has built in an international market, are they utilizing the people there to the most effective
degree if a goal of the company is to enter new markets? Locating the business in a national or regional
hub where you can serve larger companies or network with an international crowd can be one step to
finding partners from other countries and entering new markets.
Plans for the Future
Cellulant hopes to enter into 12 new African countries, bringing the total countries where Cellulant has a
presence to 21 African countries. These new countries are generally Francophone African countries and
Northern African countries.
Contact:
Tel: 020 260 6696
Email: info@cellulant.com

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eMedia Jamaica
Background
eMedia was born in Kingston, Jamaica in September of 2008 in the home of Founder, Tyrone Wilson. It
has seen its fair share of ups and downs and with a round of Venture Capital support, recognition of
Jamaicas business community and a track record of success in electronic media, all the while gaining
momentum for growth. eMedia has positioned itself as a new media publishing company, meaning
they aim to bring the best content to consumers. Within this company they produce content directly for
consumers as well as for their client companies. For their B2B clients, eMedias branded content
creation saves the client the burden of producing their product. For consumers of eMedias eZines and
viewers of their iVu TV programming, eMedia is serving a niche market who is hungry for locally-created
and relevant material. eMedia was one of the first companies in the Caribbean to adopt a primarily
new media strategy and were met with opposition from more traditional media experts during their
beginning stages.
What is today known as eMedia Ltd. began as eZines Ltd, publishing Your Money, an eZine (digital
magazine) focused on finances. eMedia now publishes 4 separate eZines. With more than 32,000
readers and a diverse media portfolio that includes, in addition to the 4 eZines, Jamaicas first online TV
programs and over 30 business clients who collaborate with eMedia on branded content, it would be
easy to forget eMedias previous struggles.
Soon after their inception and a quick launch into the regional eZine platform, economic turndowns in
the United States and Caribbean threatened the future of the company. With a business based on the
sales of advertising space, and companies less willing to advertise, a reduction in staff was necessary.
Investment from outside sources slowed to a halt. This is really when their support from the Technology
Innovation Centre, where eMedia has spent 4 years and is currently still housed, mattered most.
Founder and CEO Tyrone Wilson says, We survived through mentorship, networking and incubation.
This networking has paid off as eMedia has recruited several prominent Jamaican businessmen for their
board of directors, including Richard Byles, President and CEO of Sagicor and Chairman for Red Stripe.
They were also able to raise $350,000 USD in funding through PanCaribbean Financial Services.
eMedias newest project is their boldest. iVu tv is an online television network similar to Netflix or Hulu
but with regional programming for the Caribbean and produce by the Caribbean. They have already
been successful in recruiting local talent and will continue to create distinctly Caribbean content to be
distributed worldwide.

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1.1.2 Incubation and eMedia
According to Wilson, one of the best moves was to go to the Incubator. The Technology Innovation
Centre has been the home to eMedia since June 2009, and eMedia continues to stay there as an anchor
tenant. Wilson sited that being stationed at the Technology Innovation Centre has many benefits. It
gives us a proper image so clients and partners will take us seriously; it provides a space to learn
alongside like-minded individuals. Currently eMedia benefits from the incubators internship program,
which bring eMedia dozens of eager new members to the eMedia team. Wilson says members of his
company are also able to easily share their advice with up and coming technology teams at the
incubator, thus serving as a role model to Jamaican startups.

1.1.3 Main Products and Services


eMedia carries four online eZine publications: Your Money, Your Style,
Teen Spirit and the wkndr which are delivered to over 32,000 recipients
in Jamaica, North America and the United Kingdom. The eZines cover
topics diverse as finances, style, teenagers and weekend activities
respectively. With this broad range of topics, eMedia offers a diverse
group of potential consumers for advertisers to target. These
publications are distributed through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, other
social media as well as their new mobile app.
eMedias newest offering is iVu tv, an online television network that
eMedia currently offers for free as they are building viewership and loyalty. In the future they plan to
offer tiered membership, maintaining a standard free subscription, and adding a paid premium
subscription that will allow for unlimited downloading and access. The premium subscription would
make additional content from Netflix and Hulu available in addition to eMedias local Carribbean
content. Working towards that direction of content provision, eMedia has partnered with Roku, an
AppleTV-like product that allows users to use online television networks similarly to traditional
television networks.
eMedia also uses their talent to serve an external community of businesses through branded media.
This branch is key in their international expansion that has occurred just this September 2013.
1.1.3 Market Advantage
Traditional media powerhouses in Jamaica have been hesitant to tackle new media, this has left the
door open for eMedia to become the first choice for advertisers and content creators to reach the types
of consumers who access content through this way. Wilson says he has found there are an abundance of
content creators in the Caribbean, but there was no platform to carry their content. eMedia went to
gather those content creators together while building an online platform and audience stream for their
work. The fact that all of eMedias offerings are available online means they be immediately consumed
anywhere on earth. Traditional media cannot match this kind of reach, and as such advertisers will be
drawn to a potentially unlimited audience size. With young leadership and backing from some of the
Caribbeans most powerful members of the business community, eMedia is an established brand with
plenty of room to grow.

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Another important opportunity is that network speed is rapidly increasing in the Caribbean. LTE
Advanced speeds will soon be widely available, making streaming content more convenient. eMedia
considers itself as a company who is well positioned to take advantage of this trend.
1.2 Main Challenges
Creating opportunities from the companys potential problems:
Wilson turns potential problems for eMedia into opportunities. Below are a few examples of how he has
dealt with issues that often face entrepreneurs:
Competition:
Potential Problem Competition from existing TV stations for viewers.
Opportunity: Partner with would-be competitors to offer them content.
As iVu, eMedias online Television network, is creating video content, one could expect them to
be competing with the existing local news channels for the local audience. Wilson has found
that there is still room for a mutually beneficial partnership between eMedia and the TV
networks, however. When one realizes in the Jamaican market that good CONTENT is what
people want to watch, and that eMedia produces great content, then you can see how a TV
station might be interested in partnering with eMedia in order to purchase content for their
channels. eMedia has formed such a partnership with a local TV station to supply them content
to broadcast during the weekend. In this arrangement eMedia will organically access a different
segment of viewers (via traditional TV instead of online or mobile devices) and thus exposes this
audience to iVu programming, and has the opportunity to funnel some of the viewers to the iVu
online and mobile experience.
Multi-faceted business model:
Potential Problem: Confusing which part of the business to invest time and money in.
Opportunity: Know your business inside and out, and serve various markets effectively.
eMedia successfully manages its two businesses by clearly identifying the clients, understanding
the key competencies necessary to deliver on the various fronts, and then delivering value to
their clients. In both sides of their business eMedia is creating solid content. On the branded
media side, eMedia sells content (or the services of creating the content) to their client
companies following a B2B model. The clients gain the value in distributing the content through
their channels and engaging their customers.
For the eMedia-owned e-zines and TV station, eMedia creates and distributes the content
themselves, gaining revenue through advertisements. To be attractive to advertisers, eMedia
has built up readership over the years in their e-zine business, and is currently growing their
online audience viewership, as well. High quality content is the key to gaining and retaining new
viewers and readers.
Building a great team:
Potential Problem: Hard to find, keep and trim to have a great team the larger you get.
Opportunity: Find a great team, and train them to be the best at what they do.

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eMedia has gone through a time of growth since it has first started in 2008, meaning that they
have needed to hire more and more talented people over the years as eMedia now has a team
of 12 full time and 20 part time employees, including an executive board of 6 members. Tyrone
has found that investing in developing his team members leadership skills has really paid off. He
does this through leadership trainings, conferences and specialized retreats. The trainings also
give people the time to focus together and get on the same page so their efforts combine to
produce positive outcomes.
1.3 Internationalization Strategy:
Expansion into the US Market for Branded Media
As of September 2013 eMedia has expanded to
the US with its branded media branch of the
business. In the US they are creating media pieces ranging from articles, magazines, e-zines and
videos for their clients. Wilson finds that the acceptance and readiness of the market for his
services is even more in the US than in Jamaica. In the US eMedia has chosen to partner with a
US-based company who will handle the sales-channel.
How did eMedia enter the US Market?
Wilsons business partner is actually formerly a part of eMedias advisory board, and had
transferred to the United States. She saw eMedias service as a perfect service provider for her
marketing company she set up in the US, and approached Wilson with the idea to form a
partnership. eMedia is currently providing print and eZine services, but soon hopes to provide
animation and video services to US clients as well. Wilson describes the value he brings to the
US market as a creative outsourcing model. He has arranged an efficient group of talent who can
complete the job for less money than those working in the USA.
Why the USA and why September 2013?
There were three reasons for choosing the USA now. 1) His board member offered him an
opportunity to do so. 2) eMedia is eager to earn foreign currency 3) eMedia has capacity to offer
the services demanded of the partnership.
For Wilson, this fall was particulalry a great time for him to enter new markets as his company is
eager to earn foreign exchange in the form of US Dollars. Inflation is up in Jamaica, and with
each passing month their currency buys less and less on the global market. This means a lot,
especially when one lives on a small island nation such as Jamaica, which imports a very high
percentage of goods.
Advice for moving to another market
Wilson has found it invaluable that he has partnered with a company that is already set up in
the USA. The partner in the US set up the LLC, and then eMedia entered in to a joint partnership
with this US Company. The US partner has alleviated many legal and accounting pressures that
Wilson surely would have faced had he entered the market alone. Therefore from Wilsons
experience, he advises to seek a partner who can provide a similar type of entry point. It would

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be too difficult for many startups to both manage their business and deal with legal and
accounting matters while trying to gain new business in a new geography. The partnership has
allowed eMedia to focus on the activities that bring value to customers and partners, not on
bureaucratic matters.
Expansion into the Caribbean region for eMedia
eMedia is focusing on achieving success and offering more content at home in Jamaica before
investing resources in marketing and sales into other Caribbean nations. Wilson sites a general
sense of cultural separateness that exists in the Caribbean as making it difficult to break into
additional Caribbean markets. However, eMedia is expanding organically throughout the US, UK
and Caribbean mainly through diaspora in those regions. Wilson notes that it is easiest for
people to jump on board with iVu tv, no matter where viewers are located.
The Future of eMedia
eMedia is a company that has changed and evolved to fit market demands, and will continue to do so in
the future. The company is in the final stages of building out mobile applications for their smartphone
and tablet platforms in addition to their websites, giving users a more interactive reading and viewing
experience and their advertisers more value for their money. Founder Tyrone Wilson sees that eMedia
is set to achieve these milestones in the next couple of years.
Reach 200,000 subscribers for online TV and magazines
Increase business by ten times in the US market
Launch 5 more shows that specific categories to ensure a good diversity of programming on the
iVu tv channel including: comedy, entertainment, fitness and more
Grow his team as needed, while emphasizing efficiency, skill building and productivity in his
current team
Key Milestones for eMedia

June 2009
Sept 2008
Founded eMedia

eMedia enters
Technology
Incubation Centre

December 2011
Receive US$350,000
funding from Pan
Caribbean Financial
Services

Sept 2013
eMedia enters the US
Market

Contact information:
Email: info@joinemedia.com
Phone: 876.970.5657
Web: http://ezinesreader.com/
http://ivutv.com/

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Recommerce - Belarus
1.1 Background
The Belarus-based Recommerce team formed their company in April 2012 as they realized there was
demand from small businesses for easy to create online storefronts. As the team was working on a web
studio for creating e-stores, they agreed that integrating a customer relationship management system
solution as well would boost functionality for their clients who would sell on Recommerce. They
launched the demo-version in Belarus that September and site went officially live in February 2013.
In May of 2013 the Recommerce team participated and were the top performers in a competition in
Belarus; during that competition they became involved with Happy Farm, a popular American-Ukrainian
business incubator. Through this partnership, the company received their first investment. In July
Recommerce launched a demo version of their commerce site in the US, under the name
CommerceRun, and in September 2013 the CEO visited Silicon Valley in a trip sponsored by Happy Farm.
While there the CEO further learned about the US Market for ecommerce sites and that they would
continue to launch in the United States to serve the large market that exists there. Being in Silicon Valley
was a good experience to understand the market in the USA, the people and what can we do to attract
them says Igor Kuryanovich, Founder and CEO of Recommerce.
Also during September, Recommerce
expanded to the Ukrainian and
Russian markets with beta versions of
Recommerces Participation with Happy Farm
the platform. During October 2013
We have great support from Happy Farm. They help us
the team worked on search engine
communicate. The team members have reported many
optimization, the marketing plan
benefits of participation through the incubator such as
creation time, and they reached
attendance at meetings and events where they have
another great milestone: receiving
connected with new partners and clients, business
their first revenue in the form of
advising from the Happy Farm staff and mentors, and
payments
from
the
clients
being a part of the large community of startup
storefronts. At the time of writing,
companies. Recommerce Ilya says, We share our
December 2, 2013 the company has
experience, our successes and difficulties with other
its own independent office in Belarus,
entrepreneurs who are involved with Happy Farm.
a team of four full-time staff which
have led Recommerce to offer
services to 900 e-storefronts in total,
with 650 in Belarus, 60 in Ukraine,
150 in Russia and 40 in the US. Recommerce is proud of its A rating on Russian Startup Rating.
1.2 Main Products and Services
Recommerce is a B2B business, targeting small businesses that want to create online stores.
Recommerces e-commerce service offers many strong points to its customers: clean and simple design
for the client companies storefronts, a back-end interface that is very easy for small business owners to
navigate and update, a cloud-based customer relationships management system, and a seamless online
payment system utilizing PayPal or major credit cards. They offer incremental pricing options based on
the number of products the businesses promote on their online stores. These price options run from 10
USD to 99 USD per month.

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The typical clients that Recommerce serves differ in each country, but overall the businesses that
participate with Recommerce are small businesses that generally employ 15 people or less.
Recommerces marketing so far has been organic. In each country they have entered, Recommerce
creates a domain name and website that is relevant to the country and then launch the site. In time,
people begin creating e-stores with Recommerce. Recommerce minimizes the amount they pay for
advertising, instead leading social marketing campaign, encouraging word of mouth referrals, producing
articles and blog posts in relevant publications focused on entrepreneurs.
1.3 Market Advantage
Recommerce is aware of two of its largest competitors: Insales in the market of Commonwealth of
Independent States (CIS), an association of many Eastern European countries; and Shopify in the US
market.
Recommerces edge is apparent in their product; namely the simplicity of use, clean and easy templates,
and better design of their stores for product placement. Even more, the team believes the unserved
market is large and growing, both in the US and in CIS, so there is room, not only for them, but for even
more competitors to serve small businesses who want to have their website available online. For
instance, in Belarus, the Recommerce team members are personally spreading the news of the
convenience of online shopping, and finding new people to try it out, Every day we tell people that you
can do your shopping online, not leaving your chairs.
The progress of the company is clear markets that are on an upward trend regarding clients, the
ubiquity and internationalization of online shopping. Recommerce has the potential to serving
thousands of more businesses and becoming a very profitable company.
1.3 Internationalization Strategy: Entry into Ukraine, Russia and the United States
In September 2013 Recommerce launched the Beta version in Russia and Ukraine. Founder Igor
Kuryanovich shared that after their success in Belarus it was easy to decide to enter into Ukraine and
Russia as the companies share a language and have similar cultures. Furthermore the same partner who
processes the finances in Belarus is able to process financial transactions based in any CIS country.
Before entering the country the team members were able to research the market. Team members
visited the countries, could talk to people and meet with businesses that might share insights in the
market. Furthermore, the Staff at Happy Farm was available to answer any questions about the
Ukranian and US market, so the team felt well prepared as they prepared their beta launch for Ukraine
and Russia and demo mode for the US.
The team described their entrance into the US market as a demo. The site is there to test the interest
from the market and learn how those who sign up would use the site. It is a non-functioning ecommerce
solution, as of yet. This is an example of how Recommerce has chosen to enter with a bit more caution
and time for understanding in a market that is geographically and substantially different than their
original market of Belarus.

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In order to keep costs down, Recommerce entered the markets without employing specific partners.
Simply constructing and localizing the sites and making them available via search engine optimization
and simple social networking. Kuryanovich says, If we find a partner in these countries then we are
open to the opportunity of working together.
1.4 The Future of Recommerce
Recommerce is very happy with the company they are building and with their partnership with Happy
Farm incubator. Their business is growing steadily and for now are not seeking external funding,
preferring to grow from their own efforts and maintain control of their business. In the immediate
future they will focus on growing their presence especially in the CIS countries, and observing the
performance in the US market.
In the future, Recommerce is interested in spreading their technology to additional markets. They
decide where next they will go based on the strength of a business partner they would find in the
region. When Recommerce considers collaborating with a partner, they look for the partner to provide
an essential service that their team lacks but is necessary for the customers they are serving. The
country partners Recommerce might seek in the future would help with marketing or accounting
services. Another deciding factor of where to expand is the presence of a growing e-commerce market.
The Recommerce team is practicing the art of networking and building their relationships in advance of
action. During VentureOut, an international mobile application contest VentureOut event hosted in
Moldova in October 2013, Recommerce received a request to work in Armenia. In addition, they also
met contacts that sparked their interest in Kazakhstan and India.
Contact Information:
Name: Igor Kuryanovich
Email: mail@recom.by and mail@commercerun.com
Web: www.recommerce.by

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Annex 5: Bios of Experts Participating in


VentureOut
Speakers for VentureOut in Moldova:
Dr. David Kirsch is Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship in the M&O Department
at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. He received his PhD in history from
Stanford University in 1996. His research interests include industry emergence, technological choice,
technological failure and the role of entrepreneurship in the emergence of new industries. With the
support of grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Library of Congress, he is currently
building a digital archive of the Dot Com Era that will preserve at-risk, born-digital content about
business and culture during the late 1990s. Selected materials are available to the public at
www.dotcomarchive.org.
Augie Rakow is a corporate attorney in Orrick's Emerging Companies Group where he advises startups
and investors who are building the future of how we live and work. Augie has advised large mobile
companies such as Nokia, as well as a wide array of mobile startups such as RealityCap which offers 3D
scanning tools for smartphones and MakeGamesWithUs which is an iOS game publishing aimed at high
school and college students. Augie studied theological history at Harvard University before becoming a
lawyer and is one of the few Americans who has taken the Japanese bar exam. He also worked for many
years in intellectual property before focusing on startup corporate work. Super Lawyers magazine
named him a Rising Star, an honor reserved for no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in California.
Augie is the current president of the Harvard Club of San Francisco. He lives with his wife in Atherton,
California.
Amir Alexander Hasson is the Chief Development Officer at Oxigen. Amir is an accomplished
entrepreneur with expertise in business development, strategy, finance, management, Web
technologies, mobile applications, telecom, and distribution. He has started 3 companies, raised over
$5m from venture investors, and built networks impacting the lives of millions of people in the US, Asia,
Africa, and Latin America.

VentureOut Global Mentors


Mark Thirman, Director of Partnerships and Ventures at Vodafone Mark has over 25 years of
experience in executive, business development, and sales roles gathered in a broad range of telephony,
infrastructure, networking, and computer companies. Currently at Vodafone, the world's leading mobile
operator, Mark works on key partnerships and venture capital investments. The partnerships focus on
M2M. LinkedIn
Scott Hartley, Partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures Scott joined the Mobile and Consumer Internet team
at Mohr Davidson with both an eye for detail and a love of the big picture. He has deep interest in
mobile enabled commerce, and in 2012 was a contributing author to Shopping for Good, a book

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published by MIT Press. He's also focused on how mobile, social, and big data analytics are transforming
financial services, traditional commerce, and our interactions with the offline, physical world. LinkedIn
Alex Bashian, Investment Manager, Invested Development Alex Bashian is the Senior Investment
Manager for Invested Development, with a special focus on alternative energy technologies and new
business opportunities in Africa. He leads all investment procedures from start to finish and oversees all
activities in IDs Nairobi office. Prior to working with Invested Development, Alex worked as an energy
consultant and access-to-finance expert for the WHL Group, and as an energy analyst at Morgan Stanley
and Lehman Brothers. He has deep experience in energy commodities trading, energy systems and
project finance, and has spent two years creating opportunities to advance access-to-finance for clean
energy solutions in emerging markets. Alex received his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a
minor in Business from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and received his MPA in Energy &
Economic Policy from Columbia University.
Peggy Anne Salz, Mobile Industry Author, Chief Analyst at MobileGroove Peggy is the chief analyst and
founder of MobileGroove. Her report, Mobile Search & Content Discovery, was regarded as the first indepth study of its kind, establishing Peggy as an authority on mobile search and content discovery
technologies. Her most recent series of practical how-to white papers covers the basics of mobile
advertising and mobile analytics, earning her a reputation as a leading mobile marketing and advertising
expert. She also is the author of the Everything Guide to Mobile Apps a practical book/ebook that
equips marketers, brands and developers with the business basics they need to monetize their apps and
encourage ongoing engagement. Graduating with honors from the University of Pittsburgh, Peggy
earned a B.A. in Philosophy of Science, Political Science, and Economics. She is a Fulbright fellow and a
member of the International Whos Who of Professionals. LinkedIn
Luca Sale: a Serial traveler, web enthusiast and UI perfectionist. I spend most of my time travelling,
coding and scanning for WiFi hotspots. I'm data addicted: I feel dizzy if I have a 2G connection and lost if
I have no signal. I preach the good use of web technology; its cleanliness, ease of use and the power that
comes with this great bunch of languages. I live on the EDGE but only if there are no 3G networks
available!
Alex Besen, Founder and CEO, The Besen Group LLC Alex Besen is the Founder & CEO of The Besen
Group LLC. He provides advisory and training services to corporate executives in the mobile data
industry. He manages the firms network of independent consultants and channel partners and interacts
with his advisors. He has over 18 years of hands-on experience in the mobile industry working for
operators and vendors in North America and Europe in numerous roles including business development,
marketing, project management and finance. He has been working with mobile network operators in
developing their wholesale business models, advising Mobile Virtual Network Operators to launch their
mobile and mobile data services as well as helping Mobile Virtual Network Enablers with their service
portfolios. He holds a BS degree in Management from the University of Tampa and an MBA degree in
International Business from the American University. He is fluent in French, Turkish and proficient in
Italian. LinkedIn
Anju Aggarwal, Associate Director of Mobile Financial Services at LeapFrog Investments and Director
of Product Marketing at Localytics

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Anju Aggarwal leads LeapFrog's work, alongside its partner companies, to harness the power of mobile
technology for distribution of financial tools - especially in emerging markets. She also directs product
marketing at Localytics, a leading marketing and analytics platform for mobile and web apps. Anju has a
decade of experience as a business leader and consultant, working with over 40 telecommunications
companies and financial institutions in over 20 countries to solve significant strategic challenges. In her
most recent role, at SingTel Group, she co-led a mobile payments initiative across Asia with a reach of
over 400 million subscribers. Prior to her mobile career, Anju was at Development Alternatives
Incorporated in London, where she focused on Access to Finance via SMEs and microfinance. Anju has
also worked at the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the European Commission.
She holds a MSc. from the London School of Economics, a BA Honors from the University of Toronto,
and speaks English, Hindi, and Spanish.
Ben Knelman, CEO and founder of Juntos Finanzas
Ben Knelman is the CEO and founder of Juntos Finanzas Juntos builds empowering personal finance
tools for cash-based households in the US and emerging markets. Accessible on any basic cellphone via
SMS, Juntos' products help families increase their savings, and help drive deeper client engagement with
financial products designed for the newly banked. At last year's CFSI Forum, Juntos' products were voted
the winner of the Core Innovators Challenge for the industry's best new product for the underserved.
This past November, Juntos was named the winner of the G20's global innovation award for financial
inclusion at the G20 Summit in Mexico City. Recently named one of The World Economic Forums
Global Shapers under 30, Ben has a background in User-Centric Product Development and Economics.
He earned his Bachelors and Masters at Stanford, where Juntos began at the Stanford d.school.
Niko Bonatsos, Principal, General Catalyst Partners Niko is a Principal at General Catalyst and GC Seed,
the firms seed investment vehicle. Niko focuses on investments in IT (mobile, education technology,
consumerized IT business applications & consumer health) as well as seed-stage opportunities with an
outlier potential. He is particularly interested in working with first time founders, who have a strong
perspective about solving big problems their way. Concurrent with his academic career, Niko worked on
lean manufacturing for Yokogawa Electric Corp, biomedical signal processing at Harvard Medical
School/MGH, cloud computing at Stanford University and as a founding team member of myLinkpower,
a social networking start-up. Niko is a graduate of Stanford University, earning an M.S. in Management
Science and Engineering as a Fulbright Scholar; the University of Cambridge, earning an M.Phil. in
Manufacturing Engineering and Management; and the National Technical University of Athens, earning
an engineers degree (Dipl.-Ing) in Electrical and Computer Engineering. LinkedIn
Isaac de la Pena, Co-founder & CEO, Stealth Co and Co-founder, Playrific Isaac is an innovation
executive with more than 15 years of experience providing leadership to Fortune 50, startup and mid
cap businesses both domestic and international. His expertise spans engineering, marketing and finance.
Playrific is a start-up that provides a safe, engaging and educational environment for young children to
play and learn using mobile devices without the need of parental supervision. Isaac holds an MBA from
MIT Sloan School of Business. LinkedIn

Santiago Tenorio, Co-founder and CEO, Melba Santiago is the co-founder and CEO of Melba, an online
marketplace that allows chefs and cooks to display their talent by offering unique dining experiences to

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a growing community of food lovers. Previously, he co-founded a mobile gaming startup in New York
and, before that, spent 5 years in the financial services industry at BlackRock and Bank of America's
investment banking division (TMT group). He graduated from University of Pennsylvania in 2006 where
he studied Cognitive Science, Visual Studies and Japanese. LinkedIn
Saadiq Rodgers-King, COO Nodejitsu Inc. and Co-founder, Hot-Potato Saadiq Rodgers-King is most
recently COO of Nodejitsu. Previously he co-founded Hot Potato, which was acquired by Facebook in
August of 2010. Prior to Hot Potato, he led content acquisition and distribution deals as head of US
Business Development for Dailymotion. Prior to Dailymotion, he spent 5 years at MLB.com in a variety of
product and engineering focused roles, most recently as Director of New Media. He has an MBA from
MIT's Sloan School of Management and a B.A. in Computer Science from Princeton University. LinkedIn
Mansoor Basha, Director, New Business - Design & Development at Ooredoo Telecom Group Mansoor
Basha is a wireless industry veteran currently working at a global mobile operator in 15 countries and is
responsible for Global launch programs like - B2B Cloud solutions, Mobile Money, Music, Social
networking, mhealth, SDP, M2M and mAdvertising solutions. Prior to this, he was with Tellabs in the
Market Strategy and Planning group focused on Mobile Packet Core, Policy, Charging, Rating and
Applications. He has over 16 years of experience in the wireless and wireline telecommunications
industries, including senior roles at Motorola, OpenCloud and Locognition, a mobile startup. He has a
deep understanding of current trends in the selection, deployment, and sale of wireless applications and
infrastructure technologies solutions. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School General Management
Program and has a masters in management from Northwestern University and a masters in computer
engineering from the University of Central Florida. LinkedIn

Andres lank, Co-founder and COO of Pixable


Andres founded Pixable in 2009. Pixable became one of the biggest photo apps in the mobile space with
almost 10 million downloads before selling to SingTel for $26.5M in 2012. At Pixable Andres was in
charge of product design and growth. Before Pixable Andres started 3 companies in his native
Venezuela: one of which was a lumber trader and exporter, with over 30 employees and $1M in annual
revenues. www.pixable.com

Virtual Training and Tool Kit Development


Augie Rakow - See bio above
Jim Chung, Executive Director, Office of Entrepreneurship, George Washington University
Jim Chung is the Executive Director of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Office of Technology Transfer
at the George Washington University where he is responsible for entrepreneurship programs and
technology transfer. As the director of the Mtech VentureAccelerator at the University of Maryland
before joining the George Washington University, Jim worked with faculty and students there to launch
startup companies based on University of Maryland technology. Prior to that, he served as the director
of new business development at the Corporate Executive Board and helped establish the companys
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mergers and acquisitions capabilities. He also served as vice president at Cherington Capital (now
Intervale Capital), a middle market private equity firm. He started his private sector career as an early
stage venture capital investor, most recently at incTANK Ventures, where he was the managing director.
Before becoming an investor, Jim was an academic researcher studying how business, government, and
academia work together to create new innovations in high technology industries. He was a research
fellow at MIT (Security Studies Program), Harvard (Center for Science and International Affairs), the
University of Tokyo (Fulbright Fellow), and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (NSF
Fellow). He received his Bachelor and Masters degrees from Stanford University and was a Ph.D.
candidate at MIT.
Dr. Charles Eesley, Assistant Professor, Stanford University, Department of Management Science and
Engineering
Dr. Eesleys research and teaching interests focus on institutions and technology entrepreneurship. In
particular, his research focuses on the determinants of high-growth, innovative firm creation across
institutional contexts; examining how the environment influences entrepreneurs and firms. He received
the 2010 Best Dissertation Award in the Business Policy and Strategy Division of the Academy of
Management and am recipient of the 2007 Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundations Dissertation
Fellowship award. His work has been generously funded by Sequoia Capital, the Kauffman Foundation,
the MIT Entrepreneurship Center and Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP). He earned a B.S.
from Duke University and doctorate from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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Annex 6: Profiles of VentureOut Finalists


Africa
GoMetro
Justin Coetzee, South Africa
Category: Navigation
www.gometroapp.com
GoMetro is the most accurate transit app for emerging markets, providing public transport information
including trains, buses, rapid transit, and taxis in one app. GoMetro has 450,000 unique visitors a month
since launching in 2012, and has generated R1,000,000 in its first year of operations in four South
African cities.
The developers plan to take the app global by connecting with country managers and approaching
marketing and communications managers of each transport mode in a city they target. In addition to the
market push, GoMetro publishes academic papers at Transit Conferences such as UITP, and has set up
an informational website to attract international interest.
Founder Justin Coetzee is a civil engineer, with a PrEng from ECSA, and a Masters in Transportation
Engineering. He is the driving force behind GoMetro, straddling the business and government spheres to
deliver scalable value to all partners and stakeholders. He has already successfully negotiated multilayered partnerships in South Africa.

Prowork
Francis Onwumere, Nigeria
Category: Productivity
http://prowork.me
Many businesses in emerging markets face massive loss of productivity as a result of dispersing their
project activities across different improvised media. This is because most traditional project
management tools are difficult to use, not collaborative, or not available on mobile.
Prowork is a collaborative project management solution for business. It empowers businesses and helps
them lower costs by bringing project management and collaboration together on one platform, and
making it mobile, real-time, ubiquitous, and business intelligent.
With better internet connectivity businesses in emerging markets with populations over 1 billion, will
embrace innovative cloud solutions like Prowork to save cost, and improve efficiency. The team plans to
internationalize Prowork through language localization and partnerships across Sub Saharan Africa and
South America.

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CEO Francis Onwumere has more than a decade of professional experience as a technology and business
developer, and has worked for numerous large organizations like the IFC with SMEToolkit Nigeria.

Eastern Europe & Central Asia


Idram Mobile Wallet
Gevorg Poghosyan, Armenia
Category: Finance
http://mobile.idram.am
In Armenia, to pay utilities, loans, taxes, or send or receive money, citizens have to go to banks, post
offices, and municipality offices. These methods are time consuming and difficult for citizens who are
not in Armenia to pay their taxes. Idram Mobile Wallet allows users to make instant payments and
money transfers, replacing traditional payment methods. Currently the application has more than
10,000 users in Armenia and abroad, 20% of whom use the app regularly.
To internationalize their product, Idram has a strategy to convert Idram units to local payment systems
of different countries, giving foreign customers the opportunity to make transfers. By building a strong
network and integrating to international payment systems, Idram will act as an intermediary between
consumers and service providers from various countries. As a result, consumers in Moldova, using local
currency, can pay for goods and services while in Poland, via Idram Mobile Wallet. Idram already has
partnerships in Georgia, Belarus, Russia, and the Netherlands.

Manifesto
Dorian Postevca, Moldova
Category: Social Networking
www.seemanifesto.com
Manifesto allows users to immediately shoot video or capture audio with one tap and make it public
with a click. Manifesto provides both instant capture and content sharing, unlike other apps that focus
only on one or the other. During its free promotional period, the app was downloaded 30,000 times in
48 hours.
From its launch in Summer 2013, the app has received 15 paid downloads per day from virtually zero,
and has an average 5 star rating from many of its users. Because of UX and design, the app could be
easily scaled to other regions. Their internationalization strategy consists of localizing promo material
and designing the app for users in different languages.
Cofounder Dorian Postevca runs a dynamic but scalable team of three. With ten years of experience, he
is the head of internet services in Orange Moldova. He also founded www.zap.md the most popular
online store in Moldova.

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Tuning Fork
Dilara Rustam-Zadeh, Azerbaijan
Category: Entertainment/games
www.tuningfork.az
Tuning Fork mobile app is the newest tool to help singers sing in tune. A graphic displays the songs
correct notes and gives the user an assessment of how well they performed at the end of the song. This
new karaoke app offers its users not only the joy of singing, but at the same time helps them improve.
The development team plans to add international music to the app, and promote it through Facebook
ads, Google Play, and the app store. Team leader Dilara Rustam-zadeh is a musician and IT Specialist.
She graduated with honors in Information Technology and Systems and is currently enrolled in a
masters program at Caucasus University for Computing Science. She is an entrepreneur in Baku at
Azercell - Barama Innovation Center.

Caribbean
Grik.ly
Dwayne Samuels, Jamaica
Category: Productivity
www.grik.ly
Grik.ly is a business networking application that works to replace the unmeasurable use of the
traditional business card and allows users to share contact details easily, while remembering who
theyve met and where theyve met them. Grik.ly also allows users to stay updated when individuals
change any information on their business card.
Grik.lys strategy for internationalization focuses on building their user base through strategic
partnerships, using SEO and blog posts, giving first hand demos at conferences, and adding experienced
mentors to their board. Grik.ly launched their MVP to the general public on the Windows Phone
platform in 2013 and are developing versions for Android and iOS.
Director Dwayne Samuels is a mentee of the Branson Center of Entrepreneurship and studied Computer
Information Science at the Northern Caribbean University.

M.A.D.E. - My App for Disasters and Emergencies


Ade Inniss-King and Elisia Madonna Corrian, Trinidad & Tobago
Category: Safety
In 2012 Trinidad & Tobago experienced flash flooding that caused over US $15 million in damages in
Diego Martin. In Haiti, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck in 2010, resulting in at least US $8 billion in
damages and left hundreds of thousands dead. M.A.D.E. creates value for its users by effectively

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delivering actionable, location-specific information about natural disasters and emergencies, and
connects those in need directly with first responders and disaster response coordinators, enabling them
to optimally allocate resources, something greatly lacking in the Caribbean. Built from the ground up to
run on multiple servers and coded in line with best practices, M.A.D.E. is designed for scalability.
M.A.D.E. will be launched in T&T as a pilot project, and subsequently released in phases throughout the
English-speaking Caribbean. The app will then be localized for the Spanish, French, and Dutch-speaking
Caribbean. In order to build the core user base, targeted advertising to specific disaster prone market
segments such as tertiary education students, working professionals, daily commuters, farmers and local
government agencies is the first priority.
The project director, Ade Inniss-King has fifteen years of experience at Kronus Geological Services
Limited, a geological consultancy operating in Trinidad and Tobago whose major clients include Centrica
Energy, BG T&T, BHP Billiton, and Repsol YPF.

SweetSOA
Jerome Campbell, Jamaica
Category: Productivity
www.sweetandsoa.com
With the rapid adoption of mobile devices, companies look to provide mobile solutions that grow their
businesses. This is a challenging task for companies as specialized app development can be an
expensive, complicated, and lengthy process.
SweetSOA provides a generic mobile application that companies can easily customize specific to their
needs. Unlike other solutions, this app gives businesses the ability to create customized low cost mobile
solutions without requiring the user to do any programming. SweetSOAs internationalization strategy
focuses on a marketing campaign targeting technology professionals that need a mobile app for their
business. SweetSOA plans to partner with web service technologies like SoapUI, which averages 20,000
downloads per week. Team leader Jerome Campbell is a Senior Systems Analyst with more than seven
years in enterprise software development and a passion for innovation.

Attachment: Moldova Evaluation Report


See the full event report here
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/79652279/Moldova%20VentureOut%20Final%20Event%20Evalua
tion%20Report%20November%2025%2C%202013.pdf

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