I attended tech centered mHub’s first event in Blantyre as a speaker and observer. It goes without saying that mHub is opening up ....

I attended tech centered mHub’s first event in Blantyre as a speaker and observer. It goes without saying that mHub is opening up new horizons for tech startups many did not know about. Read about a few startups I picked out from my experience at the event. From a mobile game to a credit loading mobile app, things many might not know are developing in The Warm Heart of Africa. I was both honored and nervous at the thought of presenting in amidst the throng of app developers and techies at Mhub’s TechFest Blantyre edition held on 17th April at the College of Medicine Sports Complex. This was something I and alot of other people working and interested in the local technology industry had been dreaming about and much can be owed to an avid following for tech incubators and events like TechCrunch Disrupt and Y Combinator. I sat next to Tiseke Chilima, a lively young journalist from Timveni TV , with whom I bantered about the event and shared journo notes as we live tweeted the event, some of which were conversations within the audience that were over heard. The atmosphere was electric from the word go. Chuckles and pleasantries and plenty of networking was going on before the host, Wisdom Chigwede, introduced Austin Madinga, the director of mHub for introductory remarks. “MHub is aimed at helping people through technology and will train people to create and nurture technology.” Was a notable quote from his speech. Austin Madinga went on to explain to the audience that mHub intends to provide a mentorship program, and a mobile app competition to boot. Presenters were given strictly 15 minutes to present and invite questions from the audience. The moment felt historic, it was clear that the day would set a pace for the technology industry in the country. It was only right that the first presentation was by Innocent Bvalani, founder of Bho!. A local web based social messaging platform that reportedly works on the oldest of internet capable phones. The projector screen lit up revealing to the audience a demonstration of the messaging platform with a simple but remarkable user interface. The crowd was clearly enthralled. After Innocent was the demonstration of a credit loader mobile app from Osborne Potani that captures the digits on a recharge voucher with the built-in phone camera and eliminates the punching in process. Our live tweets and pictures of demonstrations as the event went on put Malawi Twitter in a frenzy. Other presentations were from classyanga.com, a virtual classroom, mymalonda.com by Noble Hara, a Point-of-Sale system for stadium tickets and an exam practice app to mention a few. Techfest is a tech meetup synonymous with mHub, founded by technology entrepreneur Rachel Sibande and is funded by Hivos.

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