US business school visits 88mph in SA

The Kenan-Flager Business School from North Carolina has visited Cape Town-based startup accelerator 88mph to gain insight into African markets.

MBA students paid a visit to the accelerator’s offices in Cape Town after completing their Botswana excursions as part of the exploration in the two African countries.

HumanIPO reported earlier this week on the German Delegation’s visit to the startup hub Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock.  

Visiting a number of businesses, including a state-owned mine in Botswana and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), faculty lead Chris Bingham described the series as “literally the bookend exits”.

Speaking to HumanIPO, Bingham said the Africa trip is aimed at “trying to gain insight in the African markets generally”.

Interest from both the country as well as the individual consumer’s perspective over the capital and consumer markets were investigated.

Taking place for the fourth time this year, the 24-large student group tour was high in demand with 50 per cent of oversubscription rates.

The selection of African countries is seen as “obvious” by Bingham.

“They are going about entrepreneurships in very different ways,” he described the difference between the two, referring to innovation, funding schemes and consumer differences.

MBA student Sabrina Pangs said she was most surprised by the level of mobile technology, whereas people from outside mostly focus on the lack in infrastructure.

Newton Sears believes smartphone increase is a way for Africa to move forward.

“So as long as these guys (88mph) can get them into the smartphone market… it seems like a pretty viable way of getting to [markets like] America where there is already so many smartphones,” he said.

Macon Carrol agreed, saying: “I also think it is about South Africa, Africa being reactionary. It will give them the chance to come up with something of their own so that they don’t have to leapfrog but lead markets such as the United States instead of following.”

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