By Ben White on October 27, 2010
As the community grows, more and more people are asking if the platform actually results in anything positive. Are connections being made? Are people meeting each other on the website or through the VC4Africa Meetups? Are people actually coming together around new business ventures and have new partnerships been realized?
In fact good things are happening! After each VC4Africa Meetup I am amazed with the number of connections people make. I am also surprised by the number of members who tell me they have been able to make a connection through the website or are now in discussions because of members they connected with online. Here is just one story I would like to share about a VC4Africa entrepreneur Brian Puckett. Brian is the founder of Next2.us.
How did VC4Africa help your company?
Your web site has been very helpful to me. I was able to connect to a company that wants to represent Next2.Us geosocial sms network throughout Africa. We have executed a Framework Agreement. We are finalizing a relationship with a SMS provider that will allow Next2.Us Africa to offer our geosocial network service in Kenya in the coming weeks.
Why is Next2.us unique?
I believe Next2.Us is unique for a number of reasons. It lets user set-up account, set location on a map and a privacy radius around their location within which to share their content with other users. Next2.us uses a set of two types of keywords to automatically match and exchange messages between users within a privacy circle. We process messages sent to our server in “near-time.” This is a point in time in the future when we process and exchange all messages or a point when volume of messages reaches threshold worth exchanging. We hope to process messages at a time when SMS rates are off-peak rate. When messages are exchanged they come in a new message. Users may text message each other using their Next2.Us user ID without revealing their mobile phone number.
Who is your target audience?
Next2.us initial target audience is small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. We hope that a system like Next2.Us will enable them to help each other grow and sell more products locally and regionally. I built Next2.Us (hence name HungryGarden) to tackle problem of finding fresh local food. I am squarely focused on helping farmers and their customers to connect no matter where in the world that occurs.
How will you use VC4Africa in the future?
I really appreciate the service your VC4Africa web site provides to companies like my own and my partners. We plan on using your web site extensively to look for local partners and announce new relationships. Thanks again for VC4Africa. I would not have made connections to my marketing partners without your site.
How can members contact you?
Do you have a success story you would like to share with the VC4Africa community?
Please contact me at ben@Vc4africa.com.