Starting a tech startup in Uganda

Being an enterprising nation, many Ugandans venture out into businesses every day a report I once read stated that for every 3 employees 2 have a business registered, it may not be operational but it is registered. However, with the known education system and lifestyle of many we opt to concentrate on what we have gotten good at or what we can afford .i.e we will go to school and get a certificate or degree in something we aren’t passionate about but just because it is the only one in reach to get us to the next level.

I have mentioned the education system because the results are evident, many of my colleagues that I went to school with are successful in professions that they picked up after school and this is because either they were able to afford the switch between professions or it was the only available slot by the time they got done with school and became good at it regardless like said a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

There is another con that we face in our communities and that is the mentality of being self-reliant. Growing up, one of the very first phrases that caught my attention was, no man is an island and it’s this phrase that made me realize why we have families, friends, neighbors, and now business partners. Take a look at all the complex engineering solutions we can learn from each that success comes through teamwork and collaboration, let’s see how this pans out in running a tech business.

What is a tech startup?

Let us first define a startup, a newly established business by an entrepreneur in search of validation for a potentially scalable business model. With this definition, we can define a tech startup as a business or company with an aim of bringing technology products or services into the current market using new methods.

When we mention tech in many person networks, our minds go to the internet, mobile apps, software, websites, etc but this is not necessarily the case as what I have listed is more of channels or methods through which a service is delivered. A tech startup can comprise hardware as well .i.e using solar panels to power water pumps that irrigate your gardens, better alarm systems, etc. these we mainly call the product tech startups.

What do I need to start a tech startup in Uganda?

We can't ignore the fact that at the heart of a tech startup be it product or service now there is software involved in the process and once an entrepreneur without a solid background in the field of software development comes up with an idea that might heavily rely on it will let this idea pass. A few make the bolder move to start and ignore the software aspect and run the business as manual as possible to keep the ball in their court.

This is where the collaboration comes in, there are many qualified Software developers in Uganda currently and more are getting these skills by the minute whom you can hire, or partner with though as an entrepreneur it is your task to have a clear idea plan .i.e how you want your idea to come to life. It gets tricky at this point now that you are to bring someone on board and share with them your plans so that they can build something that is in line with your vision.

Why is it tricky? Well mostly because it involves trusting another human with your vision and also this is where most tech horror films begin .i.e if you do not share your entire vision the developer won’t build it as you want it, or if you share your entire vision then there is a probability that the developer may steal it or the developer you choose may not be qualified for the task as advertised, or both you and the developer didn’t fully understand the terms of working together. Whatever the case, this happens in all fields of work all you have to do is be more careful with the developer decision you make.

How can I know the right developer for my startup?

Research, say you want to build a house but you do have not the skills to do so, or you know how but don’t have the time and so you venture out in seeking an engineer to help you build one, what qualifications or attributes will you look out for? — I would want to know their experience, not the number of years but the number of houses they have built that follow a structure like mine, what the owners of those houses they built have to say about them (customer experience), how long will it take them to have the house complete if all resources are available and lastly their billing for the work to be done.

More like it is in construction, so is it in software development, the choice of developer you make will determine the quality of your product or service, the period it takes to have your product ready, the experience of the future users of the product (your clients), and your personal experience in running your business. This is not to say that your business will automatically be a success with quality, future-proof products because it all falls back to your plan for your business .i.e even the fastest car can come last in the race when controlled by an inexperienced driver.

In your business plan, a software developer is a “tool” or “machinery” that you give resources and they deliver a product, at Vihlix SDaaS, we let this be known to the clients to assume that we know nothing about their business and should take us through A-Z of what they expect from the finished product. Like professional construction workers, we know how to lay the bricks just show us where you want them. In the end, it's your house, your product just that it was built by a developer.

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