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Technology

My technology ecosystem wish list for this new year

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Disruption happens for each and every industry segment. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH 

The last few weeks of each year come with a reduced rate of business activity unless of course you are in the hospitality and entertainment industry or technical support role in a technology department or outfit.

This slowdown allows for some reflective downtime, looking at the year’s flow to see what went wrong or right. Instead of sharing a list of the bygone, I would rather take this chance to put out there what I would like to see in the larger technology ecosystem to drive innovation and the discovery of different and hopefully better business models.

REGULATORY: The Central Bank of Kenya should be bold enough to set up sandbox accelerator where for a season it would directly engage with those who are re-thinking how money and value move. With an obvious filter for those who make the cohorts, this safe space would support disruptive thinking as a default.

It would be welcome to see the Communications Authority of Kenya deploy more of the Universal Service Fund which hit Sh7.1 billion earlier this year, to special project that sits outside the core mandate that covers mobile phone network expansion, community broadband, ICT capacity building and awareness.

The Internet of Things space is one where we need to develop competency across both hardware and software with many digital transformation possibilities in the offing.

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COLLABORATION: Disruption happens for each and every industry segment. It is always a matter of when, not if.

Industry incumbents often have distribution and economies of scale going for them whereas startup innovators leverage agility and business model innovation.

Let me paraphrase this by saying that not every business has the makings of a billion shilling exit and that corporate rigor mortis is real. As such, corporate executives and their startup founder peers should be deliberate about seeking out and forging worthwhile commercial relationships that will deliver value for both camps.

CAPITAL: Access to financing always makes the list despite the argument that barriers to entry for technology enabled businesses has greatly reduced. The challenge here is that for the verticals with significant opportunity the need for capital goes beyond the building of product and into physical or digital assets that are necessary for the business model to make sense at scale.

A different type of bank needs to arise to mop up the shillings and cents and reimagine their access.

The above would make for an epic year.

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