July 20, 2020
Reasons and tips on why people should be technology entrepreneurs in South Africa by Dr. Nick Bradshaw Co-founder & CEO of AI Media Group.
  • Its never been cheaper to become a tech entrepreneur – tools and platforms are all initially free eg AWS.
  • Start with the end in mind – are you building a lifestyle business or building a business to exit – this helps dictate/shape your GTM strategy. 
  • Realize that partnerships are one way to accelerate your B2B business – especially if you want to bid for Government work – partners can also be exit partners.
  • Large companies don’t have all the answers and there is always room for a smaller / agile supplier to become a retained service provider – this helps generate cash flow.
  • Try as much as you can to bootstrap your business, preserve equity, and if you need investment the cheapest (FREE) money is a client invoice.
  • Make sure you have shareholders agreement/employment contracts and formal MoI so all founders know their duties and expectations – seems like a bag of work but saves time when things go wrong.
  • Provide a client with a free product/pilot ONLY if they agree to give you something in return eg. Reference/case study and limit free usage via a discount period or time cap.
  • PR is key – don’t pay for expensive PR – set up your social media channels and employ someone to run them (as soon as you can) good content generates leads/intel/presence & credibility. 
  • A well-written press release (if it is newsworthy) will be published by many of the online news agencies – avoid being lured into expensive retainers via flash PR agencies – spend this on an employee.
  • Spend some money on a good brand identity/logo/color scheme – use someone like Karin Liebenberg at iCandy Design karinl@icandydesign.co.za.
  • A one page website is fine to launch – remember – vision / value prop / products / services / team / contact details are key – make sure its mobile ready / responsive. 
  • Learn who NOT to sell to as quickly as you can – qualify qualify qualify qualify.
  • Get used to hearing the word “no” – better to learn someone is not interested early on and move on quicker to find the “yes”.
  • Half your sales projections and treble the time it takes to process a PO and this will give you a realistic cash flow forecast. 
  • Use LinkedIn – its the easiest, quickest, and cheapest way to network, find leads, grow your personal and company brand B2B without hopping on a plane. 

DR Nick’s Bio

He holds a Ph.D. of Philosophy with two journal publications and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wales. He is the co-founder and CEO of the AI Media Group. The AI Media Group is a pan African consulting, media & events company focusing on the 4IR in MEA. With a growing community of 3400+ industry practitioners, They are curators of Africa’s largest business-focused AI, RPA & Data Science conference, AI Expo Africa, Synapse Magazine & AI TV charting the 4IR in the region. Their audience comprises; CxO decision-makers, Cloud platform providers, Tier 1 or 2 deployment & service providers, AI entrepreneurs, investors, educators, government, and AI ecosystem builders across Africa. Follow Dr. Nick Bradshaw on Linkedin.

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