Mass Challenge has emerged as one of the to technology competitions in the world. As stated on their site:
The world is full of great ideas, but only a few become reality. Novice entrepreneurs require advice, resources and funding to bring their ideas to fruition. Currently there is a gap between the resources these entrepreneurs need and the ability of the entrepreneurial ecosystem to provide them.
Indeed, there is a huge gap, especially in Africa. Massachusetts has figured this out and have a solution:
We are addressing this gap by launching the world’s largest startup competition. We use the power of competition to create urgency, and to identify and aggregate high-impact teams and resources. We strengthen and accelerate finalists by providing them high-quality, personalized mentorship and by connecting them to potential team members, advisors, customers and sponsors. As an independent not-for-profit, we are solely motivated to support and strengthen entrepreneurs – no strings attached.
But Africa that needs this type of program has not. It is important that Mass Challenge is trying to address one problem that has become very common in the state – ideas born and ideas move. Microsoft began in Cambridge but moved to California. Facebook the same. While it is not certain that any of the firms can be stopped from moving to anywhere they will get the cluster they need, one must understand that the state is losing revenue by this happening. The solution? Support businesses and ideas that can stay in Mass, at least for a while. There is no other motivation than to create jobs and opportunities in the state. They must work out a problem to keep some of the startups in the state after they have started operations.
African governments must begin startup competitions which will help thinkers and those with ideas to transfer ideas into businesses.