Co-Working Spaces & Networking

It's been a busy couple of days for Gawana. Besides working on finalizing our app before we give a pitch/info session at kLab, Kigali's first IT open space on Monday (check out the facebook event here), we've been meeting fellow entrepreneurs, companies dealing with mobile money (more on this later) payment, and investigating co-working spaces. One of the perks and also sometimes surprising characteristics about Kigali is the massive number of co-working spaces, IT incubators/open spaces, and coaching for entrepreneurs. Although there is a lot of overlap, the entrepreneurial ecosystem is what made us choose Kigali as our starting location. 

On Tuesday we visited the Office. A unique co-working that unlike many similar initiatives in Rwanda is not only IT focused. The Office offers various office and open spaces for members. Plus networking events, TED talks, and coaching. We made some good connections who might end up being coaches as we complete our pre-incubation program.

One of the challenges with the sharing economy initiatives and ridesharing is balancing supply and demand. While we've made estimates about travelers between city and the potential supply of passengers, there also needs to be an adequate supply of drivers. We've received some initial good ideas to address this challenge: advertising events like weddings (an extremely common weekend occurrence in Rwanda), concerts, etc and approaching large companies, government ministries and NGOs to access the platform for premium membership. 

Finally, thanks to the help of facebook advertising we are getting good publicity. Yesterday we were interviewed by a journalist from a regional newspaper. Overall beautiful Kigali is treating us well with the delicious fruit, friendly atmosphere, resources for entrepreneurs, and perfect weather.