Mark Kaigwa

Posts Tagged ‘Innovation’

Why I’m running for the Safaricom Innovation Board

In Perspective on August 10, 2010 at 8:54 am


Al Kags played a key role in putting Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom to task regarding their approach towards innovation when they first released their Terms & Conditions for all wishing to submit proposals for innovative products and services to Safaricom. It elicited quite the response from the community and gave the mobile service provider much to think about.

Safaricom responded and the outcome was an Innovation Board. They are looking to assemble a board of members who will oversee their innovation interests. Following consultation period with mentors and peers I made the decision to announce my intentions to be a part of that Board and now, I look to the people I have come to know, admire and respect: the crowd.

A gamble? Sure. But without a shadow of a doubt, the reward certainly is more promising and in my opinion an achievable one. The reputation and respect I’ve earned among online communities and the example of the success of my short film, Dawa, reassure me that this effort is certainly not wasted. The network of social capital, as well as the nature of this online environment I’ve become a part of forms the basis for my decision.

The challenge, the expectation and the sheer audacity of applying for this position may raise some questions. I’m prepared to engage in debate, dialogue and discourse online and offline.

Online, the platform I’m using to pursue my campaign is Formspring at

There I have all the “Frequently Asked Questions” including my interests, motivation and expertise as well as what I plan to bring on the table for the position. In addition I’m keeping things open by asking you for your questions, all of which I plan to answer.

The 3 standard questions I’ve included at the bottom of this post (to save you one click), as for the others it’s up to you to get reassurance or answer any doubts you might have regarding this effort. The rest of the useful information for the nomination is below.

Name: Mark Kaigwa
Phone number: +27-76-884-9931
Motivation: Here’s where you give input to why you’re recommending me (Max: 1000 words)

You can fill in your nomination here –

If you might be wondering why there’s a South African phone number there, it’s because I’m in South Africa for the rest of the month. My trip down here was for the World Premiere of my short film, Dawa, participation in Durban’s Talent Campus and to do Digital PR & Social Media consulting. Not to mention attending conferences including Tech4Africa this week and The Internet Show Africa last week. More on those in a follow-up blog post.

It’s have a simple and open approach using the power of the social web. I’ve put together a small team to coordinate this effort and besides that I’m asking for your vote. And more importantly, your advice, comments and questions. There’s no winning or losing here, only learning.

Nominate or Ask Me Something. Up to you.


Images via smokebelch & bitrot

Perpective as defined by The amazing Don Packett and the gang at Thunk! Lab

When a group of smart people are struggling with an innovation based problem, it’s never a lack of knowledge that’s holding them back – it’s a lack of perspective.

“What it takes to run a tech startup in Nairobi” – GotIssuez on Appfrica [Podcast]

In Happenings on June 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm

The blogging silence…Yeesh, don’t get me started on the catching up I’m left to do.

Meanwhile, I’ve retreated to a middle ground in between “Real blogging” and microblogging. All thanks to Posterous. So you’ll catch a lot of my travels there or better yet, you can keep up with the Lifestream (My bookmarks, tweets AND Posterous posts)

Anyway, don’t you mind there’s a plan to quell the silence. I’ve been in South Africa the past couple of weeks giving some guest-lectures thanks to Dave Duarte at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business for their Nomadic Marketing Class then doing some work with King James & Plus One in Cape Town and now in freezing cold Johannesburg soaking up perspective with Thunk! Lab and picking up tips from the Presentation Rock Gods at Missing Link (sign up for the newsletter by the way. Absolutely amazing)

Also did some cool stuff with Chris Rawlinson and Dido Wines for their Mzansi Wine Tour (coming soon) on Foursquare. (In other Foursquare news, Marvin from SocialightMedia’s got a cool post about Foursquare which I inadvertently starred in)


Back to what this post is about, then! I met Jon Gosier of Appfrica over at the iHub a while back and we had a chat on GotIssuez, a startup I’m part of and I gave him my perspective on startups in East Africa, what innovation labs like the iHub and incubation labs like the NaiLab mean to a startup like us and what some challenges are as well as a couple of my thoughts on the future for startups in Nairobi.

Here’s the little excerpt:



Appfricast 20 – The Consumerist

Mark Kaigwa is the co-founder of a startup that crowdsources consumer complaints to encourage engagement and action from the companies and brands they’re about. You might call it the GetSatisfaction of Kenya. He and I had a chat at the iHub launch in Kenya about entrepreneurship, the importance of co-founders, and following your vision. Download the Podcast | Subscribe on RSS

Oh, and it’s probably worth saying here as well. Dawa, the short film I wrote & directed last year will make it’s African debut at the Durban International Film Festival according to a little birdie…