SqwidNet, the licensed Sigfox IoT network operator in South Africa, recently concluded their inaugural three-day face-to-face workshop with the first batch of entrepreneurs.  This programme was designed to empower entrepreneurs who would like to develop their skills and knowledge to become participants in the IoT ecosystem nationally and internationally.

Over the three days, the 18 entrepreneurs were exposed to sessions from various industry experts who focussed on key IoT development areas, including device development, platform development and business skills. From the applications received last year via email and twitter, the first batch of entrepreneurs were selected based on their ideas in terms of uniqueness and potential market opportunity.  SqwidNet intends to facilitate one (IoT)E programme every quarter, ultimately empowering 100 entrepreneurs in 2018.

According to Khumo Magasa, one of the attending entrepreneurs, “The workshop was excellent. I hope that we build a good working relationship and that SqwidNet supports entrepreneurs like us.” Over the course of the next eight weeks, these entrepreneurs will get the opportunity to interact with business doctors via webinar sessions. And, at the end of the webinars, the entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to present their ideas before potential funders.

“The (IoT)E programme, allowed us to attract individuals who are passionate about solving some of our countries challenges through technology. The entrepreneurs in attendance included individuals who simply had a good idea but no mechanism or tools to translate the idea into a product. We are glad to report that we have contributed to their knowledge and will continue to do so over the next few months,” says Reshaad Sha, CEO SqwidNet.

Sigfox, a global IoT network, has established an ecosystem reaching 43 countries. Through SqwidNet, the network currently reaches 81% of the population in South Africa. Our proposition comprises low-cost, long-range, low-power modules and devices that serve up IoT data in a secure and cost-efficient manner to application and service providers.