For the love of all things tech, here’s one enterprise that I’m genuinely excited about. The African tech startup scene is a young budding industry. Unfortunately, it is also one that Ghana seems to be lagging behind in, at least up until now. Our well flaunted entrepreneurial prowess seems to have finally caught up to the present century.
Quite frankly, I’m just about as excited about this one as I’d be about my next VR trip, and that’s saying a lot. So come along let’s delve into why I’m so wound up about this one.
What is Aireceive?
Aireceive is a platform that allows you to communicate with people you care about even without the Internet. The age of the smartphone and internet is still in full swing and we’ll never be the same. With the invention of platforms so revolutionary and convenient like whatsapp, facebook and telegram, we seem to have no more use for more traditional forms of communication like SMS.
However, in most parts of Ghana and Africa to a large extent, Internet connectivity is shady at best. Exorbitant prices aside, the service itself is generally not good enough. And since these communication kingpins are primarily Internet services, access is not especially easy. This is where Aireceive comes in, the knight in shining armour to save us.
With it’s unique structure, Aireceive does not even require a signal from your network service provider. This is possible because it creates a mesh network using available network signals, bluetooth and peer-to-peer wifi. Aireceive transmits messages and pictures offline between devices that are located within 205 feet of one another.
Thanks to Aireceive’s innovative smart real-time multi-hop & store-and-forward capabilities, Aireceive users form a network that increases in size with the number of devices. It allows messages & content to hop from one device to the next in order to reach the recipient(s).
What that up there basically means is that your message, moves from on device to another till it gets to your destination. Oh and the more people are using Aireceive, the larger your network.
Of course, if you have a working network signal or Internet connection, your messages will be transmitted directly.
Road to Aireceive
The story of Aireceive is indeed one for the fables. Tales parents tell their kids to inspire them to wish for the finer things of life, nothing more. A couple of university students decide it was about time they did something to solve some of the problems plaguing their society.
According to the co-founder, Emmanuel Appiah, “Way back in the university in the early parts of 2009, we saw a set of problems that had to be solved but we had no idea how to solve them, nor did we have the skills required to solve them. We were mechanical engineers and the domain of the problems were mostly in information technology.”
Realising the depth and scope of the what they had set out to achieve, they went on a journey of skill addition, knowledge acquisition and competence building. The vision may have evolved over the years but the core values remain the same. It logically follows that Aireceive is the child of that vision.
The first challenge was in their own school, University of Mines And Technology(UMaT). A communication barrier resulting from a rather inefficient system. So they set out to remedy this problem.
” … we took about 3 days to collect and organize the schools basic contact informational database. We succeeded with over 97% of the student database well captured and were now able to provide a medium of sending them messages as and when the need arose. The number of transmissions grew. The demand grew even hockey stick style-ly. The customer base grew. We had groups, churches, banks, organisations, associations, radio stations, etc. now using our messaging services in a little over a year. We made some good money too. And we were a startup with bare understandings of how big companies work.” Emmanuel explains.
And so the story went. Being forced to evolve with time, especially with the advent of WhatsApp, Facebook and other messaging platforms. Going through a number of re-branding phases each time the vision evolved, and yet never once giving up.
The company plans on releasing the app in these three (3) phases
First, they intend to help you connect to your local network via USSD.
Enable aireceive users to be able to connect to non-aireceive mobile users to send messages. Upon the successful execution of this stage, enable a total offline messaging solution for all aireceive users.
Enable multiple applications that works efficiently even when there is no internet in the aireceive network such as but not limited to e-commerce, payments, calls, etc. Users would have to activate the sections of the aireceive app they want.
So to sum it all up, Aireceive is an app that is especially relevant in our world today. The implications of technology like this are massive. And it’s coming from our own, we’re finally stepping up to solve it ourselves.
So all you entrepreneurs out there, it’s not about how fancy your solution is. Just make sure to stay true to your beliefs and learn, evolve as often as necessary. It’s the only way to remain relevant.
If you’re interested in this app and want to try it out, you can get it from the playstore.
Do you have any African tech tip or news article for publication, send it to email@example.com.
9 Startups Accepted into the First Next Health Accelerator with $15K Seed Funding
Intrepid Entrepreneurs, a non-profit designed to catalyze the power and promise of young people and women to fundamentally advance their societies, recruited nine startups for the inaugural cohort of the Next Health Accelerator.
Female, African entrepreneurs with a minimum viable product (MVP) from 26 countries applied to the program. After a rigorous review process, nine startups from seven countries were selected to begin the program in March 2021. The investor readiness accelerator is six months long and includes $15,000 seed funding, international mentors and partners, business support services, and value chain access.
The Next Health Accelerator’s focus on sexual and reproductive health is founded on the premise that unmet needs for sexual education, menstrual hygiene management, family planning, medication abortion, and STI diagnosis and treatment will be most sustainably delivered by local African enterprises.
Sexual and Reproductive Health issues directly affect 300 million women and girls on the continent and the productivity of the entire continent. For the continent to prosper and support its burgeoning youth population, it must harness the demographic dividend with access to equitable healthcare and economic opportunities. Next Health Accelerator addresses both.
The 2021 cohort includes:
- Rocket Health: Provides telemedicine and pharmacy services for SRH needs including convenient lab test retrieval and medication delivery in Uganda
- Verifie: Delivers STI self-tests and treatment products via doorstep delivery in Ghana
- Pharmaserve: Specializes in delivering high-quality pharmaceuticals in Nigeria through a fully integrated inventory monitoring system
- Girls Pride: Provides menstrual hygiene management education and skills training to create reusable pads in The Gambia
- Pad-Up Creations: Employs over 100 people in Nigeria to produce single-use, chemical-free pads sold in 16 countries
- Valorigo: Manufacturers single-use sanitary eco-friendly pads made from locally grown bamboo in the Congo
- The Grace Cup: Delivers SRH education and reusable menstrual cups in Kenya
- Kosmotive: Provides SRH information and access to SRH self-care products in Rwanda
- Massira: Delivers SRH information interactively as well as access to SRH services and products through an online community in Ghana
Lindsey Simmonds, the Co-founder of Intrepid Entrepreneurs in a press statement said,
She continued that, development policies made in Washington, D.C. or London need to make room for the power and promise of the youth and women on the African continent. And on this premises, their Next Health Accelerator catalyzes African startups to investor readiness to make scalable, sustainable impact imbued with the commitment and determination that only comes from homegrown ideas.
Visit the intrepidentrepreneurs.org to learn more about the Next Health Accelerator 2021.
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