How To Raise $215Million in Asia and Africa


Mobike uses Internet of Things(IoT) to lure investors

Imagine you came up with an idea that could get people healthy and help the environment. Imagine you quit your dream job, launched a startup around the idea and 2 years later had turned the idea into a billion dollar company.

That’s exactly what David Wang has just done.

Two years ago David quit his job as General Manager of Uber in Shanghai after thinking “Why don’t I create an Uber for bikes?

He launched his company, Mobike, a year ago. Each of his bikes has a pedal-powered GPS, smart lock and timer, so you can find a bike and unlock it with your Mobike App, get charged 15c per hour, and then leave it wherever you finish your ride.

David knew the key to his idea was making his own low cost, high tech bikes. So he started bike-building, and launched the service in Shanghai in April last year.

The bikes were so popular, in August he attracted $10 million from Panda Capital. Then, a month later he raised another $100 million from well known VCs.

By the end of 2016, Mobike’s Shanghai GM, Michael Yao (in photo) said: “We just announced passing the 100,000th bike in Shanghai earlier this month. We are currently operating in nine cities: Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Ningbo, Xiamen, Foshan and Wuhan.”

Shanghai has now become the No.1 bike-sharing city in the world, and China is now producing more ride-sharing bikes than all the rest of the world put together.


“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking.” ~ William Butler Yeats


This month Mobike raised $215 million from Tencent and a group of VCs, likely at a valuation of over $1 billion, and this week Xiaofeng did a deal with Foxconn which will get 10 million Mobikes on the road by the end of this year.

Less than 2 years after starting his company, David has 1.5 million users taking 500,000 bike rides each day. That’s 1.5 million users getting healthy and improving the air quality of China’s cities each day. He now plans to be in 100 cities in China and around the world by the end of this year.

In his announcement of the Foxconn deal this week, David said “In 2017, we aim to enable residents in a hundred cities in China and internationally to enjoy our unique and convenient solution.”

That solution is the bicycle, invented in 1817 (and celebrating its 200th birthday this year), with some high tech upgrades.

In other words, he took a 200 year old invention and turned it into a billion dollar startup.

Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest.

In fact, the technology that David is using for his bikes is freely accessible to anyone to start a similar company.



The difference is, he took massive action.

What simple idea are you delaying today?

Where will you be in 2 years from now by simply taking that next step?

Time to get on your bike!


courtesy: Roger Hamilton



Certified Oracle training

Certified Oracle training

C4DLab has put a deadline for submitting payments for its first ever database administration training coming up in October.

The announcement comes as classes are set to begin officially on October 3 this year.

“For efficient planning purposes, all payments should have been made by mid September,” reads a Facebook post in part.

To be offered in both part time and full time sessions, candidates for Oracle Certified Associate as well as Oracle Certified Professional courses are looking to spend a minimum of 20 hours and Sh17,000 per package.

“This Training will enable you to attain the following skills: understand SQL features which will help you query and manipulate data within the database, use the dictionary views to retrieve metadata and create reports about their schema objects; manage Oracle database storage structures; monitor the database; manage database performance as well as install Oracle Database 12c software ,” reads part of the course registration page (

However, notes the site, the applicants for Oracle Certified Associate should either be students pursuing a Diploma/ Degree in an IT related course, or be a graduate with a Diploma/ Degree in an IT related course.

“The applicants for the Oracle Certified Professional should have passed the examinations for Oracle Certified Associate,” adds the site.

To be offered at the C4DLab facility in the College of Biological and Physical Sciences(Chiromo), the packages for Oracle Certified Associate include Oracle Database 12c Introduction to Sql to be completed in 40 hours and is to cost Sh25,000.

On the other hand, for Oracle Certified Professional, a package such as Oracle Database 12c Backup and Recovery is to be completed in 40 hours, costing Sh25,000.

Oracle Database 12c Administration Workshop, belonging to Oracle Certified Associate course as well as Oracle Database 12c Installation and Upgrade Workshop, take 40 and 20 hours respectively to finish, and are to cost Sh25, 000 and Sh17,000 respectively.

The last, Oracle Database 12c Multitenant Architecture belonging to Oracle Certified Professional course is to take 40 hours, costing Sh17,000.

“The mode of study for part time: 3 hours in the evening for 5 days a week translating to 2.5 Months per Module. For full time, it is 6 hours a day from 9.00am-4.00pm for 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), translating to 2.5 months per Module,” continues the page on the website(

Meanwhile, interested persons can register from the same page (


courtesy Moses Omusolo

UNICEF Topples Barclays Bank in Race to Clinch Title Sponsor Spot for Innovation Week

As preparations for the second Nairobi Innovation Week hit homestretch, the five-day event has strategically attracted up to twelve major sponsorship and partnerships.

At the same time, 400 out of the expected 1500 local and international delegates have confirmed to attend the second edition running from August 1 through 5 this year.

Comprising four Government ministries and eight corporates, clinching the leading sponsor spot this year happens to be the world body for child protection and education, UNICEF.

Standing with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) is the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology, Ministry of Industry, Trade & Cooperatives, and Ministry of Information, Communications & Technology, who are coming in as strategic partners.

Coming hot on the heels are agencies such as Equity Bank and the Embassy of Israel who are both holding the Silver sponsor spot.

Kenya Commercial Bank, I Choose Life, Konza Tecnocity, University of Nairobi Alumni Association and National Bank are boasting as Bronze sponsors.

Other partners in the making include Intel, Oracle, IBM, the Kenya Intellectual Property Institute(KIPI), among others.

Incidentally, hardly has the dust for clamoring among corporates to sponsor the Innovation Week settled than the Organising Committee lines up a new team of tech savvy speakers who are expected to spearhead discussions bordering on championing innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.

Leading the pack of over 30 invited speakers at the Innovation Week 2016 is the new Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology, Mr Joe Mucheru.

Other government leaders to speak include the Communications Authority of Kenya Director General, Engineer Francis Wangusi; Kenya Vision 2030 Director General, Prof Gituro Wainanina; Konza Technopolis Development Authority chief executive, Engineer John Tanui; Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization and Enterprise Development, Adan Mohammed, among others.

Representing the private sector, Dr Laila Macharia, Vice Chair of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) is expected to moderate a VVIP panel on the third day of the event, which will also be the official opening.

Other great minds slated to play important roles at the rising innovation exhibition event include Equity Bank managing director and chief executive, Dr James Mwangi; Barclays Bank of Kenya managing director, Jeremy Awori; Transilio, Inc. chief technology officer and executive vice president, Dr Evans Baiya, among others.


Courtesy Moses M.O. Omusolo

With Humanity at the Center of Design, Anything Never Goes

Human Centered Design (HCD) is arguably a concept triggered by the famous work of Christopher Alexander, Notes on the Synthesis of Form (1964). His entire work, as he noted at the  beginning, is  “… about the process of design: the process of inventing things which display new physical order, organization, form, in response to function.”

And the fact that the  author discusses clearly the process by which a form is adapted to the context of human needs and demands that has called it into being, is what gives the book a rather wide degree of acceptance.

Originated by IDEO, a nonprofit itself dedicated to applying human-centered design to alleviate poverty, Human Centered Design, according to their handbook, is “a process and a set of techniques used to create new solutions for the world.

Whether the  “solutions” be products, services, environments, organizations, and modes of interaction, the authors add:”The reason this process is called ‘human-centered’ is because it starts with the people we are designing for. ”

Yet going about HCD entails looking at design in terms of the “Three Lenses of Human Centered Design “: Desirability (What do people desire?), Feasibility (what is technically and organizationally feasible?) and Viability (what can be financially viable?).

In detail, the designers of the HCD toolkit explain that the Desirability lens calls for examining the needs,dreams, and behaviors of the people we want to affect with our solutions, while listening to and understanding what they want.

And “once we have identified a range of what is Desirable, we begin to view our solutions through the lenses of Feasibility and Viability” (HCD Toolkit, 10).  But eventually, the solutions that emerge at the end of the Human-Centered Design should hit the overlap of the three lenses(that point where the solution is deemed desirable, feasible and viable).

Ultimately, such a desirable, feasible,and viable  idea must have been obtained in phases of ” Hear”, “Create”, before you finally “Deliver” (HCD Toolkit, 11).

Lucrative Content Design Tips

The following few questions can be answered with a straight yes or no: Could you be a beginner at digital design? Or even an “experienced” one?

However, the follow-up ones could be a little bit difficult and maybe too tricky to answer: What are “creative markets”? What types of “creative content” are there? How do you begin at creative content development? What about selling it? What platforms are there?

In answer, in the first place, if one is just giving design hand or has been doing it for some time but without a breakthrough, these few tips, for the beginner, will strengthen their resolve to first of all code or develop for food, and ultimately design for its own sake, for good. Same to the experienced designer or coder. But they will also have a mileage in developing superior digital goods, as the following will show.

To begin at the beginning, digital designers and their developer counterparts create templates(also digital) for use by other developers or designers to create sterling websites and blogs, before selling such templates on creative markets—online platforms where designers and developers can sell their digital goods as individuals or as a collaborative team.

Some such marketplaces inlude Themeforest, Codecanyon, Graphicsriver, Audiojungle, 3docean, Photodune, Videohive, Activeden, Tutsplus, and Envato Studio.

Incidentally, according to a 2014 study of some prominent digital content markets, by the end of that year, a group of four million authors had earned over 2o billion only in commissions from the sale of their digital content(Envato Market Survey, 2014). Besides, 30 of the four million had each made over 90 million in earnings. Not forgetting that one of these 30 authors made 450 million by selling one theme only.

The content in question can include templates/themes, web applications, stock photos, icons, logos, fonts, flyer and business card designs, plugins, widgets, 3d models, tutorials, sound effects, music tracks, as well as games.

But how to sell creative content online? Depending on where you are right now in the design arena, the following could prove useful: You could break the mold of stagnation by first of all identifying what you are really good at and focus on that one thing—and do it well. Or you could learn something rather new, while checking what other designers/developers are doing in a specific micro-niche—and do it better still.

Meanwhile, the designer or developer must have began the design process by choosing a concept, designing the idea, coding and development, testing, before publishing to a marketplace.




Ever wondered how magazines, posters(the really huge ones), newspapers and business cards are made on a commercial level. Well today is your luck. The 2nd international Print pack exposition has just kicked of at the KICC grounds. Damages are at 500 shillings and the season tickets go for 1000 shillings. The expo will run till the 28 of February 2014.



I attended last years expo and I must say that it was and experience for me. I saw machines that I had never imagined they existed. These machines are exported from all over the world, from countries like Germany, India, United Kingdom, Kenya and USA.

The brands displayed at this second international expo include Kodak, hp, mfi, Canon, xerox, hohner, AGFA e.t.c. The brands will be having live demos on how to do about everything with these machines including how to print on T-shirts, plastics, wood, paper and metal.

Last year. I saw a Kenyan company that had some exciting assorted branded merchandise  ideas for SMEs. They would be able to put a logo on just about everything at very affordable prices in the market. Hope to see guys there. For more on this event. go to

By Mugambi Neville.


I was going about my business the other day, when i met this glowing Engineer at the Fabrication Lab. He was working on an automated virtual online point of sale software for use in stores and supermarkets. He has been working on the system himself from scratch.

downloadHis name is Eng J.M Muchiri.  He was a student at the University of Nairobi’s Mechanical Engineering department. The system is currently finished working will go for 50,000 Shillings onwards. He calls it the THE SELLER EXPRESS SYSTEM. You can have a free demo by looking for the right POS/SES software that you might want to experience.

After chatting with him, i got to test the DEMO myself as a business student. It was interesting i must say. I have never seen a software that is as detailed as this. It shocked me with the amount of time he must have used to study all the Accounting functionalism, Financial reporting and well, Accounts.


  1. sales management
  2. purchase management
  3. stock management
  4. customer record management
  5. suppliers record management
  6. staffs and their payroll management
  7. Financial reporting
  8. advanced financial reporting
  9. sending of finacial reports via email
  10. automated account backups e.t.c

The application also offers connectivity to multiple databases with MySQL being default. The product is built in Java to support many OS. sms or mobile embedded technology. Its available on Stand-alone or online version. Good luck to you Muchiri and the East Africa Center Institute.

By Mugambi Mwalishi