KENYA’s MODE (Mobile Decisioning Africa) has won the IBM’s inaugural SmartCamp competition in Africa.

IBM provides networking and mentoring opportunities through SmartCamp events as part of its Global Entrepreneur Programme for start-up companies.

The first SmartCamp in Africa was held in Cape Town last week where MODE was one of the four finalists. MODE will now head to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for regional finals.

The company provides micro- and nano-credit products to prepaid customers in six countries in Africa and has concluded more than 200-million transactions to date.

IBM vice-president of corporate strategy and general manager of enterprise initiatives Tom Rosamilia hopes MODE will be able to obtain funding from venture capitalists through the SmartCamp programme.

IBM has held 20 SmartCamp events globally and venture capitalists have invested $65m into start-up companies that were part of IBM’s entrepreneurship programme.

Mr Rosamilia said the programme was not limited to mobile-related products only. He said the decision to expand the programme to Africa was made as IBM was impressed with the venture capital community in Cape Town.

“I would like to encourage governments to foster the venture capital community and take more interest in technology. This will improve the economic situation in the continent and lead to job creation,” he said.

Article courtesy of Business Day South Africa.