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Draper Startup House partners with innovation hub BongoHive to launch in Zambia

ZAMBIA – Draper Startup House (DSH) has established its first location in Southern Africa in Lusaka, Zambia through a partnership with BongoHive, the country’s first technology and innovation hub.

Founded in Singapore in 2018 by Vikram Bharati as Tribe Theory, a hostel concept for digital nomads, Draper Startup House (DSH) has grown into a global network of spaces connected to services, education, and investment.

With over 35,000 community members in 60 countries who tap into its education, technology services, investment, and community resources, DSH is a unit of the Draper Venture Network founded by Timothy Cook Draper, the US venture capital investor.

Draper also founded Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), Draper University, and Draper Associates, and counts Baidu, Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, AngelList, Twitter, Coinbase, Robinhood, and Focus Media among his most prominent investments.

BongoHive launched in Zambia 2011 for the purpose of assisting scalable startups of any background by enhancing skills, accelerating growth, strengthening networks, increasing collaboration, idea exchanges, and reducing barriers to entrepreneurship.

DSH regional manager for East and Southern Africa, Phuong Phan, said Zambia shared borders with eight countries in a region with deep culture and trading bonds, and that BongoHive shared DSH’s values and ambitions to serve entrepreneurs.

“So, it’s a good starting point for us to get connected across Southern Africa. It has been such a pleasure getting to know and to collaborate with the BongoHive team, they are incredibly supportive and well organised,” said Phan.

The DSH-BongoHive deal seems to fit a shared growth strategy, which, according to Phan, is to build a regional network of co-working and/or co-living spaces for global digital nomads and African founders to travel and exchange perspectives, to achieve a vision of enabling one million entrepreneurs worldwide by 2030.

BongoHive executive director Lukonga Lindunda said Zambia was aiming at becoming the key technology hub for the region, and that DSH would give its local startup founders direct access to education, mentorship, and funding resources.

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