Report from the field and the lab: Challenges and opportunities developing AKE ventures (Part II)

Things are wrapping up at the GESCI hub in Nairobi with the start-ups preparing for the last pitching event on the 28th and the Policy Forum on the 29th which will officially close the GESCI-AKE program.

The first pitching was used as a baseline survey of how well the Start-ups were prepared for fundraising. The judges of the pitching session where: Lydia Ndiho (Camscorp), Mitoko Dennis (14West film Production Company), Geoffrey Otieno (ADMI training institute), Duncan Onyango (AKE consulting Games tutor) , Tom Manda (AKE consulting Animation tutor), Victor Omondi (AKE’s Manger) and Jerome Morrisey (GESCI director)

Based on the emerging gaps identified on that event, the start-ups have been doing work around 3 themes:

  • Developing a viable business plan: Start-ups needed a more solid understanding of their market and emerging user needs.
  • Selling ideas in a clear way: Everybody was told to work and develop more effective presentation skills and to polish the resources they where using (e.g power points).
  • Pitching effectively: The Start ups elevator pitches were not yet up to standards and needed more work.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 15.45.13

While working on that we will share here some of the probes sent by the start ups this week. Thanks to all!

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 16.17.52

Kiwo Films working at the GESCI-AKE hub

For Kevin and Ian from Kiwo Films the most challenging thing they are facing right now is “lack of equipment to get work done”  But they are confident they are “a team of reliable and dedicated individuals with a common interest“, which is a good and promising direction for the future.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 16.23.34.png

 Screenshots of some of IocincCode current prototypes, and an image of the team debugging together in front of the screen.

Mista from IonicCode reports that they have been conducting a bit of  research for their projects  “with the help of  our tutor Duncan who bought some cool kids text books where we got inspiration for various concepts. At the moment we are working on tap math game, a painting game, a pattern game and picture maker all in both languages Kiswahili and English. Right now we have to take them for testing to primary schools. As soon as the schools reopen we will be able to get enough feedback from teachers and from the school kids on how to improve them further”. The games are still in development phase and the team is constantly improving on them.

The IonicCode team feels that their biggest challenges are now. 1) getting good illustrations artists to add the African feel to their educational games. 2) recording the sounds needed for the games, as finding the right people to do that had been time consuming. 3) Of course the issue of bugs in some of the games. Coding is always tricky, but they are confident: “we were able to achieve the logic of the game, they  can be played in our devices!”

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 16.53.08.png

VerbHouse’s value proposition, team and details from their current portfolio

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 17.00.18

Snapshots of Makossiri’s web presence

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

What are we learning ?- In two images

The whole AKE team wants to learn more about the things that you are working on and how you are preparing to develop your ventures. To get a peak into what is happening in Nairobi we are asking you to send us a probe of how is life over there for each start-up, in the form of pictures.

THE TASKS for each start up:

1) Take a picture (or draw and take a pic of the drawing) of anything that represents an interesting insight, an inspiring observation or something you have learn as a team working on your venture.  Write a few sentences of how that image represents what you learned.

2) Take a picture (or draw and take a pic of the drawing) of anything that represents a challenge you have identified for your venture.  Write a few sentences of how that image illustrates the challenge.

Remember we are not searching for pretty pictures nor we want to evaluate you as photographers. We will be happy to have a glimpse of the kinds of things that are important right now in a very concrete way. Remeber that learning takes place not only around the things you do at AKE, so feel free to point out also unexpected observations from the everyday life challenges and opportunities of your ventures

Send your snapshots to Andrea (via email) before next Tuesday 28th of February. We will share them back in the blog next week.

For inspiration check what we did almost 9 months ago
https://gesciakemediaventure.net/2016/05/19/what-we-have-learned-lately-in-images/

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-09-16-08

AKE Showcase on 6.12.16

graduation

The African Knowledge Exchange (AKE) Creative Media Venture program is organizing a Project Showcase and Start-Up launch. The event serves also as the graduation ceremony for the participants

The event  will take place on December 6th 2016, from 10:00am to 4:30pm at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Westlands, Nairobi. We will be doing a live blog of the event, so stay tuned!

Update from the field: Hera, new tools, new ventures and TEAM work.

Its November already and AKE participants are now full speed working on their final projects and ventures. Our next milestone will be the AKE showcase (so far is planned for the 6th of December). We are now all working on  the things to showcase and the plan for the day! Stay tuned on more information on how to join us.

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-13-03-08

Working at the AKE lab

Meanwhile some AKE participants report from the field on how their work has been advancing. As you can see there are many levels: personal projects, team work and final productions.

hera-background

Hera of Nwange background (by R Bancy)

Ruth Bancy (AKE participant from the game development team) shares with us one of the backgrounds she has been working on for Hera of Nwange. She has also been working with her colleagues on their joint venture VIDOSHO.

Ruth says about her project: “..It’s very challenging. I have had leadership roles before but not as demanding as this. The responsibilities and sacrifices that come with this role are a lot and I cannot afford to do mistakes neither fail either of them. I am happy that my partners are very supportive and it makes my work more easy “. Good attitude Ruth, we are looking froward to see Hera and learn more about Vidosho soon!

makossiri_poster

Chunya alubum (Artist: Makossiri, art cover: Chela)

This is the cover for  the upcoming album of AKE’s multifaceted artist Makossiri! The cover art is  done by Chela (AKE participant and talented digital artist). The first single of this album  was produced by Reuben Besa (AKE participant and sound producer) and released the 11th  November. Congratulations!!

For Makossiri teamwork and collaboration are one of the most important aspects she has learned during AKE Program. “.. As an artist and creative, you learn that people and the relationships that are build thereafter are what takes you to the next level and make you visualize things beyond your usual thoughts. We have to be vulnerable and open to collaborate with different minds.” Well said Makossiri, we can not agree more with you!

Screen Shot 2016-11-17 at 11.53.59.png

Mbuyu character (By R Macau)

In this image AKE participant Maurice Macau at the AKE lab working on the final touches of the Sponsa Animation Project (now in the 2nd and 3rd phase). He is being in charge of the character Mbuyu who is almost ready.

Maurice has been very inspired by children around him  “.. since they represent the true us, and the joy we also had as children sometime back“. Let us all not forget how we can use joy and curiosity as good resource for learning.

As a joint venture all of us in AKE have also been using some new tools and practices to communicate and organize the work. Right now for example we have in use Whatsupp groups, google drive and email and Slack and Trello are some of the new tools we have being taking on board. Developing new practices takes time but with the support from AKE tutors, Victor and Irish tutors, we are all learning.

Some of our Trello boards look like this today :)… loads of TO DO lists and conversations. Things are moving forward!

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-11-18-02

AKE2016 One Trello board

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-13-11-38

AKE2016 Some collaborative document writing and planning

We have also been sketching, analyzing and taking more notes on all that has being happening in AKE. Here Minna and I share with you one rough diagram we made illustrating some components of AKE program. This is part of our joint work towards an AKE model.

Screen Shot 2016-11-17 at 12.49.53.png

AKE2016 The program in a nutshell (draft diagram by A Botero and M Aslamaa)

And AKE participants are also busy now formalizing and shaping some exciting new ventures, we like to see them as creative start-ups that aim to develop the role of the creative industries in Africa. All these ventures will be providing professional services to others in Kenya and abroad.

We have in the pipeline the following exciting businesses:

  1. Arktari Kreations offering animation, graphic design and web development services.  (Arktari has been featured before in the blog)
  2. Triple Touch providing entertainment services that include disk jocking, audio production, equipment.
  3. Vidosho offering architectural design, graphic design, animation and a series of e-cards products.
  4. VerbHouse offering services around cinematography, photography, advertisement
    and animation.
  5.  816Studio (working title)  a record label for selected Kenyan based artists.
  6. Pamoja Gamers (working title) providing game design and development services

Live Blog: Round Table and Solution Design Workshop, 31 August 2016

Place: Golden Tulip Hotel, Nairobi.

#CreativeMedia

Welcoming words by Victor Omondi: The Programme!

“Thank you all participants — the different stakeholders. We are in the process creating an pan-African model that will respond to the challenges of our field! Already at this stage, we work with policy makers and the industry, as well as international consultants and other stakeholders. Our mission is to tell African stories!” #Creativemedia

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 2.01.24 AM

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 3.43.31 AM

 

Introduction to GESCI & AKE: Jerome Morrissey

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 3.46.52 AM

“This is an important day for us! An introduction to this programme for all our guests/and partners. GESCI was originally established based on the recommendation of the UN ICT task force. We work in 16 African countries:

  • Incorporation of ICTs to enhance education — involves many aspects. Models, scaling.
  • Funding: foundations, development funds (GESCI-AKE is funded by Finland, and Sweden).
  • This is a small project for us but a very important one: we are creating new curricula, a model! (Most organizations, internationally, are too slow to adapt changes in the workplace, in the industry…)
  • We are developing a model, researching it (Living Lab), AND we want to influence policy, share our experience with policy-makers.
  • CONTINUUM: from digital skills to business-industry skills to job creation!

Reflection:

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 4.01.24 AM

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 14.10.30

Mary Hooker: Living Lab – AKE 2016 Research Framework and Model

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 3.08.33 AM

Research design fro AKE 2016 LL

Mary: “Living Lab Research as the intervention to the process, not merely as a scholarly work.”

  • Bringing everyone on board – to make research actually to make something!
  • This is especially important in education – we need products! It needs to respond to the marketplace, the rapid changes in the workplace.
  • It is EXACTLY WHAT IS IN THIS ROOM: talent, business, educators coming together! Skills meet biz, and this is not a simple task to translate in education.
  • We are documenting this process to create a model!
  • 3 phases of the model — we are in the 2nd phase testing the products (if not, what should be changed? Feedback from the biz world!):

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 4.14.30 AM

  • We are documenting the model and will be sharing it: nationally and internationally!
  • Platforms  – this is about how we learn and share! No more silos!
Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 4.21.01 AM

Example from the tutor reflections (shown as a slide)

More information about the research results of the first stage and next steps, please see this blog post: RESEARCH UPDATE.

Reflections from the audiences:

  • We are trying to redefine the marketplace.
  • Talent is the key.
  • Are there opportunities to grow into photography, film etc. other fields; as well as to high school context? – Jerome: Due to the time constraints it is not possible; also we would talk about different clusters, streams. But we would love to!
  • Mary: We develop models for others to use, do not necessarily implement!
  • Jerome: We want to root the model in Kenya but will also spread it; we will collaborate with the African Union, as of next May, so we have a great avenue to distribute the model. This is a process. It’s constantly changing.”

Setting the context: Showcase Animation, Music & Games products

Guests go around the space to check what the creator-participants are showcasing. The space is divided in 3 areas, each one with prototypes and products developed in AKE so far.

Mary reminds the visitors: “We are engaging in criticality. Guests: tell us what is working and what is not!

  • What do you think of these products?
  • What one or two changes would make these of commercial value?
  • Can you suggest ideas/ areas for turning these into products/ services that can find markets?
Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 12.17.47

The environment today at the round table and solution design workshop is of engagement, support and interest

The GESCI team in Nairobi has developed a  tool to capture ideas from the participants in the round table. The main aim is to recruit the help of visitors today, and capture ideas that will help all the projects move forward into viable ventures by 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 12.30.09

Form for documenting ideas, tips and feedback from round table participants

The environment in the room is active and everybody is looking at the projects. There has been positive critique and many elements have been raised to help participant move up with their projects.

Some of the suggestions include

Practical tips: For example how it is possible to work on the key notes of the music, so they are not just flat and that the music can communicate?

Organizing work: e.g. feedback on how to ensure productions have clear roles and responsibilities like a director, a script writer and lead animator so that outcomes (like the Sponsor Series Video story) flow seamlessly.

Relevance and communication: Products should communicate their relevance by addressing issues that affect everyday life.  Messages need to be kept clear and an idea of the target audience should be framed on time. This is key for important for artistic purposes  and to ensure market success.

Back to basics: Well tested principles for storytelling and visualization should not be underestimated.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 12.22.41

Interviewing Soire Dickson (AKE participant) on his experiences during the round table

Soire Dickson, one of the participants in the AKE animation line, talked briefly with us on the many insights they have been gathering in this event. He was very positive with the AKA model of learning where industry experts, GESCI Staff and their tutors have challenged them to create animation that suits the Kenyan scene.

Mary asks the audience “What stood up”?:

  • Value entertainment! Produced by team work.
  • Creativity and innovation on current topics.
  • Role of humor.
  • Storytelling
  • Tensions between content vs technique that need to be resolved
  • What could be and should be “African touch”?
  • Quality needs to be continuously developed to reach industry standards. We are not there yet.
  • Team work
  • I which ways the products are valuable? How to support more participants to think as entrepreneurs?
Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 13.04.48

Some feedback for AKE. See more also at @Gesci or @Gesci2 #Creativemedia

Ideation: Generating Ideas by “scrumming”

Mary made a small introduction to the SCRUM approach that -with some adaptations- will be used in this session to generate concrete ideas and tasks for each theme to move forward. (Scrum meetings will also be at the core of the AKE second phase so this is good rehearsal for all participants :))

WHAT: In a scrum meeting (also called a sprint) the product owners gather together with the scrum team, share the results achieved so far, evaluate them and steer the project into a new direction for the next sprint. In the round table we did a version that included this elements:

Brainstorming –> Concept Mapping –> Voting –> Concept Pitching –>

^2ED9420E97DEFF4515353E5B9C02EDE715EBBB38F6A6EEB265^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr

Brainstorming for music products

^065F798E13F050EF25892653B704A62B19F1DB855ECCB907AB^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr

Mapping and clustering the ideas

After brainstorming and concept mapping what concrete steps should the team do?

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 13.19.58

Scrum ideas sprint – format for developing AKE products in the round table

IMG_9225

Concrete tasks, work to do for the next months here at AKE

 

NOW IT IS LUNCH BREAK 🙂

Reporting from the workshop sessions, by Shylor Mwanje

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 8.55.09 AM

Shylor Mwanje

An example: Music section — radio market analysis — what kind of music being played, involvement of the audience in music video production, involvement in social media marketing, touring as a relatively new opportunity.

Mary Hooker: “Networking and collaborative networks are the key. We can’t realize them alone. Results we be digitized and shared (also in this blog 🙂 ”

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 9.24.07 AM

Feedback via social media! We will put out a question and please give us feedback on Facebook, Twitter, or below as a comment to this blog!

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 9.30.48 AM

Guest Speaker: Ogwang Omuga Oongo

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 9.28.13 AM“Do you know the Superman? What’s the company that owns Whatsapp?

How do we grow the Sponsa (a GESCI-AKE creative project) into such a big success? Who owns Sponsa?

KNOWLEDGE is proprietary! We are handling proprietary information and talent and we need to organize. We don’t have structuralization. We need to copyright to protect us.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 9.54.58 AM

BUT: Intellectual property does not only protect but also opens opportunities — investments, other products!

You need to know what is copywriteable. You can’t afford to assume, you need to know.

There are different forms of intellectual property: copyrights, trademarks, patents… 

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 10.08.04 AM

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 9.41.02 AM

Knowledge and information form the economy but they take different forms. We are going to school but we are building companies.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 9.42.08 AM

Your ideas will open doors for you. We can think into the future, 10 years ahead. So let’s begin that way, seeing intellectual property as proprietary.

 

Victor Omondi’s closing remarks:

This is not the end of our interactions and collaborations. This project ends in the beginning of December but that’s the beginning of the model.

We will share the report with everyone. And we will build on this network.

THANK YOU!