Entrepreneurship for scientists and engineers in Tanzania

Nearly 40 scientists and engineers took part in a workshop in Tanzania on entrepreneurship organised by the Institute of Physics with the University of Dar es Salaam.

The workshop, which was held on 25–29 July at the University of Dar es Salaam, aimed to further participants’ understanding in areas such as market analysis, sources of funding, evaluating the technology-readiness of a product and pitching for cash, as well as legal and intellectual property issues.

Those taking part also worked in groups to come up with a business idea, to develop it and to pitch it to a panel on the final day. The IOP’s international officer, Linsey Clark, who organised the event, said the presentations were a highlight of the week and some of the groups planned to take their ideas forward after the workshop, consulting with representatives of the Dar Teknohama Business Incubator (DTBi) and Buni Innovation Hub based in Dar es Salaam.

Speakers from DTBi and Buni Innovation Hub, as well as the University of Dar es Salaam addressed the workshop, and there were talks by local entrepreneurs, by Loy Mhando from the patent office in Tanzania, and by Dr Hassan Mshinda, director general of the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH). The international speakers included Surya Raghu, Richard Brooks, David Sample, Selina Jalloh and Yumiko Hamano.

Participants were overwhelmingly from Tanzania, with two travelling from Zanzibar, and were provided with accommodation, meals and assistance with travel. The workshop was sponsored by Nature, the Optical Society, the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics and the National Physical Laboratory.