In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it. – Marianne Williamson
There is so much beauty and power in youth. Young people look at the world with fresh eyes and lively determination, throwing convention out the window to create much-needed change.
A young innovator called Panashe Madzudzo, Manicaland 2019 Start-up Tour Bus Winner, is changing the way school applications are completed with the use of technology. Vhulapp was created to solve the archaic school application process in Africa for institutions, students and parents.
VhulApp (by KahariX Pty Ltd) is a flexible and user-friendly application portal that allows multiple applications to multiple educational institutions on a single platform. This saves time and costs for both the applicant and institutions that sign up with the platform. Madzudzo’s journey did not begin in 2019, indeed before Youth Connekt, he had competed at the Microsoft Office World Championships, attended an entrepreneurship program entitled LaunchX at Northwestern University on a full scholarship. Madzudzo notes that innovation and solving problems have always been his driving force.
At the moment, signing up is free for any institution that wants to use the application portal service. However, for additional features such as automated applicant assessments, practical targeted advertisements there are membership fees and pricing plans. Although it hasn’t been easy to acquire institutions to sign up with VhulApp, the company continues to progress and adapt to client needs. The company is currently funded through bootstrapping, the Youth Connekt $5,000 bounty, and Google Cloud for Startups.
Madzudzo plans on making VhulApp services as inclusive as possible by utilizing available channels such as WhatsApp. Due to the pandemic, numerous public institutions are now insisting on online applications and enabling WhatsApp applications will provide a wider segment of the Zimbabwean and African community opportunity to access.
When asked how the Youth Connekt journey has benefited his organisation, Panashe stated, “It allowed us to; finish building our platform from just a prototype, acquire great talent to grow our team, and provide industry expert mentors and advisors to assist in refining our business. My advice to other startups interested in being part of Youth Connekt is:
- Solve a problem that truly exists not only in your own community but is faced throughout the country and or continent
- Be willing to learn and build yourself mentally as you build your business
- Network with like-minded peers and ambitious entrepreneurs (you can learn a lot possibly gain a client)
- Be truthfully persistent (don’t give up on your idea only if you believe what you’re doing will be viable and truly make a difference)”
To get in touch with VhulApp please visit their social media platforms noted below:
How can we improve our support to young innovators to help them reach their potential ? What do you think is the future of application development in Zimbabwe? Share in the comments below: