The Golden Lion Of Scientific And Technological Excellence and CFA 10M is now cooling in the hands of Silicon Mountain startup, Zouix.
Its barely three months the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation (MINRESI) approached the Silicon Mountain community (SM) to understand members’ motives, vision and what they do. In a meeting held at ActivSpaces Buea on November 16, 2017, in the presence of officials from the aforementioned Ministry and members of the Silicon Mountain community, there were fruitful exchanges and clarifications done by the community members.
Amongst the issues discussed during the meeting, Silicon Mountain’s participation in the Sixth Edition of the Week of Excellence for Scientific Research and Innovation in Cameroon (JERSIC) organized by MINRESI was encouraged. The officials educated SM community members on the need to take part in such competitions. To them, it gives youths the platform to show case their innovations and help bridge the communication gap between them and the government. This year’s competition which was organized under the theme, Scientific Research and Innovation; Strategic tools for Business and Socio-Economic Transformations took place in Yaounde from the 21st to the 23rd of February 2018. JERSIC makes it possible to showcase the latest innovations of Cameroonian research to the public and to position it as a full-fledged vector for speeding up inclusive economic growth.
Despite the fact that SM community members didn’t take this seriously, the ministry kept following up and making sure they applied for the competition. Mme Anne Eyango, South West Regional Delegate for MINRESI and other officials affirmed they saw so much feasibility and hope in the innovation the SM community is bringing to Cameroon and the world at large. This explains why they kept reminding the SM community members to apply for this competition. Truth be told, some of the SM members submitted their projects after the deadline was pushed severally
One of SM’s startup that went for the competition in Yaounde was Zouix. Zouix is a startup in Limbe that provides SMS-based security solutions and applications to businesses, corporations and governments in Africa. It is all about using SMS technology with absolutely no need for internet connectivity and no new equipment. Zuo Bruno, Founder of Zuoix attested that it was due to the internet blackout in the two Anglophone Regions that he gained inspiration of creating just an SMS based Application. The initial project idea was to build a car-tracking application that will GPS via the internet. With her #Zoomed project presented at the 2018 JERSIC event, Zoiux went home with the cash price of 10million Francs as the winner of the competition. According to the Zoomed project, using the App, you can use an SMS to locate your car or fleet, with direction, speed and elevation information. You can even know where the car has been for past 12 Months Also, you can carry out voice surveillance and two-way calling with your car or fleet, no more being lied to about why the car stopped. You can as well record conversations within the car remotely.
Everyone including the minister of MINRESI was amazed at such level of security this project has. Despite the fact that there were other interesting projects presented at the competition, Zuoix’ #Zoomed won the hearts of the jury and was awarded the Best Innovation for 2018 worth CFA 10 million by the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation, Madeleine Tchuinte
When the message of their achievement got back home ,there was so much excitement in the community. Zuoix has made the SM community proud by this act.
It should be noted that this is the first time a startup from SM is taking part in the JERSIC competition. It is believed that this is just the beginning for more trophies to come in to the community
How the community received the Trophy
There was so much excitement in Buea and Limbe when the news of Bruno’s achievement reached the Silicon Mountain ecosystem. Some members of the community used Monday February 27, 2018 as a day to make known the good news to everyone who cared to know. That was why visits were made to the Regional Delegation of MINRESI, Governor’s office and National Employment Fund in the South West Region of Cameroon. Community members converged at the mile 17 motor park by 9:30 in the morning and by 10 am, they made their first stop at the delegation of MINRESI. Here, the South West Regional delegate in her address to the SM community members, saluted the efforts of the Zuoix team and those of the Silicon Mountain as a whole for not depending on the government but creating jobs for other unemployed youths.
The second stop was at the South West Governor’s office. During an exchange with Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai, he was so surprised that a startup like Zuoix could come up with such a brilliant product. To show the magnitude of his appreciation of Zuoix, he suggested that there be a bigger occasion to welcome the trophy home. To him, other Cameroon youths should copy the example of Silicon Mountain and not only depend on the government. Although a date has not been set for the occasion, but it is certain that the Silicon Mountain community and the South West administrators will come together one day to celebrate Zuoix’ victory.
And the last stop was at the National Employment Fund (NEF). Bruno affirmed that NEF has been one of the reasons for his success. NEF has been the brain behind his victory because business counselling and directions came from them.
There is more to come form the Silicon Mountain. Most of these will be showcased during this year’s Silicon Mountain conference.