DLD – fifteenth: Mobile and Mobility were the topics …

… that caught me most at DLD. It is the mobile project of June Arunga in Africa and the green transportation project “Better Place” from Shai Agassi. I already wrote about these projects.

I want to point out a few things that strucked me most:

images2June Arunga understood very much that it is necessary to stay in Africa and “built” the change – even though she has been educated abroad and still has business obligations in the US – instead of relying on development and foreign aid. Her vision is to achieve economic growth and productivity with own forces. And she is putting her own money in such projects such as mobile payment.

_42426539_11The African mobile telecommunication market – enabled by the Chinese! – is the fastest growing mobile telecommunication market worldwide. Knowing that 90% of the Africans neither have a bank account nor a street address, June sees a great business opportunity in mobile payment. People can buy pre-paid cards with their cash and trade and pay with their cell phones across african borders. Together with partners – independent from any bank and government – she founded a company and is just starting this service in the first region!

I am sure her approach is the right one to choose. And by the time when cell phones become cheaper and cheaper and better and better a network like this will be even more promising in other industries e.g. healthcare, education … And it will definitely have a sustainable impact on the living standard in Africa!

More to read:
The Cell Phone Revolution in Kenya
Just scroll down a little bit and you will find the paper. It’s written by June Arunga and Billy Kohara

Green transportation for a Better Place called earth! It is not the fact that another VIP – in this case – Shai Agassi – is going green, it is the astonishing business model behind the idea of his car powered by electricity.

“Mobility” with a business model similar to that used by mobile phone operators. In the same way that wireless operators deploy a network of cell towers to provide an area of mobile phone coverage, Project Better Place will establish a network of charging spots and battery exchange stations to provide ubiquitous access to electricity to power electric vehicles. The company will partner with car makers and source batteries so that consumers who subscribe to the network can get subsidized vehicles which are cheaper to buy and operate than today’s fuel-based cars. Consumers will still own their cars and will have multiple car models to choose from.

The Renault Megane below is a standard ICE Megane which the Project Better Place team transformed into an Electric Car for demo purposes (picture taken from the Better Place website).

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Make it stupid and simple! And it will work out …

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