Dean of Microsoft 4Afrika Academy Lutz Ziob Talks IntrapreneurshipDean of Microsoft 4Afrika Academy, Lutz Ziob, discussed his path to working at Microsoft and lessons learned with the MEST community during March Guest Lecture Weekend, alongside Brightpearl cofounder Andrew Mulvenna, Bestman Games founder Nimi Akinkugbe, and V8 Ventures Managing Partner Tobi Oke. Ziob’s talk focused on creating social impact. We’ve recapped some key highlights from his presentation!
[caption id="attachment_6603" align="alignnone" width="665"] Lutz Ziob at Guest Lecture Weekend.[/caption]
The Importance of Marketability
Ziob began his talk with a discussion of the evolution of technology, commenting on the importance of marketability. He asked audience members if anyone had heard of Next computers. When few people said yes, he explained that this was a company founded by Steve Jobs that only survived two years. Although the technology was extremely innovative, Jobs wasn’t able to figure out how to bring it to market, and ultimately because of this the product failed. Ziob stated, “You can have the most amazing technology, but if you can’t sell it, it isn’t going to happen.”
Creating Profitable Social Impact
After joining Microsoft, Ziob created the IT Academy Program, which helps business professionals hone the skills that they need to remain competitive in dynamic, technology-drive work environments. Ziob convinced Microsoft the idea was worth investingm and when it worked, showed that you can combine profitability with doing the right thing. He explained, “We’re selling skills, career advancement.”
ZIob also believes the work Microsoft is doing to foster new companies and startups is important. Explaining that through job creation, this can have huge social impact. He stated, “The only way to create employment is to have new companies created and grown.”
[caption id="attachment_6602" align="alignnone" width="665"] Lutz Ziob talks at Guest Lecture Weekend.[/caption]
The Importance of Intrapreneurship
“We need entrepreneurial spirit within companies as well. We need Intrapreneurs.”
Ziob believes that the entrepreneurial spirit should not only be reserved to startups, but carried over into big corporations. He pressed the importance of the drive and innovative spark found in many entrepreneurs.
Wrapping up his talk, Ziob encouraged our entrepreneurs to learn their own personal brand and shape it as they continue to grow.
If you’re interested in learning more from industry experts, follow the MEST blog for recaps on the lectures by Brightpearl cofounder Andrew Mulvenna, Bestman Games founder Nimi Akinkugbe, and V8 Ventures Managing Partner Tobi Oke!
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Due to COVID-19, MEST postpones training program to next year and doubles down on growing portfolio companies
At MEST, we continue to be deeply concerned about COVID-19 and have been closely monitoring developments locally and globally. Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our community and we will continue to follow local authority and health official guidelines.
Due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic and the uncertainty that the future of travel holds, we have been unable to conduct in-person interviews and host recruitment around Africa for our next cohort. For this reason, we have taken the decision to postpone the Training Program to next year.
While these circumstances are indeed unfortunate, we see this as an exciting opportunity at MEST to double down on providing support and mentorship to our existing portfolio companies and the African ecosystem.
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