Mixo Ngoveni on building the biggest tech movement in Africa

Founded by Mixo Ngoveni in 2013, Geekulcha aims to foster the information technology experts of tomorrow and celebrate all things geek

Boasting a network of over 3 000 young ICT aficionados, Geekulcha is the go-to community for IT students looking to connect, share knowledge, collaborate, network with industry leaders and get exposure while showing their respective skills.

The roots of Geekulcha

 When Ngoveni was invited to attend the annual Microsoft Imagine Cup Challenge finals, it proved to be a turning point and the catalyst for creating the business.

“The event brought together some of the most talented ICT students together to challenge each other using technology. The following year I was selected to be one of six Microsoft Student Partners who would be the link between Microsoft and their respective Universities,” he says.

He adds that his thinking about the IT space began to shift. “I wanted more exposure and less theory. All of these things made me want to share the experience with fellow IT students and like-minded individuals and that’s how Geekulcha was born.”

Empowering geeks

 The overall end goal of Geeklucha is to be a continental movement that will prompt those interested in ICT to excel even more. “We want to empower young tech minds through ICT skills development and networking while giving them industry exposure and thus creating jobs. Through this we aim to be the tech movement that the youth can call their own and a catalyst for a new youth culture that creates more technology than they consume.”

He runs the Future GeekStars programme which is a school innovation initiative aimed at grooming future leades in the fields of science and technology. The programme focuses on career alignment, hands-on training in hardware and software, innovation and entrepreneurship skills capacity and leadership skills.

Ngoveni attributes a strong online presence and innovative ambush and guerrilla marketing as key contributors to the success of the business. “We are also firm believers in the power of collaboration. Through it we are able to do more because resources are shared and the end goal is achieved a lot faster.”

Geekulcha hosts regular hackathons, which are challenges over a period of a maximum of 48 hours where “geeks” get together to come up with a workable solution to a problem in the form of a prototype.

“For us hackathons, it’s not just about the challenges but a way of giving our community an opportunity to showcase or test their skills and for organisations to discover new talent,” he says.

Having already entrenched his business in the ICT community, Ngoveni hopes to grow the footprint of Geekulcha throughout the country. “I just want to see companies grow out of Geekulcha. They don’t even have to be tech-based,” he concludes.

Ngoveni’s key learnings for budding entrepreneurs:

  • Dream big but make sure that you move from dreaming to actually executing.
  • Don’t be afraid of failure.
  • Take calculated risks.
  • Get swift feedback on whatever you are working on.
  • Take care of your health and have fun.