Home with a Silicon Valley dream

Leroy Dzenga Features Writer—

When Tendai Garandi returned from the Diaspora, he envisioned a country where start-up companies make up the heart of the economy.

The three years he spent in America’s Silicon Valley working for Derek Andersen Startup Grind, an Internet-based company, showed him possibilities hidden within the digital world.

He decided to come back home to Zimbabwe and help create a bridge between the global innovation hub and those who hold ideas.

“I lived and worked in Silicon Valley from 2013 to 2016. I felt I had a part to play in ensuring that young people in Zimbabwe get a chance to showcase their ideas at a global stage. Since I came back, I have been consulting with the Government as well as the private sector,” Garandi said.

“I am the founder of a startup company called Mhizha Valley.

“It is an enterprise development and consultancy firm which opens doors of opportunity to other entrepreneurs, thus increasing the chance of success of startups in Zimbabwe,” he                                                                                           said.

Through his company, they host workshops and training programmes which enrich company founders venturing into technology.

“Mhizha Valley recently prototyped a design exercise programme with help from Steward Bank Incubator Programme called State of the Entrepreneur. The programme was an attempt to harness bright ideas in Zimbabwe. The inaugural event was a success and it will grow into signature annual workshop for entrepreneurs,” said Garandi.

Besides providing platforms for dialogue, Garandi is also working on sending one Zimbabwean digital creative to the Silicon Valley by year end.

“I was also appointed as consul for Zimbabwe by Startup Embassy, a company founded by Carlos Noriega.

“His company helps entrepreneurs to live and work in Silicon Valley.

Mhizha Valley went into a partnership deal with Startup Embassy to help facilitate high growth potential startup company founders to visit Silicon Valley to meet with company executives,” he said.

This will avail an opportunity for young Zimbabweans in digital entrepreneurship to be able to network, receive mentorship as well as selling their idea to potential financiers.

Through Mhizha Valley, Zimbabwe will have its operational Startup Embassy in October   2018.

Gandari believes the experience he gained during his stay in America equipped him to be the nexus between Silicon Valley and Zimbabwe.

For a man who met with technological heavyweights like Mike Maples Jr, Derek Andersen (his former boss) and other top influencers in digital technology, Garandi remains a very humble man, but one destined to go far.

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