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History is the Best Teacher: Lessons from Stanford University

By Professor Venansius Baryamureeba, PhD - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Professor Venansius Baryamureeba

Stanford University is a private research university in Stanford, California. The university was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who had died of typhoid fever at age 15 the previous year. Stanford was a U.S. Senator and Former Governor of California who made his fortune as a railroad tycoon. Following World War II, Provost Engineering Professor Frederick Terman, dubbed the “Father of Silicon Valley,’’ left his stamp by encouraging and supporting Stanford faculty, graduates and students not only to develop but also to commercialize their ideas. He supported faculty, graduates and students’ entrepreneurialism to build self-sufficient local industry in what would later be known as Silicon Valley.

Corona Virus (COVID-19) is likely to cause an economic depression across Africa. UTAMURIC entrepreneurship ecosystem is stepping up its efforts to support faculty, graduates and students’ entrepreneurialism to build self-sufficient local industry across Africa. It is not only targeting, encouraging and supporting faculty, graduates and students to develop but also to commercialize their ideas.

UTAMURIC startup and innovation ecosystem has access to great ideas, talent, capital and customers. It is a one stop centre for great ideas, talent, capital and customers. In short it brings together in one place (virtually or physically) all the key players in an entrepreneurship ecosystem.

UTAMURIC's ultimate goal is to be the Silicon Valley of Africa

Silicon Valley greatly led to the transformation of Stanford University after World War II. Stanford university is one of the top fundraising institutions in the U.S., having become the first university to raise more than a billion dollars in a single year. As of November 2019, 83 Nobel laureates, 27 Turing Award laureates, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with Stanford University as students, alumni, faculty or staff. In addition, Stanford University is particularly noted for its entrepreneurship and is one of the most successful universities in attracting funding for start-ups. Stanford University alumni have founded numerous companies, which combined produce more than $3 trillion in annual revenue and have created over 7 million jobs as of 2018, roughly more than the 10th largest economy in the world. Stanford is the alma mater of one President of the United States (President Herbert Hoover, member of Stanford’s Pioneer Class of 1895), over 30 living USD billionaires, and over 17 astronauts. Stanford University is also one of the leading producers of members of the United States Congress.

UTAMURIC will encourage and support its partner Universities and research institutions from across Africa to emulate Stanford University. It's the only way they can build a local industry. Vibrant local industry not only creates jobs for graduates, it also helps to raise endowment funds for their alma mater. Universities and Research Institutions must accept a well-known principle of “big money follows big ideas “.  So, Universities and Research Institutions from across Africa need to work with institutions like UTAMURIC to support and translate the big ideas from faculty, graduates and students into startups that can be incubated into big companies. 

Addressing Global Challenges and Taking Advantage of Global Opportunities

By Professor Venansius Baryamureeba, PhD - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Professor Venansius BaryamureebaI am happy to associate with UTAMURIC as a mentor, researcher, innovator, consultant and business development professional. In 2008, while serving as Dean of the Faculty of Computing and IT at Makerere University, I was able to establish   the 1st National Software Incubation Centre in Uganda. This was made possible by funding from Rockefeller Foundation. The centre provided Computing graduates from all the universities in Uganda with hands on skills in software development. The graduates were mentored by professionals from the Ugandan industry and international organisations such as IBM, Cisco Systems and FedEx who provided problem sets in form of projects for the software development trainees to undertake. The centre not only provided the trainees with technical skills, but also with other skills like entrepreneurship, marketing, product branding among others. Every 6 months the centre graduated at least 100 Certified Software Engineers/ Developers.  As of today, there are over 5,000 well trained and certified software developers in Uganda. Likewise, under UTAMURIC, I will promote certification of software developers but at the same time work with certified software developers from across Africa to start the next generation of Hi-Tech companies that will give Africa its rightful share of the global market.  So far, at least 200 certified software developers have already registered with UTAMURIC and we are in the process of pairing them up in a virtual environment to work in groups on short-term, medium-term and long-term software projects. We are confident and certain that once directed and guided properly, most of the companies that will emerge out of these projects will each be worth hundreds of millions of US Dollars over the next five years. At UTAMURIC, we focus on developing software applications that have potential of being applied across the globe. So, if you are planning to register with UTAMURIC as a software developer, you need to prepare yourself to work on very complex software projects with a global outlook.

UTAMURIC entrepreneurship ecosystem is a one stop centre for great ideas, talent, capital and customers. In short it brings together in one place (virtually or physically) all the key players that include entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, venture capitalists, incubators, accelerators, researchers, university faculty, business development experts, software developers and other technical service providers such as lawyers, accountants, bankers, recruiters, public and private sector agencies, advisors, consultants, designers, contract manufacturers and providers of skills training and professional development. UTAMURIC ensures that all the above are accessed from a one stop centre, which is largely lacking in most entrepreneurship ecosystems across Africa.

I believe in open and collaborative innovation spaces and I will use my expertise in computer science and vast global experience in resource mobilisation, project management, partnerships and collaborations, research coordination and management, mentorship as well as business development to support UTAMURIC initiatives.

My ultimate goal is to use my knowledge, experience and networks   to support researchers, innovators and business startups within the UTAMURIC startup and innovation ecosystem.  UTAMURIC networks are a measure of both its strength and net worth.  As we address global challenges and take advantage of global opportunities, we shall strive to strengthen our networks with our partners in the western world especially in the areas of innovation, business incubation and venture capital for promising business startups that are tapping into global opportunities or addressing global challenges. We shall at the same time, strengthen south to south collaborations and increase the visibility and participation of the African diaspora in our projects and programmes. 

If you are interested in contributing to Africa’s development through ideal service as (an industrial) researcher, innovator, mentor or software developer; or if you have a promising business startup that is in need of incubation support; or if you are a foundation, venture capitalist or investor wishing to invest in business startups, research or innovations across Africa; then UTAMURIC is your ultimate partner.



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