2016 was a pivotal year for Be-Bound: the year that marked Be-Bound’s leap forward. Here are a few highlights.
Our Global Push
The biggest news of the year by far is that our N4B Platform for developers was launched. Making Be-Bound’s technology accessible to developers around the world is the most effective way to create opportunities for the greatest number of people, through providing increased connectivity. Developers can now log onto N4B, and integrate our SDK which compresses the internet so that apps work anywhere there is a phone signal. The N4B SDK is going to be a game-changer for populations in emerging countries, and those interested in sustainable development.
As we work together with governments, our international presence is quickly growing. This year, Be-Bound was selected by the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to help contribute to their Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021 plan, by providing connectivity to stimulate the country’s development.
— Be-Bound (@BeBoundTech) October 28, 2016
(For full video, click here). To know more about the country’s economic and technological position, see our blog post, Digital Bangladesh In Focus, or our interview with Guillaume Favez, Be-Bound’s Head of Quality Assurance, when he traveled and worked in the country himself.
Be-Bound was also honored to be among the 40 business leaders chosen to accompany President François Hollande as a representative of French Tech on his trip to Vietnam, a trip meant to deepen economic ties between the two countries. Our CEO, Albert Szulman, was in attendance to advocate increased connectivity and bridging the digital divide with our mobile solution. There, we met with Mr. Phan Tam,Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, as well as Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Transport, Mr Nguyen Hong Truong.
Part of what made 2016 such a memorable year was the recognition we received for our vision. In April, Be-Bound was winner of the French Startup of the Year contest organized by Bonjour Idée, an award that catapulted our visibility in France and internationally.
In October, Be-Bound won the Trophée Numérique in Paris: France’s International Digital Trophy, an award meant to highlight companies with the potential to make tomorrow’s economy on the international stage. It is with the help of Business France (and our other partners such as, SNCF Development and PWC) that Be-Bound has the ability to turn our international vision into a reality. Be-Bound’s technology is already active in Algeria, Palestine and Tanzania, and our partnerships with mobile operators and other governments are growing at a very fast rate (stay tuned for some big announcements!)
Partnerships in Africa
Be-Bound has also been establishing strategic partnerships with organizations whose visions align with our own. This year, we’ve established partnerships with GreenTec Capital, Big Data for Africa, and we’re currently working with what3words on a special project in the Ivory Coast (Project Dor2Dor).
GreenTec Capital is a German investment development firm with a portfolio of businesses that combine profitability with social responsibility. Be-Bound and GreenTec Capital Partners are presently working on extending services for several apps in Africa.
Our first project with GreenTec Capital is with Big Data for Africa, a Nigerian startup that fills the data gap in Africa by using mobile technology to gather information from the population, including people with no or low access to the internet. Big Data is seen as the next raw material, and high quality data depends on high numbers of data points, which are only possible with reliable connection. Together, GreenTec Capital and Be-Bound are creating an app for BDA to increase big data to the most rural parts of Africa. (For insights on mobile connectivity in Africa, see our articles, Bringing Mobile Connectivity to Africa, and Africa and the Disruption of the Telco Industry).
Be-Bound is joining what3words on an initial project that will be launched in the Ivory Coast to make every physical address, locatable. Be-Bound and what3words are working with La Poste in the Ivory Coast with the goal of making mail delivery as efficient as possible. See full story.
This summer, Be-Bound was one of 20 startups chosen to take part in Amplifier’s #Tech4Good lab at Viva Technology, meant to “celebrate innovation in technology that makes the world a better place.” Be-Bound is a mission-driven business; we believe that constant and affordable connectivity are the key to unlocking the economic potential to hundreds of millions around the world.
After we won Startup of the Year in France, Be-Bound partnered with Bonjour Idée for their #StartupAfro awards to find the best Startups in Africa.
The launching of #StartupAfro was held in Morocco at the COP22, where we traveled to join in the announcement and show our support for ICT as a necessary tool to acheive sustainable development.
Our CEO, Albert Szulman, took part in the roundtable discussion at the Maddyness event “Le Réseau” (The Network), where he summarized the motivation behind Be-Bound’s goal to bridge the digital divide:
(For full video, click here)
This year our visibility skyrocketed. What makes the work we do worth doing, is seeing the end results: the people who see our technology and know it’s a game-changer. Two of our brightest stars and supporters this year from the blogosphere were Gilles Kounou and Edith Brou. Gilles is a tech consultant in Benin and beyond, and Edith Brou is one of the top 50 influencers of the Ivory Coast. See what they have to say (in French)!