iAfrikan witnessed the Accra , Ghana launch of the Suba App ,
a event-based iOS and Adroid mobile application that allows everyone at fun social gatherings (from concerts to weddings) to see and share photos together in one central photo stream.
The two developers of this app , Nelson Klutse and Eric Hackman are graduates of Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and now in the Meltwater incubator.
Established in Ghana in 2008, MEST offers aspiring African entrepreneurs a fully sponsored two year, intensive full-time program. Sourced from top graduates in Ghana and Nigeria, 20+ of these Entrepreneurs-In-Training (EITs) are selected each year and receive comprehensive training across the spectrum of skills required to build successful tech businesses, including computer programming, software development, product management, finance, marketing, sales and leadership best practices.
After completion of the program, the EITs have the opportunity to pitch a concept. Winning teams receive a seed round from the MEST incubator to pursue their idea. The average funding request is for less than $90,000 to last a year. MEST is known for producing some of Ghana’s prominent startups like Dropifi and Saya a messaging app for emerging countries which was recently acquired by Kirusa in the USA.
The name Suba reflects the “flow” of the app’s novel photo viewing experience.
It’s a riff on the the Twi word “nsuba,” which means “stream". This duo developed Ghana’s first Constitution app in the Google Play Store, which has been downloaded over 150,000 times. Suba is a very unique innovation made in Ghana and built for the global market. This is very different from the typical innovations spanning from West Africa and other parts of the continent which it's main focus is on leveraging on simple technologies like mobile phones , SMS's to solve home grown problems like the mHealth, mAgric and Mpesa kind of solutions. They took a more strategic approach to build an photo sharing app that is more scalable and can be used globally.
Suba app came into the Ghanaian technology scene about a month ago after the famous Accra Steet art festival dubbed Chale Wote when most of their users in Ghana took to the app to share photos of what was happening in real time at the event. They shortly afterwards created a stream of photos shared at the event.
The launch in Accra took place in collaboration with the popular Roof on Fire event series in Osu. It was more of a launch party than a more closed door executive launch.
Nelson Klutse the CEO of Suba who holds a combined Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Economics from University of Ghana, Legon said during the launch that they came up with the concept for Suba after attending a friend’s wedding. Everyone there was taking pictures, and they realized that they would never have a chance to see them so they took nine months to develop an app that will solve that problem. The app is currently in it's beta phase.
The attendants were mostly young people who took selfies , photos and shared it on Suba.
One of the requirements to gain entrance to the launch was for you to have Suba installed on your Android or IOS device.
Most people we spoke to were optimistic about the application. One person we spoke to reiterated that these days
when you go to an event people take so many pictures and it is difficult to keep up with the ones that were taken of you since it is mostly uploaded on multiple platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter but suba allows everyone at one event to take photos and share it in one stream.
Their plan after the Accra launch is to have major launches of the app in China , UK and other parts of the world. The ultimate ambition of Suba is to be globally synonymous with event experiences.
Wherever there’s an event happening, it should be known that Suba is where you can find all of the photos taken at the event. Suba’s unique features help event attendees relive the best moments from
social gatherings in a fun, exciting way.
Eric Hackman Interview
We had the chance to speak with one of the founders of Suba, Eric Hackman the Co-founder and Product development lead. See below excepts of the interview, you can hear the full interview on our SoundCloud channel below.
iAfrikan: How many clients / users do they currently have?
Eric Hackman: We are currently in Beta and we have a total of 1,200 downloads. After the launch, we hope to strategize on how to get more people to download and use the app.
How are you different from competitors?
We wanted to do something different. Our competitors ( eg. Instagram and facebook ) use vertical representation for photos but we want to use photo streams that are anchored to a specific location, and each stream tells the story of people celebrating together at a particular moment in time.
Funded? From Accelerator / Hub? Grant?
We graduated from the Meltwater School of Technology. During our graduation you pitch your idea to the funding team. When they are interested in your idea they give you seed funding from the Meltwater foundation. The investors liked our idea and gave us seed money for our idea.