Founders Spotlight:Onalenna Mosupiemang (Founder & CEO,Acron Park)

The Acron App, developed by local tech firm Acron Park, allows tertiary students to browse courses in the country's different institutions and also register for their studies. In this interview, I chat with the founder Onalenna about the app itself and how they at Acron Park are trying to make the tertiary registration process much more convenient.

In your own words, please tell us who Onalenna Mosupiemang is

Onalenna Mosupiemang is the founder and CEO of ACRON PARK HOLDINGS and also an  Electrical Engineer. 

Briefly take us through your journey to a career as a tech entrepreneur

My experience as a Tech Entrepreneur is a hard one like for many in space. The difficulty comes with the fact that you have to put in long and hard hours of study and conceptualization, design and re-design as well as hundreds of hours coding the vision you have with very little compensation. It always takes a long time before you get to reap the rewards. 

The journey started when I was in my 3rd year at the University of Botswana doing Electrical and Electronics Engineering when I came across a programming course and once had a taste of it  I never stopped imagining all the possibilities of the things I can create and the problems I could solve. 

I then realized that there were several of my friends and family members who were struggling to find employment and others couldn’t even go to a tertiary level simply because they did not have all the facts right regards to being going to tertiary level and choosing the right career path and one which had a market. 

As the saying goes, '' Necessity is the Mother of Invention'' I decided to solve this issue with the newly acquired skills I had in programming. Together with the love for business and entrepreneurship, the dream was born. It was a long journey, but I can confidently say that it was worth it. The things I have learned in my pursuit of this endeavour are priceless. Moreover, with every download or user of the ACRON Botswana Mobile App, we feel that we saved someone a life of heartache, pain and depression because what students decide to study at the tertiary level to a  large extent determines what they will be doing most of their lives. 

The app is currently free on the Google Play Store. The tertiary institutions are featured for free for this whole year and next year, 2022, is when they will be charged an advertising fee as we will be promoting their programs and courses. The app also generates income through sliding banners on the App Pages. Other means of income generation are still being cooked and will be served in time because for now we are fighting to get people to know about the app and most importantly to start using it. 

What inspired you to pursue entrepreneurship instead of a career in corporate?

 I am doing both entrepreneurship and corporate. This involves a lot of hard work and determination so that on all sides, everything runs accordingly.

Please tell us more about your app, Acron App

The ACRON App is an educational app that targets and helps students in Botswana make informed and intelligent decisions when choosing their career paths and respective tertiary institutions. It does not only target students who have completed their Botswana General  Certificate of Secondary School (BGCSE) and are awaiting to enrol into tertiary but also students in schools to know the qualifications of their career path and work towards it. 

The app consists of all Tertiary Institutions in Botswana and their respective courses. It has all the important details of the course including the description of the course, the duration, total fees of the program,  occupations, the accreditation of the program by Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) in  Botswana, accommodation details, skill-sets, addresses and telephone numbers of the institution and the website of each tertiary institution. 

ACRON developers are able to view and track a student using the registration cellphone number of who has viewed a certain program from any tertiary institution. This enables the institutions signed up with us to track a specific student to enrol in their university from far places. This in turn helps universities to bring in a lot of traffic to their schools. 

Students are able to view tertiary institutions in a one-stop-shop, able to register online and make informed decisions from a variety of information. 

What was the motivation behind building the Acron App?

 Due to covid-19, roadshows have been cancelled and everything is online in order to prevent the spread of the virus. This was motivated to help students from far and rural places to view all tertiary institutions and be able to register online in the comfort of their homes since there are no road shows and career fairs. . In this, movement is very restricted and covid cases are reduced. 

Even after covid, this is an app to make and improve the lives of Batswana through technology in order to make decisions faster and make the life of every Motswana student better. It is important for students to make the right choices when making informed decisions in order to study a program of their choice and ensure the benefit of the economy of Botswana.

What challenges have you faced scaling the Acron App?

People nowadays use smartphones, but we cannot ignore the fact that there are those who are unfortunate to own a smart in order to download the app. 

In order to download the app, internet is also needed. Therefore, some places may not have sufficient internet or have no internet at all. 

Moreover, having meetings and negotiating with tertiary institutions to enrol with the ACRON  app has been a challenge in order to pursue them to enrol with us. 

How have you been trying to overcome those challenges?

The team has ensured that the internet is only needed two times when using the app, 

A) When downloading the app, the app enables the student to save the information of their choice and be able to confirm and read anytime without internet. 

B) When registering a program, the internet also is needed. 

The reduction of the number of times a student needs internet is meant to make it easy for them to use the app. 

The success of the Acron App will in one way or another be dependent on easy access to internet for students. With data still very expensive in the country, what do you think can be done to reduce its price so that innovations like the Acron App become easily accessible?

Schools should be aware of innovations such as this and allow students to use this kind of platform using computers and internet in the schools. This will enable that all students have an opportunity to register and make informed decisions when choosing their career path. 

 What are your goals for the Acron App in the next 3-5 years?

ACRON app will be known by every Motswana and especially teachers and students to know that it is the app that saves lives.  

ACRON App, will be upgraded internationally. Using the final secondary systems of respective countries in neighbouring countries or Africa, this app can be initiated to work elsewhere. 

Apart from the Acron App, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers regarding any exciting products or ventures Acron Park is launching in the near future?

 ACRON app also working on so many features. The app is working on providing students with a  map location of where a particular university is located all over Botswana. This is to help students be able to reach university or college easily. 

A monitoring timetable of study is also in the works. This will coach and monitor the studying pattern of the students either from primary, junior secondary or tertiary schools. It will help ensure that students study all subjects equally and ensure that it is followed well by sending notifications when it is time to study. 

We are also working on providing information and updates for activities happening around Botswana concerning important issues related to DTEF, BQA, BEC and the tertiary institutions.

What has been the proudest moment of your entrepreneurship journey so far?

The ACRON team has presented at Botswana Television at the COVID-19 daily update show. It has also made appearances in the Daily News and the Patriot on Sunday newspapers. 

What’s something you know now that you wish you knew earlier in your entrepreneurship journey?

 In the entrepreneurship journey, I have learned that a business is not a business until customers are aware of it and using it. A business needs a lot of marketing strategies to ensure that customers are aware of their needs and know how to best use it to its full potential.  

Moreover, for a business to run successfully a team is needed, in that way things can run more faster than that of a small team. 

From an entrepreneurial perspective, what advice can you give to young people looking into founding a technology-centred startup in Botswana? 

From my perspective, any technology centred innovation is of importance because it helps improve technology in Botswana and make the lives of Batswana easier. Therefore, my advice to every young Motswana looking into founding a technology-centred startup in Botswana is to use the internet to improve skills and people related to the idea and learn from them. Moreover, come up with many marketing strategies to ensure that people are aware of the product by using platforms such as social media and websites. Most importantly, never give up. 

Lastly, please share with our readers where you can be reached if they are interested in getting in touch

Onalenna Mosupiemnag- 73025400 / 77640798 


 Facebook – ACRON 

NB: Interview has been slightly edited for clarity

Previous Post Next Post