Lorna Okeng: Digitially Preserving African Heritage

Lorna Okeng is an adventure seeking, nature loving tech enthusiast who is passionate about using technology to address real world challenges. A former Google student ambassador and a girl child evangelist, Lorna Okeng is no stranger to winning — in 2014 she was one of the winners in the ITU Telecoms’ Young Innovators Competition.

She gets excited about finding new ways of exploiting existing technologies to maximize information accessibility and availability. We got to speak with her about her startup, TeleMuseum, and how it would change African culture and history by digitally preserving our heritage.

What would happen if we could virtually teleport 500 years back in time and see how the stories unfolded then and how things evolved? TeleMuseum will take you there. ~ Lorna Okeng

What does your company do and how would it change the world?
Imagine a virtual screening room, with infinite capacity, holding millions of unique cultural and historical content from our collective past, connecting us to our heritage and legend stories narrated from our very own elders.

That’s what TeleMuseum is. We help cultural heritage institutions re-imagine and preserve culture and history by digitizing very unique local content so that they can become significant digital tourism contributors to the region.

We are increasingly communicating and connecting virtually, yet our heritage institutions are physical. So, our fundamental mission as TeleMuseum is to digitally enhance the exchange of information and objects, especially relating to African culture and history.

How did you feel when you heard you were one of the selected Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs and what was the most difficult part about applying?
It was definitely exciting for us because making the list brings us closer to accomplishing our goals. Some of the questions were a bit intimidating, I must admit, but we put in our best, emphasizing our goals and specifically highlighting why the world, and more still Africa, needs TeleMuseum.

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What is your major business challenge and how do you intend to address it?
The business challenge we keep meeting is how we will commercialize the product. Through mentoring and interacting with more and more people, we will narrow down to strategies that can sustain us.

With the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, we will have enough support to accomplish most of the goals we have in place including launching the platform and attracting pioneer users.

Any words of encouragement to someone who is thinking of starting a business?
First things first, Believe 101% in your idea/startup, give it your best and trust that it will work. Then find one or two people who believe in what you are doing, work with them and somehow, everything else will fall in line.

cofoundHER Facts
Full name: Lorna Okeng Atim
Startup: TeleMuseum
Nationality: Ugandan
Sector: Virtual Tourism/Digital content creation
Solution in one sentence: We help cultural heritage institutions re-imagine and preserve culture and history by digitizing very unique local content so that they can become significant digital tourism contributors to the region.

Looking forward to exploring TeleMuseum when it launches. To find out more, follow Lorna Okeng on Twitter @LittleAtim

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Every day for the next few days, we will share the stories of 30+ African women entrepreneurs whose ideas can change the world. These women are idea and early stage entrepreneurs, with businesses less than three years old, who are beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme.

We are sharing their experiences in hopes that their stories will inspire someone out there to take the leap and go after their dreams. Hope you enjoy their stories as much as we enjoyed putting them together. Follow our daily stories using the hashtag #TEEPcofoundHER or visit cofoundHER (www.cofoundher.com) for updates.

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