Capture Solutions describes itself as an innovative company that focuses on B2B ICT applications for the African Market, finding practical solutions to real African problems. They are at the forefront of innovation and always try to think outside the box.
According to CEO and Founder Lorenzo Boncompagni, Capture Solutions came about out a passion for ICT. “I have a Degree in International Political Science but have studied programming and computer technologies since I was a kid. Thanks to my father that bought me a PC when I was 14 I developed a passion in ICT that never ended. Even at university I spent more time on PC and programming than studying for my courses,” said Lorenzo Boncompagni, CEO and Founder Capture Solutions.
“I worked in IT for the last 20 years, in UK, Italy, Belgium, Japan, Kenya, Tanzania, and Ivory Coast. In 2005 I started a company that dealt in Handwriting Recognition with Artificial Intelligence and was already using Cloud based technology, then realized in 2010 that Africa was the best place to do business for me. I love having challenges, discover and solving issues in the business world,” he added.
Lorenzo faced a few challenges while starting up the company. One of these was finding the right partner. “I started on the wrong foot at the beginning and had to restart almost from zero,” he said. “I learned that you cannot delegate vital parts of your business unless you work with someone for years and know them very well. I focused too much on the technical aspect at the beginning leaving the Management of Sales to another person who has made devious decisions. To recover it took me 2 years.”
Another challenge Lorenzo faced was in earning the trust of companies he wished to work with. According to him, “To promote new solutions, you have to first almost give it for free so that you build your references. This has a high cost and you still have to sustain yourself while you are still at initial stage.”
Funding was also a big challenge for Lorenzo. He found out that governments in Africa are not keen to implement tax deductions or other practical policies to help startups. According to Lorenzo, “Many startups focus on grants given by NGO etc., Those are actually not good for growth since they make the company dependent and not market driven. So you are pretty much alone and your best chance is actually to get customers, so you need to focus on and be fast on making your product marketable.”
The company provides solutions that focus on certain patterns of business like Supply Chain Management System for Tea, Coffee and other commodities market. Other solutions try to solve issues related to meter reading, others for medical insurances. According to Lorenzo, a solution in B2B can rarely be identical between one customer and another due to different practices, different accounting systems and different timing in their business growth. All this creates variables that need to be managed in order to provide the perfect service
Capture Solutions have been working for the last year on a new application called MediCAPTURE which essentially rotates around the health insurance sector. They plan to market it as a separate company in order to give full attention to that sector.
Lorenzo’s advice to budding entrepreneurs is, “First of all be passionate about what you do, build confidence and learn from your own mistakes. Try to focus but don’t put all in one basket because the one thing that you think could make you successful might actually be secondary in the future. Nothing is lost because you can learn from your bad or good experiences. The world evolves so fast you need to be very adaptable and assertive. Be courageous and never give up!”