In 2005 Henry Lin, a young professor at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, was working with a scientist from mobile maker Nokia when they discovered something unusual. It was malware, on the Symbian platform that powered most of Nokia’s smartphones at the time; the first known instance of malicious software appearing on a smartphone. And to Lin, it was an opportunity.

Lin, his colleague Vincent Shi and five graduate students cobbled together $15,000 from their families and set up NQ Mobile on the premise that mobile phone security was going to become every bit as important as personal computer security. Eight years on, the company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has 242m users in 150 countries. Continue reading »

Picture: Katrina Manson

Pupils at a school on the green slopes of Mount Kenya no longer have eyes for the blackboard. Instead they are transfixed by a $500 tablet.

Belinda, 19, touches the screen gingerly and is amazed to discover an icon that allows her to film herself within seconds of her first touch of a computer. So speedy is the take-up of tech know-how in Kenya’s first “white space” rural broadband pilot scheme, its backers hope the idea could one day be copied throughout the continent. Continue reading »

Thousands of IT start-ups dream of that golden phone call from an industry giant offering to buy out the business– a vision that until now has been a bit of a hallucination for Polish entrepreneurs.

That changed this week with Amazon’s purchase of Ivona Software, a Polish maker of text-to-speech software, already used in the retailer’s Kindle Fire tablets. Continue reading »

By Dmitry Lisenkov of Rusnano

With a long history of scientific breakthroughs, a growing market for high technology and tangible commitment from the government to economic modernisation, Russia is well placed to diversify its economy with high-tech innovation.

International venture capital companies are starting to see the opportunities. I believe that with enough effort from the Russian public and private sectors to leverage the country’s technological and VC resources, the potential of Russia’s innovation can be turned into reality. Continue reading »