Barz: An intelligent listening tool, who won third place at the UVU Africa Online Tech Competition 

In today’s fast-paced world, audio content such as podcasts and audiobooks has become increasingly popular for learning and self-development. However, capturing the best moments and taking notes while listening can be a challenge, especially for multitasking individuals. Recognizing this problem, Ntsako Mgiba founded Barz, a groundbreaking consumer mobile app designed to empower podcast and audiobook listeners. Barz allows users to effortlessly capture transcribed notes of valuable insights using just their voice.  


One of the key challenges faced by listeners is the difficulty of taking notes while consuming audio content on the go. Whether driving, walking, or performing household chores, the average listener is unable to dedicate their full attention to the content. Barz recognizes this and provides a solution by transcribing noteworthy ideas with a simple voice command. By capturing the last 30 seconds of content preceding the command, Barz ensures that valuable insights are never lost, empowering users to apply them later. 


Barz not only caters to the needs of listeners but also aims to assist content creators in reaching new audiences. Traditionally, content creators have struggled to market their episodes or titles beyond their existing follower base. Barz introduces a viral marketing feature where users can instantly share individual nuggets, known as “barz”, as quotes or attach images to create digital assets which helps content creators to amplify their reach and attract new listeners organically, without the need for expensive advertising agencies. 


What sets Barz apart from other startups in the industry is its unique approach. Unlike its competitors, Barz is not an audio streaming platform but an intelligent audio highlighting tool. Users can continue to listen to their favorite audio content on their preferred platforms while simultaneously utilizing Barz to capture essential moments. This flexibility and seamless integration distinguish Barz as a user-friendly and versatile tool, catering to the needs of a wide range of podcast and audiobook enthusiasts. 


Building Barz presented significant challenges during its pre-launch phase. However, the founders’ diverse skill sets in software engineering, product design, and management enabled them to overcome technical obstacles. With the support of the Online Pitch Competition Prize, Barz aims to run its services for a private alpha with 50 users over a two-month period. Additionally, the marketing toolkit will help them implement a robust go-to-market strategy for the broader launch of the app. 


Barz has grand ambitions to become a global software giant, leveraging the growing podcast and audiobook markets. As people’s lives become increasingly busy, learning on the go has become a common practice. Barz envisions developing new technologies to make this process even more seamless, revolutionizing the way we consume educational content. Moreover, Barz proudly represents an African innovation in the productivity tool space, aiming to demonstrate that South African entrepreneurs can create world-class consumer technology. 


We asked the Barz founder to offer valuable advice to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to participate in pitch competitions, and this is what he said. 


“Don’t be afraid to put your idea out there! It can be daunting, but you need to overcome the fear of failure and expose your idea to as many people as early as possible to get as much validation as you can before committing valuable resources. Also, it’s important to note that although competitions validation your idea, nothing beats the validation that comes from real users.” – Ntsako Mgiba  


Barz is revolutionizing the audio content landscape by providing a seamless solution for capturing and preserving valuable insights while listening to podcasts and audiobooks. By empowering listeners and content creators alike, Barz is bridging the gap.