Pivot East 2013 which took place on the 25th and 26th of June at Sheraton Kampala managed to again shine the spotlight on the East African Start-Up Scene. The event outreach started early in 2013 with its executive producer, Moses Kemibaro, and his team comprising of m;Lab’s Sheilah Birgen and the m;Lab manager, John Kieti, hosting several outreach programmes in Kenya and Rwanda to get mobile Start-Ups interested in the competition.
The actual event kicked off on the morning of the 25th and lasted for till the evening of the 26th with the winners in the 5 categories, Mobile Society, Mobile Enterprise, Mobile Entertainment, Mobile Finance and Mobile Utility, being announced during the colourful gala dinner.
The Winners, 3 of whom are from Kenya, are:
- Mobile Society – Winner of this category is Kytabu from Kenya which is a micro-leasing textbook subscription application that allows students access to learning material they need whenever they need it regardless of their location as long as the payment is made for that particular piece of content. The founder believes this app will reduce the cost of hard-copy books by about 60%.
- Mobile Enterprise – Winner of this category is SleepOut.com from Kenya. SleepOut is headed by the same team that works on EatOut Kenya and is an SMS-driven and web portal booking process that seeks to connect both commercial and peer-to-peer hosts with guests and agents. Sort of like an sms-mobile version of Couch Surfing that will give you the full range of options from a tented place in a remote area to a 5 star hotel room.
- Mobile Entertainment – Winner in this category is KolaStudios from Uganda with their Gaming App, Matatu, which is a 2-player card game based on a popular betting game played with a pack of cards. The game is versatile on platform since it can be played either on Android phones or on Facebook.
- Mobile Finance – Winner in this highly competitive category is GO Finance from Tanzania which seeks to use a company’s financial records to target small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to automate the supply chain and to make money from supply chains of FMCG companies. Go Finance currently has 80,000 USD in cash from an Airtel Tanzania grant they had received earlier.
- Mobile Utility – Winner in this category is Ma3Route from Kenya. Ma3Route is a crowd-sourcing app that gathers updates on traffic situations from locals and then sends out this info in order to provide commuters with up-to-date information that can help them plan their routes better by avoiding traffic congested areas. The App currently has more than 15,000 crowd-sourced posts and about 1,000 downloads so far. One of the Pivot East judges, Daniel Stern, applauded Ma3route as a “dream come true” to commuters and drivers alike.