Pivot East is an East Africa developer fund-sourcing event that culminates into 2 days of pitching and winning that has been happening in East Africa since 2011. This year’s event was held at the Panari Hotel on Mombasa Road in Nairobi, Kenya and it saw mlab East Africa, the tech hub that organizes it, get sponsorship from Chase Bank, Motorola Solutions, Samsung, Facebook, Intel, and The Homeboyz Foundation among others.
You can have a look at the semi-finalists’ article published on juuchini in May 2014.
This 2014 winners will win funding amounting to 10,000 dollars per startup from m:lab East Africa. The funding will be split into two halves, the first of which is a $5,000 grant. The other portion $5,000 will be an investment which may be topped up by other investors depending on the startups funding requirements and their ability to convince other investors.
The runners’ up and winners of this year’s Pivot East competition are as follows:
*drum rolls* And the winners are:
Mobile Enterprise Category
1st Runners Up in this category is Online Hisab – a cloud-based accounting package solution for Ethiopian Small and Medium Enterprises who are in search of an affordable and easy to use accounting solution that offers both the solution and traning videos on hwo to use the solution. This solution has been created by Asmeret Gebre, an Ethiopian who has studied in Kenya. What was interesting about them is that the team comprised of 2 ladies from Ethiopia, an East African country with about 95 Million people and only 430,000 SMEs with an expected growth of about 40% in SMEs in the next 3 – 5 years. Online Hisab was only looking for venture funding worth 20,000 USD to focus on expanding within Ethiopia in the next 3-5 years. This startup also won the Founder’s Award.
Winner in this category is ASim Mobile – ASim Mobile, a Kenyan startup, is an SCM (Supply Chain Management) mobile solution that integrates with almost all popular ERPs (like SalesForce).
Mobile Utilities Category
1st Runners Up in this category is Maramoja Transport – a Kenyan solution that connects taxi drivers to taxi clients and then creates a trust-loop that allows for referrals within networks that can be monetized.
Winner in this category is Sendy – a Kenyan solution that creates a network of motorcycle riders (boda-bodas) that can do errands based on an on-demand platform. It works by sending jobs from ‘senders’ to riders’ devices. The jobs are then accepted by the riders and they earn a fee from each errand. I saw this once at the beginning of the year when I met the CEO of Pewin Cabs, a cab service very popular within Nairobi. The central command sends jobs to drivers in the field which they can then accept and follow prompts on how to pick up the job, alert the customer that their cab has arrived, plan a route, and successfully close a job.
Mobile Society Category
1st Runner Up in this category is totoHealth – a solution that enables hospitals and organizations to communicate and provide targeted information on antenatal & postnatal care using low-cost mobile phones.
Winner in this category is SokoText – an SMS-based pre-ordering service that makes it easier for small fruit and vegetable sellers in slums to get their daily stock in a supply chain fashion. The slum seller orders their daily stock from the SokoText team and they then go out into the main farmers’ market and pick up these items and then deliver to the small sellers in the slums based on the stock requested. It is mainly a social enterprise but with a lot of traction. It was launched out of the Nailab.
Mobile Entertainment Category
1st Runner Up in this category is Safari Tales – a Kenyan startup that is working on creating interactive African digital (folklore) content to be loaded onto mobile and tablet (hand-held) devices. It is led by popular Blogger and Poet Njeri Wangare.
Winner in this category is Ubongo Kids Team – a Tanzanian startup that offers a multiplatform, interactive educational cartoon with SMS integration and broadcasts on Tanzanian television to kids in Tanzania & online for kids around the World. During their presentation, they explained that they have a good interaction of about 15,000 SMS per show.
Mobile Finance Category
1st Runner Up in this category is Beyonic – a startup from Uganda that aims to eliminate physical money by creating the a solution that enables business to make payments using mobile money and other forms of cashless transaction.
Winner in this category is Chamasoft – a Kenyan group management platform which manages administration of small informal savings and credit groups commonly known as ‘chamas’ – hence the name – thus allowing them to focus on investment rather than administration duties.