40 start-ups shortlisted for the Standard Chartered Bank, in Partnership with Strathmore University Women in Tech Incubator Fund.

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The Tech Incubator has shortlisted 40 teams for the Kes 20 million Standard Chartered Women in Tech Incubator capacity building programme.  The 40 have been shortlisted from more than 200 applications in the initiative targeting women-led start up teams of 2 – 3 people leveraging on technology as a key driver of innovation in business. The applicants were drawn from the general public, schools, colleges and universities in Kenya.

The 40 teams will advance to the selection pitch, a two stage process (semi-final and final) that will see only 10 of the best selected for the incubation program to compete for up to KES. 1 million in seed funding.

Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director of @iBizAfrica- Strathmore University, noted that through the incubator program female-led startups in the ICT sector are envisaged to transform Kenya through innovation.

“This marks the beginning of a journey of innovation that will see top 10 female-led startups transform into viable businesses. We congratulate the shortlisted teams and wish them the best of luck in the remaining selection stages. It’s very encouraging that we received applications from all over the country! We believe the shortlisted teams have great potential for advancing to the finals. We thank our experienced judges for helping us shortlist the top 40 out of more than 180 applications,” added Dr. Joseph Sevilla.

The teams were shortlisted based on performance in the programme’s 100 points criteria such as female founder eligibility above 18 years, Teams of at least three people who demonstrated capacity to execute: clearly defined roles, balanced skill set (team lead, business development, product development and marketing). Addressing problems and solution innovation, availability of Market opportunity and social impact in Kenya.

The launch of the programme in Kenya follows a successful rollout of a similar initiative in USA by Standard Chartered.  The Bank first launched the programme to support women in technology in 2014 at the City College of New York where it created the Women Entrepreneurs Resource Center. The US program includes a dedicated workspace, mentorship, coursework and access to an extensive network designed to support entrepreneurs navigating the challenges of starting a business.

The shortlisted teams are:

  1. Majik Water
  2. Grassroots Bima
  3. Taimba Ltd
  4. Zoa
  5. Sakal Africa Limited
  6. Redhunt
  7. Tekkies Kenya Bn-N6gcpm
  8. Helvetian Company Limited
  9. Botlab Limited
  10. Savanna Circuit Technologies Ltd
  1. Bim Registry
  2. Catapult Studios
  3. Greymate Care
  4. Jobonics
  5. Lindaafya
  6. Gari Soko Consulting
  7. Esvendo
  8. Bamboo Design Afrika Ltd
  9. Bima Kenya Agency Ltd
  10. Mimea Poa Consultancy
  11. Beta Art Kenya
  12. Bismart Insurance Agency Ltd
  13. Nekkta
  14. Zydii
  15. Avopower
  16. Gawana Rideshare
  17. Unified Arts
  18. Niokoe App
  19. MotoAlarm
  20. Cnc Kenya
  21. Brightgreen Renewable Energy
  22. The Magunga Bookstore
  23. Bar Limited
  24. Zalika Creatives Limited
  25. Farmallke
  26. Mzurii Kenya
  27. African Solutional Technology
  28. Rickard Retail Watch
  29. Somethinggrown Company Ltd
  30. Bluewave Insurance Agency Limited

For more information contact Bernard Chiira on bchira@strathmore.edu

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Have an Idea? Get funded!

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Program: IDEA Foundation Seed Stage Accelerator Cohort 2 2017

Deadline call for applications-30th November 2017

Description

The IDEA Foundation Seed Stage Accelerator is a three months long incubation program that empowers entrepreneurs to launch globally scalable innovation-driven startups that solve relevant local challenges.

Details:

Selection-Our selection process is a unique full-day workshop and pitch presentation (after a week) where participants are trained and equipped with the most relevant lean startup tools to conduct customer discovery and validation. Teams then pitch to demonstrate customer-problem fit. The teams are also trained and equipped with the tools and skills for business modeling. They develop a business model to be tested during the incubation period. Teams that pass the selection interview and already having proof of concept and early traction (users and customers) proceed to submit an application for seed funding to IDEA Foundation.

Training-Selected teams undergo an intense two weeks curriculum designed to quickly orient them into the nuances of business skills, entrepreneurship and lean startup techniques. The training will equip the participants with the knowledge and skills across entrepreneurship, business modeling, team development, business processes, presentation skills and pitching, product development and lean startup methodology. Classes take place in the evening from 5:30 to 8:30 pm and on Saturdays from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Mentoring and Coaching-Teams will have access to top mentors and coaches from industry and Strathmore University.

MVP and Proof of Concept-Concurrently with the training, teams embark on building an MVP for proof of concept. They also run experiment to test the business model. The duration for this is one month. Teams pitch to demonstrate proof of concept and to submit application for seed funding.

Seed Funding-Applications for seed funding are submitted to the selection committee that approves them of review by the Idea Foundation Investment Committee. Applicants can apply up to KES. 500,000.

Who Should Apply

The program is open to teams lead by Strathmore Students and Alumni only. Women and alumni are highly encouraged to apply.

The program is open to small synergized entrepreneurial teams with balanced skill sets, relevant experience and passion to execute and succeed.

Selection Criteria

  1. Applicants must be Strathmore Students or Alumni (At least one applicant in the team).
  2. Applicants must be in a team of 2 to three people with relevant technical and business skills required in the startup.
  3. Applicants must be physically available to participate in the program during the entire duration of the program.
  4. Only the applicants that will successfully complete the selection workshop will be admitted into the program.
  5. Applicant must demonstrate innovation and address relevant local challenges with impact on the Sustainable Development Goals

Themed Categories for the Program

  1. Agritech-Innovations in agriculture
  2. Edtech-Innvations in edcation
  3. Healthcare
  4. Fintech
  5. Energy
  6. Governance and Ethics

Duration: 3 months

Click here or on the image to apply.

Dates: 

  1. Open Call for Applications- 31st October 2017
  2. Deadline call for applications-30th November 2017
  3. Incubation – December 2017- April 2018

TO REGISTER >>> CLICK HERE

3 Reasons why you should consider becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

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A common saying among cybersecurity professionals’ is that: There are two kinds of organizations in the world, those that know they have been hacked, and those that have been hacked and they don’t know it yet.

In the 2015 annual Kenya cyber security report, Serianu consulting firm, observed that 7 out of 10 companies are at risk of cyber-attack. Moreover, these companies are not prepared to handle such situations.

It is through this report that Certified Ethical Hackers (CEH) – also known as a white hat hackers – are hired to explore security weaknesses that are inherent in all computer systems, documenting their findings and offering recommendations to organisations on ways security systems can be improved before malicious hackers (black hats) take advantage.

CEH are skilled ICT professional who understand and know how to look for weaknesses and vulnerabilities in target systems, and are hired to use their expertise to lawfully break into computer systems.

Here are three reasons why investing in a career as a CEH is a wise move.

  1. Number of cyber security attacks is on the rise.

With the increase in technology adoption, organisations and individuals are experiencing attacks targeting mobile phones, operating systems, web-based applications, industrial systems and devices, connected to networks. An ethical hacker is then best placed to assess the level of risk exposure and advise on the necessary action to take so as to prevent an attack.

Kenya has seen a rise in the implementation of e-services in private and public sectors, which has significantly increased the number of threats organisations face. Additional risks have emerged from the introduction of the undersea internet cables as well as the automation of banking services.

  1. Increase in Cyber security Jobs

According to Forbes magazine, the cyber security sector is expected to grow to more than $ 170 billion by the year 2020, making it the fastest growing employment segments in Information Technology.

On August 18, 2017, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) issued a Guidance Note identifying and mitigating cyber risks. The Guidance Note targets institutions’ licensed under the Banking Act, set to develop and implement programs that mitigate cyber security risks.

Amongst the requirements of the Guidance Note, institutions are required to conduct threat and vulnerability assessment tests, reporting to the board of the respective organisations and CBK on their findings annually.

  1. Cyber security affects all job roles in an organisation

Companies have to take extra steps to secure sensitive data in each department. This exercise cuts across all departments in the organisation, whether the employees are working within the corporate network or traveling with mobile devices containing company data.

To learners with the necessary skills to handle these new trends, Strathmore University, through @iLabAfrica Research and Innovation Centre, is offering a Certified Ethical Hacker certification which is globally recognised and endorsed by the United States Department of Defense in its mandate DoD 8570.

The program consists of 18 modules that cover over 270 attack tools and techniques used globally by hackers to break into systems. Learners are given the practical techniques which mimic the environment found in a live production computer network.

This course is of significant benefit to anyone concerned with the integrity of their computer network infrastructure such as security officers, auditors, system administrators and security consultants. To get more information, contact Richard on rotolo@strathmore.edu.

Richard Otolo is the IT Security manager at @iLabAfrica

 

 

The Emerging Internet of Things (IoT) Business Landscape

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Internet of Things (IoT) has dominated the tech space headlines for the past five months here in Africa. A number of IoT conferences have been organised throughout the period to present the concept of Internet of Things and try to have the C-suite understand what the buzz for IoT is all about and the future of it. The concept is already causing a major shift in technology and a number of companies have already started reaping the fruits that come with it. The idea of big data accumulated from IoT is certainly improving the efficiency of the processes in almost all the verticals across Africa.

As it already stands, African businesses and industries are already drawing the line regarding the scope of development IoT is going to provide to double their returns and experience the paradigm shift needed in the currently existing innovation. This scope is encompassing the following: Remote Sensing, Connectivity and Analytics. This is gradually laying a framework of collaborative IoT where different players are selectively providing services under their traditional block of business. The sensor manufacturing companies are improving their service in terms of customizing and shipping the needed sensors while the telecom companies such as Safaricom are adding new connectivity layers and standards to their infrastructure such as the Narrow band IoT (NB-IoT). New service provision by cloud giants such as Oracle, Microsoft, Google and IBM are already being adopted by companies such as MKOPA solar and Mawingu Networks to deliver the service of making the really needed sense out of the accumulated data.

Institutions such as Research Centres and Universities are also meant to grow the Collaborative IoT concept through advanced training that is meant to cover all the IoT concepts from bottom to up. Strathmore University and University of Nairobi have already launched IoT research labs that are meant to address IoT development from embedded sensing, Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) and real-time databases to inform the industry just how to go about implementing an IoT solution. This is certainly going to be achieved through Collaborative IoT between academia and industry. It is currently in the initiation phase but the tests are proving the future of the success of IoT.

Although the real definition of IoT lies in the delivery of service in a sensing-actuation fashion and data analytics, various African companies and even start-ups are embracing the idea that to derive the value from IoT, you have to outline your domain of development in order to connect with customers and even other service providers. The domain of Industrial IoT is envisioned to generate more revenue even globally since traditionally it has always run on Machine-to-Machine architecture. Other domains also meant to grow much revenue are: Smart Agriculture, Health, Transportation and Energy. Companies such as Davis and Shirtliff, have already

positioned their IoT stack from sensing to connectivity and to the application in order to monitor the pumps deployed to their client sites to achieve their operational technology innovation. Other companies in Africa that have already embraced IoT and extending their business landscape include the following:

  1. Kenya – MKOPA Solar, illuminum Greenhouses, IBM Kenya, BRCK, Chimera IoT
  2. Tanzania – Usangu Logistics
  3. Nigeria – National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control
  4. Rwanda – The Launch of the African Centre of Excellence in IoT
  5. Namibia – The development of an Electronic Dispensing Tool
  6. Malawi and Ethiopia – Both have started development on Internet of Health.

As the business landscape continues to take shape in Africa, it is envisioned that start-ups will cause a new wave in IoT through new ideas. Most of their ideas might incline to the domains that are rarely looked into by the existing companies but then again, it is only through Collaborative IoT that this is going to be realized. The domains ranked to generate more revenue for businesses in the future of IoT in Africa include:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Healthcare
  3. Transportation
  4. Manufacturing Industries
  5. Energy
  6. Smart Homes
  7. Supply chain

IoT is about data and its value and certainly the business landscape looks bright for the African countries as a new industrial revolution experience is about to happen majorly due to the newness of the IoT concept in the continent. Companies are going to stretch the much needed connectivity to the remote of the areas, unearth smart technology through wireless sensing and build up predictive analytical systems that will cut down their cost to the desired levels. This can only happen through IoT. If a business is currently not laying a framework to reap from IoT with a proper plan, then definitely it should be prepared to have the market scales tilted to its disadvantage.

 

AUTISM TECH GRADUATION.

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Friday 17th November 2017 @IlabAfrica held the 2nd graduation ceremony for Project Autism Tech that awarded participants with Autism and other learning disabilities a certificate in IT.

The ceremony which was attended by the parents and friends of the participants, marked the end of a 4 month training that trained students on IT skills such as Software Testing, Java, HTML, Computer packages among others. This is the second graduation since the project began.

Project Autism Tech was conceived in November 2015 as a possible means to addressing the problem of unemployment amongst capable individuals in the Autism Spectrum within the field of software testing. This specific area was selected because it is a model that has been successfully proven in all continents of the world except in Africa.

@iLabAfrica Research Centre in Strathmore University, spearheads Research and Innovation in the ICT for the Development (ICT4D) ecosystem towards the attainment of the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Kenya’s Vision 2030, was selected by the Project pioneer to partner in the execution of the pilot project.

Speaking during the ceremony Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director at @iLabAfrica, congratulated the participants for their achievement, “We at iLabAfrica are pleased to see the 2nd group graduate. This project has seen the participants grow in the Field of IT and has helped them build their confidence in the delivery of their projects and overall as students. This training as you know is open to not only to those with Autism but also those with learning disabilities and is focused on equipping the candidates with IT skills that meet market standards and that would afford the candidates the opportunity to seek for employment.

He added “We are certain that the skills learned in these 4 months will open doors for those seeking jobs and those currently running their own businesses. The Institution is working hard to ensure that we enrol more students for the program to give them a better opportunity at finding jobs. ”

Mrs Judy Thongori, a parent to one of the participants said, “We as parents are pleased with the work Strathmore is doing for our children. This project has seen them know how to use computers and blog to keep us posted on their activities. We thank Dr. Sevilla for this opportunity and we wish that other universities take up more talented students like this to help them pursue their IT and Social skills”

The project sought to create an environment whereby individuals on the Autism Spectrum as well as those with learning disabilities could be trained and possibly get employment on the basis of their areas of strength. Software Testing & Quality assurance is one such area where people with Autism have been known to excel and thus the project was borne.

Reports show that Autism affects an estimated 70 million people and is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the world, with a startling growth rate of around 57% since 2002. About 80% of affected people live in developing countries where knowledge and resources are scarce, with very few opportunities even for diagnosis, much less for management and treatment.

Research suggests that employers are missing out on abilities that people on the autism spectrum and other learning disabilities have in greater abundance than neuro-typical workers do – such as, heightened abilities in pattern recognition and logical reasoning, as well as a greater attention to detail. In all the other continents, except Africa, people with Autism as well as other learning disabilities have been gainfully employed especially in IT.

The project has a long-term goal of creating a social enterprise that would provide sustainable employment to qualified individuals on the Autism Spectrum as well as those with other learning disabilities.

NTSA Crowned 2017 CIO Winner.

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Dr. Sevilla of @IlabAfrica presents an award at CIO100 Awards ceremony 2017.

@Ilab Africa research and innovation Centre, Strathmore University was the team behind this year’s analysis and judging of the top 100 CIO companies in East Africa. As an Academic partner with CIO 100, IlabAfrica an addition to cutting edge research in IT was nominated to be the judges for the CIO 100 awards.

Themed as Digital Transformation, the annual CIO100 Awards ceremony was preceded by a two-day’s symposium attended by more than 400 senior IT and business executives who congregated to learn, share knowledge and recognize their peers who have performed well.

The gala dinner award ceremony saw National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA’s) receive the Top award for this year’s East Africa’s 2017 CIO100 Award which was received by Head of IT Fernando Wangila.

Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director at iLab, research Centre within Strathmore University mentioned that NTSA scooped the top accolade following its brilliance in implementing Transport Information Management System (TIMS). The System is a self-help portal where Kenyans can access services offered by NTSA from anywhere so long as they have internet connection.

Speaking at the event Dr Sevilla mentioned “Partnering with CIO East Africa and the industry to evaluate the CIO 100 survey applicants was very exciting. @ILabAfrica, can attest that the projects submitted for evaluation were mind-blowing.” he said noting that there were an average of 190 companies that participated.

Dr. Sevilla said that all the 12 judges were marveled with the high level of submissions forwarded by various corporate firms. He chaired the panel that included the judges, Dr. Caroline Kariuki, Dr. John Olukuru, Timothy Oriedo, Rosemary Olale, Isaac Kigen, Dr. Godfrey Madigu, Dr. Alfred Kitawi, Dr. James Mwajagi, Conrad Ojiambo and Dr. Nancy Njiraini among others.

“We noticed that emerging technology isn’t merely a conjured-up report but they represent a series of already rolled-out initiatives – in pure capital, time and energy – that have massive implications for the enterprise.” said Dr. Sevilla.

He further added that “The CIO’s entries had fully rolled out projects indicating that many companies are supporting their IT managers in various impactful projects. Most projects embraced latest disruptive technologies including data science and analytics, Internet of things and Cloud computing which are also key research areas for @ilabAfrica “.

With over 190 applications to be reviewed, various faculties within Strathmore University participated in the exercise. This year’s companies were rated with a total score of 35 points ranging across seven different categories; Networking; Leadership; CIO of the year, CIO Green edge award, Storage, Infrastructure, CIO Technology Partner Awards.

After several rounds of rigorous reviews from the judges, the company that scored the highest rating was the NTSA for their robust use of technology within the year.

This year CIO 100 honored Companies that had created new value using IT and had demonstrated its importance through project execution in uncommon, innovative ways and companies that had pioneered new technology, setting the bar higher for their competitors.

Laura Chite, CEO CIO East Africa congratulated the NTSA Team for scooping the 2017 and in the overall adding value in Kenya’s transport system by effectively rolling out the TIMs project.

TIMS was envisioned in 2008 by a multi-stakeholder group led by the Ministry of Transport through a multi-agency initiative to enhance road safety on Kenyan roads. The main aim was to implement an internet and mobile technologies enabled Transport Integrated Management (TIM) system to leverage the economy and scalability of today’s sophisticated enterprise architectures to meet its needs.

The East Africa CIO100 Awards began over seven years ago and evolved through a need to recognize and celebrate creativity, innovation and those pushing the bounds of creative excellence in all forms of emerging technologies.

More than 650 companies from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia participated in this year’s CIO100 competition, with entries from all the economic verticals including Education, Health, Logistics, Banking and Financial Services, Insurance and Agriculture.

Below is the list of winners in the other categories:

Plus One           

Financial Service Sector:           Barclays Bank of Kenya

Manufacturing Sector:              Longhorn Publishers

Media Sector Award:                MultiChoice Award

Health Sector Award:               Gertrudes Hospital

Public Sector:                           NSSF Uganda

Local Government:                   Kitui County

CIO Special Awards

Leadership Award:                   Huduma Kenya

CIO Green Edge Award:           Sarova Hotels – The Sarova Project

Infrastructure Award:                MultiChoice Kenya – Fundi Task

CIO of the Year Award:             Fernando Wangila, CIO, NTSA

Overall Winner:                        NTSA

Industry Service Award:           Access Kenya

@IlabAfrica develops online centralized business portal for Manufacturers

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Friday, 3rd November 2017, Nairobi. @iLabAfrica research and innovation Centre, Strathmore University has developed an online central business portal for the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).

The online centralized business portal will provide industry stakeholders and potential investors with information on Kenya’s economic and legal environment as well as industrial and trade statistics relevant to the manufacturing sector and its sub sectors.

Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) in partnership with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) partnered to consult @iLabAfrica research and innovation Centre, Strathmore University in the development of an online, web-based Centralized Business Information Platform.

Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) in partnership with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) launched the online portal in a quest to provide investors in the country with up to date data on the sector. The centralized business portal will provide industry stakeholders and potential investors with information on economic and legal environment, industrial and trade statistics relevant to the manufacturing sector and its sub sectors.

Speaking during the launch, @iLabAfrica Director, Dr. Joseph Sevilla mentioned that the portal will avail the business community with relevant information on issues such as Kenya’s current competitiveness in relation to other comparative economies, manufacturing trends and decision making especially when these decisions impact manufacturers.

The portal will provide the capability to document and track vital statistics on a number of issues relevant to the manufacturing sector on a monthly or quarterly basis including key advocacy efforts particularly on NTBs and counterfeit goods. This portal will also provide more dialogue with policy makers as well as avail the results of the advocacy in a timely manner

Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology, State Department of ICT and Innovation Principal Secretary, Mr. Victor Kyalo noted that the ICT sector is envisaged to transform Kenya into knowledge and information based economy.

ICT sector is the catalyst for competitive and dynamic economies. Kenya is considered the leading technology and innovation hub in Africa. The development of a large-scale telecommunications infrastructure in Kenya, capable of delivering efficient and affordable info-communications services is recognized as a critical prerequisite for the country’s economic growth. The Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology is therefore keen to partner with KAM to mainstream innovation in industries,” added Mr. Kyalo. KAM Chairlady, Ms. Flora Mutahi noted that the information shared through the portal will provide investors with the necessary data needed to map out areas of investment and potential sectors for businesses to scale into.

Kenya moved a notch higher in e-commerce following the recent launch of the devolution portal which seeks to provide an interactive platform for information sharing between the Business Membership Organisations, County Governments and Constitutional Implementation Bodies. Another key milestone for industry has been the launch of the new National E-Trade Portal – a national e-commerce gateway.

The Portal launched by KAM is part of the wider efforts to integrate the use of technology in the manufacturing sector in line with our economic goals towards Vision 2030. It will increase the sector’s investment competitiveness by providing necessary data needed for investment and ultimately, the growth of the sector,” added Ms. Mutahi.

TradeMark East Africa ICT Director, Mr Alban Odhiambo noted that it is critical to improve the availability and accessibility of information that businesses and policy makers require to make decisions.

“In a globalized economy, information is a vital currency that can make or break a firm.  The establishment of the Manufacturer’s Portal is a step towards the right direction of setting up a customer-centric and knowledge-based way of doing business and TMEA is happy to be associated with this venture which will enhance the effectiveness of KAM to service its members, start-ups and investors in the manufacturing sector of our economy. The goal of this venture is to ensure that manufacturers operating in the country and the region, or planning to set up shop have access to accurate and reliable information to support their strategic and operational decision-making processes,” added Mr Odhiambo.

The KAM Portal hopes to supplement increased use of digital platforms that provide active solutions for the business community in the country. In the short and medium term, the database is expected to raise the level of awareness of manufacturers on the legal environment, economic and trade statistics as well as other related areas.

This centralized information portal brings with it numerous other opportunities where @iLabAfrica can further collaborate with KAM to provide quality products to the members.  Additionally, the manufacturers can greatly benefit from research done by @iLabAfrica in Internet of Things especially for members in the energy sector.