@iLabAfrica partners with CIO East Africa to host CIO 100 Symposium and Awards

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In a bid to determine the overall top contenders in the 2017 CIO 100 Awards, the annual CIO Symposium and Survey, the organizers have engaged @iLabAfrica, a research centre in Strathmore University.

Dennis Wambugu, a Business Intelligence Analyst at @iLabAfirica notes  that the adjudication team has been marveled with the high level of submissions forwarded by various corporate firms who spared a moment to fill-in the CIO survey .

“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. Dennis Wambugu.Business Intelligence Analyst at @ilabafrica.

“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 Wambugu.

Whether the discussion revolves around robotics or virtual reality, or what that would be analyzed as “augmented humanity,” the CIOs have proven that they have an obligation to keep their eyes on the technological horizon.

“Of importance is that the CIOs must be judicious when assessing the emerging technology landscape, advocating for the smart decisions aimed to secure the future of organizations,” said Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director @iLabAfrica.

While appreciating the essence of the timely partnership, Ms. Laura Chite chief executive of CIO East Africa said: “We’ve keenly observed that CIO’s executive role has increasingly become fundamental in business strategy,” adding that following that understanding, the end-year CIOs Symposium agenda has been fashioned to add value to the corporate c-suite decision – making level industry players.

 

Source: This post was originally posted on CIO East Africa Website.
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Standard Chartered and @iBizAfrica Women In Technology Incubator Launch

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On Monday 2nd October 2017, @iBizAfrica in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank launched Women in Technology Incubator program at Strathmore University. The programme is Africa’s leading women in tech incubator, aligning with calls for more diversity in technology and for more opportunities for women to develop entrepreneurial and leadership expertise.

Speaking during the launch Sunil Kaushal, Standard Charted Bank Regional CEO (Africa Middle East), talked about the growing gender digital divide on socio-economic practices, which he said have resulted in women lagging behind in training and eventually starved off financial opportunities. Laming Manjang – CEO, Kenya, and East Africa from Standard Charted Bank took to the podium and in his remarks emphasized how sustainability is a core priority for Standard Charted Bank work and they will do this by empowering entrepreneurs.

DSC_0079.JPGThe event was officially launched by Sammy Itemere, Kenya Government Principal Secretary of Broadcast, and Telecommunications who talked about how the government has and is still putting up measures that ensure technology is accessible to everyone.  He also talked about how the launch of the incubator is important for our country Kenya as investing in women is insurance for our country and the future.

During the event, there was an all-women discussion panel that talked about women entrepreneurs; cost of technology in running business and digital divide. The panel talked about how it is important for women to access more hands on training, mentoring, long-term engagement to help businesses grow, while funding is important, it is not enough. Ms. Anne Mutahi, board chairperson of Standard charted in her remarks talked about how the incubator will break the barriers women have in getting into the technology field.DSC_0184.JPG

The Standard Chartered team together with the Principal Secretary then went for the tour of the incubation facility at @iBizAfrica where the selected women who will take part in the program will be incubated.

The program will combine world-class startup support with local and international experience to provide Africa’s most competitive and attractive startup incubation program focusing immersive learning, mentorship, building and growing Africa’s next iconic startups taking on the continent’s most relevant challenges and opportunities.

The participants who will apply online will then be invited for a pitch to a panel of judges will then select the top 10 contestants who  will go through a 10-week incubation period where they will be coached and  mentored.  Five of the lucky participants will stand a chance of winning $10,000 to help grow their business.

  To be able to take part in the program, please apply here.

Global Entrepreneurship Network Startup Open 2017 Competition

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Startup Open is a global competition that is open to entrepreneurs from any industry with a new business that has yet to raise any outside capital from angel investors, venture capital firms or other formal sources of seed funding. More than 1,000 teams applied to compete in 2017.

 

Rules

  1. All applications must be submitted in English.
  2. Applications will be accepted from 03 April 2017, until 30 September 2017.
  3. Applications will only be accepted online through the Startup Compete platform or through an officially approved Global/National Competition.
  4. It is not required that a startup be incorporated, but a company cannot be incorporated over 18 months to compete.
  5. You must be starting a for-profit company, or a non-profit that does not rely on grants.
  6. Your startup must be pre-money, no venture funding, at time of application

Eligibility

  • YES Stand-up phase when individuals or groups are equipped with the entrepreneurial attitudes and skills to attempt the creation of new company.
  • YES Start-up phase when resources are mobilized and regulatory requirements fulfilled to start a new company.
  • NO Scale-up phase when successful companies expand their businesses to new markets or in innovative ways.
  • NO Exit phase when a business owner or an investor decides to cash out an investment made in the past through trade sale or merger with a larger player in the industry (merger and acquisitions), secondary sales to third parties or initial public offerings (IPOs).

Judges

The winners will be selected by a panel of judges who are looking at a range of criteria including growth potential, passion, creativity, level of idea development, and their pitching skills. Each judge’s score is weighed equally.

Prizes

One winner of Startup Open receive a trip for one (1) founder to Istanbul, Turkey (room accommodation, flight and meals) where they will receive VIP delegate credentials to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in April 2018. In addition to the Grand Prize GEC experience, all 10 finalists gain a spot in the exclusive GEN Starters Club, with additional chances there to travel to Istanbul for GEC 2018.

All Finalists will also compete in a public voting round during Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov. 13-19) for the 2017 GEW People’s Choice Prize.

Applicants will have until September 30 to submit their startup.

For more information on the application process and the competition, please visit here .

The Event that Was: Standard Charted-@iBizAfrica Mentorship

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 @iBizAfrica in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank held a mentorship session on 20th July 2017 at Thomas More Building, 2nd Floor, Strathmore University. This was aimed at students who wanted career guidance to steer them in the right direction. The mentor would be a reference contact in the student’s career engagement. This was also a chance for students to build a relationship with industry experts who would then walk the journey with the student/mentee.

@iBizAfrica hosted Standard Chartered’s Group Chief Information Officer (CIO), Dr. Michael Gorriz, who shared his journey and advised on how to build a career in the corporate and the business world. In addition, 50 Standard Chartered management team members were present for a mentoring session in various roles in an organization.

Peter Gitau, who is the Chief Information Officer of Standard Chartered in Kenya and East Africa, hosted the event. The Standard Chartered team was taken through a tour of @iLabAfrica and @iBizAfrica incubation centre. At @iBizAfrica incubation centre, the guests were taken through a demo by Diana Martha of Purpink, one of the successful incubatees from @iBizAfrica. Purpink deals with personalized gift items for individuals and corporates.

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The guests then proceeded to Strathmore Law School~Thomas More Building for the mentorship session. Dr. Olukuru, from @iLabAfrica, gave the opening remarks and welcomed the guests and students. This was later followed by a talk by Anne Kayeli of Standard Chartered Human Resource department who gave a talk on “Setting the scene; launching a career for the millennial.” Dr. Michael Goriz gave his remarks and encouraged students to use technology, as it is a necessary tool to ensure economic growth.

The student teams were divided into 11 groups for the breakout sessions. The session was titled “Meet my Mentor” championed by Standard Chartered executives in Operations, Human Resource, Insurance and Finance departments. A mentor from Standard Chartered was assigned to each group. The sessions were highly interactive as the mentors engaged the students who were then able to ask any questions or clarifications they needed. The event was concluded by a vote of thanks by Dr. Olukuru and Peter Gitau.

Startup Bootcamp is Coming to Nairobi

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Are you an innovative Startup working on Smart City development? Are you ready to show us what you got? If  yes, we are inviting you to join us at our FastTrack in Nairobi, on the 3rd of August. You will be able know more about our Startupbootcamp SmartCity program and how to apply.

Who should apply for a FastTrack?

Startupbootcamp FastTrack sessions are open for all startups. If you are looking for targeted advice from leading Smart City experts, this is the place for you!

We are looking especially for startups specialising in:

  • IoT and Connectivity
  • Urban automation and Smart Transportation
  • Open City Data
  • Sustainable Cities and Living
  • Smart Government
  • Smart Retail
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Blockchain

Why apply for a FastTrack?

Startups joining the Nairobi FastTrack will receive immediate feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts, expand your network meeting other startup founders, and meet the Startupbootcamp Smart City team.

How to apply for a FastTrack?

Simply complete this short online form to apply for the FastTrack held in Nairobi on the 3rd August, 2017. Applications close 4 days before the event, so make sure you complete your application by then!

We will be in touch shortly after applications close to notify applicants that have been selected to join. If you have any questions about FastTracks or the accelerator program.

Quick Information

  • Reserve your place at the event here.
  • If you can’t make it along on the 29th, you can apply directly to their accelerator program through the F6S platform here.
  • More information please check out their website.

 

The World Bank Agritech Challenge

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The World Bank AgriTech Challenge, powered by Nest, is the region’s first open innovation programme focused on agribusiness. We’re calling everyone from trailblazing startups and industry veterans to visionary teams from universities to apply*. This is your opportunity to build an actionable solution that could transform agriculture in Kenya!

Facilitated by the World Bank and Nest, selected teams will work closely with one of the region’s leading agribusiness companies to conceptualize, co-develop and prototype a product to alleviate acute challenges in the Kenyan agribusiness value chain.

* Note: The programme is open only to Kenya-based teams

What World Bank is trying to solve

As one of the largest contributors to Kenya’s economy, there is tremendous opportunity to drive value creation and impact through innovation in agribusiness. The World Bank AgriTech Challenge aims to collaboratively prototype solutions that drive productivity, accountability and operational insight in the agribusiness value chain. Here are some of the pressing challenges we’d like to work together to solve:

  • How can we digitize the way in which produce is tracked from farm to shelf?To a large extent, tracking of produce and shipment is done manually and on paper-based systems. Through this programme, we hope to leverage platforms that can digitize the tracking process across the value chain, centralize data & record keeping, and mitigate the risk of errors & tampering.
  • How can we facilitate seamless communication between farmers and field technicians? Farmers (outgrowers) and the staff of large agribusiness companies communicate on an ad-hoc basis over phone calls and/or through SMS. Is there a way to streamline and structure the communication using tech based solutions to better manage the value chain and resolve operational issues?
  • How can we digitally monitor farm productivity and wastage, and drive insights to enhance yield? Currently, the analysis of farm productivity relies on manually synthesizing fragmented information which slows down the process of making sourcing and packaging decisions. Can we develop a “real-time” solution that allows for efficient analytics of farm performance?
  • How can we digitize the monitoring of product quality, packaging and shipment across the value chain?Demand from export markets is susceptible to short term fluctuation. Is there a way to deploy an efficient solution that can track age, quality and storage of produce to allow large agribusiness exporters to intelligently manage shipments and reduce waste.

About the Programme

The World Bank AgriTech Challenge is the first open innovation programme that bridges Kenyan techpreneurs with a vertically integrated agribusiness value chain. The 2-month long co-creation activity will include integration-focused workshops, one-on-one interactions with industry veterans, and structured product development. Each team will aim to develop a prototype or customize a solution in partnership with experienced operational professionals. These will be then presented to senior executives and investors at a Demo Day for potential commercial adoption and scale.

We’re looking for multidisciplinary teams that are passionate about AgriTech. You could be a startup, a promising SME, a team of agribusiness / logistics / supply chain technologists, or even a bunch of college students with a compelling idea and the ability to execute.

Benefits

  • Accelerated product development:A chance to work with a leading, established industry player to build, test and potentially scale your solution
  • Resources: Access to the insights, internal infrastructure and operational excellence developed by the World Bank and one of the region’s most successful agribusiness corporates
  • Mentorship: One-on-one guidance from agribusiness veterans, integration consultants and startup capacity building experts
  • Intros to senior executives and investors: A platform to present a your solution to senior industry executives and quality investors

Timeline

Have another idea? Suggest a challenge that needs solving in your application.

Applications close July 25, 2017. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so the sooner you submit the better!

Apply Now 

@iLabAfrica- Strathmore University Researchers Attend IST Africa Conference 2017.

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Three Researchers from @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University, were selected to present their papers in the IST Conference 2017 held in Windhoek, Namibia. Tabitha Mberi, Tracy Weru and Lorna Mutegi presented their individual papers to an audience comprising of senior officials from both the public and private sectors in education and research; Innovation stakeholders from Namibia, the European Commission, the African Union Commission, Southern African Development Community, Ubuntu Alliance among others. There were over 150 presentations from 36 countries.

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L-R; Lorna Mutegi, Tracy Weru and Tabitha Mberi

Tabitha’s paper themed:”Challenges to the Successful Implementation of E-Government Systems in Developing Countries: A Case of Taita Taveta, Kenya “was on work that @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University continues to implement in Taita Taveta County. Tabitha’s research looked at how devolvement of government from local authorities to county governments in Kenya has resulted in many counties adopting online revenue collection systems with the aim to improve public sector services and deliver them in an effective and efficient manner. Her study assessed the  various challenges that the team has faced in implementing the system which range from lack of trust of e-government systems by citizens, lack of infrastructure servicing by the county government, failure to follow procedures by system users among other reasons

Lorna’s paper, titled “Unlocking the Supply of Open Government Data for SDGs: A Case of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS)” focused on demand for data-for-development to support and monitor a country’s progress in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a rising global need. Lorna’s paper illuminates on a model for unlocking the supply of Open Government Data (OGD) for monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs based on a project that Strathmore University, through @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University, is currently working on in partnership with The World Bank and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). The model informs on the benefits of utilizing a quadruple helix model (public/private/research/civil society) in an OGD initiative, to unlock quality, timely and reliable government data to support and measure SDGs and other national development goals.

Tracy presented her paper titled “Cyber-Smart Children, Cyber-Safe Teenagers: Enhancing internet   Safety for Children“. Child Online Protection is a hard and tricky concern that requires multi-national efforts if it’s to be successfully tackled in the near future. This is mainly due to the exponential growth in smart devices. Providing a safe environment requires an in-depth understanding of the types and prevalence of online risks young Internet users face, as well as of the solutions most effective in mitigating these risks. To be able to get the right information on protecting children and teenagers there is need of  an Internet Safety awareness program that will build a generation of responsible digital citizens whose online behaviour demonstrate media literacy, ethics, safety and security.The paper presented by Tracy Nyatoro Weru proposes the development of a mobile based game application based on child online protection that will provide a comprehensive learning experience that is amazingly fun, highly interactive and extremely effective.

The IST Africa Conference provides a platform to strengthen Information Society, ICT and Innovation related policy dialogues both within Africa and between Africa and Europe, through Plenary Sessions, the rich thematic knowledge exchange facilitated by Scientific Programme and co-located multi-lateral (eg. JEG8, eu-Africa HLPD on STI) and private bi-lateral meetings. (Source: IST Africa).

Participation in the IST Africa 2017 conference continues to contribute to @iLabAfrica’s- Strathmore University exploitation and research and innovation strategy. In addition, the networking opportunity will continue to help build the research Centre ties with leading Public, Private, Education, and Research organizations from more than 39 countries who took part in the conference.