How to win Ksh 1 Million for your Business

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WITStandard Chartered in partnership with @iLabAfrica has launched a search for the third cohort of women-led technology startups which will see five entrepreneurs win Sh1 million each.

The partnership seeks more diversity in technology and for more opportunities for women to develop entrepreneurial and leadership excellence.

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

Who are we looking for?
We are seeking to recruit the best entrepreneurial minds, women-lead startup teams leveraging on technology as a key driver of innovation in business. The applicant must:
  1. be a woman
  2. be the CEO with equal or majority ownership in the company
  3. 18 and above
  4. of Kenyan nationality
What are the the program thematic areas?
Applicants may submit applications across but not limited to the following thematic areas:
  1. Agribusiness
  2. Education
  3. ICT
  4. E-Commerce
  5. E-Health
  6. Fintech
What do Participants Get?
  1. Three months incubation at Strathmore University’s leading business and innovation incubator- @iBizAfrica
  2. Mentorship from world class mentors
  3. Coaching by top business, technology and legal professionals
  4. Immersive, world-class entrepreneurship curriculum
  5. Networking and exposure to expand your business networks
What do Winners Get?
  1. USD 10,000 or KES 1,000,000 equity-free grant seed funding for the top 5 winners
  2. 9 months ongoing support from Standard Chartered and @iBizAfrica to assist with go-to market and scale.
Terms and Conditions
  1. Participants must be physically available to attend the program over the three months incubation
  2. Participant accommodation costs are not catered for
Application  deadline 31st October 2019 


For more information Click here

To Apply click here

Strathmore University Students win I&M Bank Inter-Uni Challenge

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I&M Bank
Photo courtesy I&M Bank

Strathmore University Students won this years I&M Bank inter-UniChallenge.

I&M bank  launched their first hackathon contest with an inter campus capture the flag cybersecurity contest whereby different universities were invited to compete.

The six universities that participated in the competition were Strathmore University, USIU, Daystar, Meru University, JKUAT and KCA.

The contest was launched by the CEO of I&M bank Mr. Kihara Maina who explained the importance of cybersecurity in Kenya especially in the corporate sector and how I&M Bank is working to ensure that online threats are curbed in the banking industry.

The competition which was held this December was Strathmore team; Jayson Waigwa – @iLab Africa Student Associate, Florence Kithinji – BBIT 4th year and Hilda Kiriga – BBIT 4th year students participate and Win.

The contest was divided into two parts: Local server and External Server, in both parts we were working individually. Both parts were timed and after the time elapsed, participants were given the scores and corrections on areas of improvements.

“It was an interesting contest because even though we did the hackathon individually, we still managed to learn from each other and overall learn some new ways and hacks.” mentioned Jayson Waigwa – @iLab Africa Student Associate

The hackathon had a session with the I&M bank manager for learning and development department Mr. Christopher Mwirigi, who advised the participants on job applications to different corporates, giving them pointers on what to do and not to do when applying for jobs. He also advised them on the many challenges corporate organizations face when interviewing fresh graduates and the high expectations graduates have right after university. 

At the Awarding ceremony for individual category Meru university took the 1st position, the second position went to JKUAT and the third position was attained by Jayson from @iLabAfrica-Strathmore university. They combined the results of each individual and calculated the average of students per university. In the Overall competition, University Category Strathmore University attained the first position where JKUAT and KCA attained the second and third position respectively

About @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University

@iLabAfrica is a Centre of Excellence in ICT Innovation and Development at Strathmore University. The centre spearheads Research and Innovation in Information Communication Technology for the Development (ICT4D) of ecosystems towards the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to contribute toward Kenya’s Vision 2030. The research centre is involved in interdisciplinary research, students’ engagement and has partnered with over 800 institutions (Universities, NGOs, foundations and government) worldwide and other funding agencies. For more information, please visit

Supporting Kenyan women businesses through technology

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  • @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University and Standard Chartered Bank select top 10 women led businesses for 2020.
  • 10 Kenyan companies to compete to win Ksh 1,000,000 million in funding to grow their businesses.

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Standard Chartered Bank in partnership with @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University have shortlisted 10 start- ups for the Women in tech program. The Program targets women led start-ups that are looking to scale up their business through technology.

This year’s top 10 teams were selected from a pool of over 400 start-ups that had registered for the program. The applicants have been drawn from the public, schools, universities and colleges in Kenya.

Director of @iBizAfrica- Strathmore University, Dr. Joseph Sevilla, noted that through this incubator program female led Startups in the ICT sector are envisaged to transform Kenya through innovation.  “Over the years we have natured, grown and transformed businesses in this program through training, mentoring and coaching. We are pleased to see new innovations and more women led businesses register for this year’s program and look forward to ensure that they get the best training and skills to expand and grow their businesses” Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Strathmore University.

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 3 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 Women in Tech Incubator Program is committed to being digital by design, to support female entrepreneurs with technology to grow their businesses.

The dates for the semi-finals and the finals will be announced soon!

The 10 teams of the women in Tech 2020 are:

  1. Arbres Boitech
  2. Yedu Entreprises
  3. Give LLC
  4. Creative List
  5. Taste Afrique
  6. Gift Chain Africa Ltd
  7. Offspring Co. Ltd
  8. Benacare Ltd
  9. Bottle Logistics East Africa
  10. Natures touch

@iBizAfrica is the business incubator of Strathmore University, a leading private University in Kenya. The incubator provides a nurturing environment that builds on the potential of the youth to develop innovative solutions and businesses that work for the common good in society. @iBizAfrica provides training, advisory, mentorship, coaching, networking opportunities, access to seed capital and investors, and state-of-the-art facilities. We prepare startups to be investor-ready and launch into market through our custom incubation and acceleration programs.

Standard CharteredWe are a leading international banking group, with around 84,000 employees and a 150-year history in some of the world’s most dynamic markets. We bank the people and companies driving investment, trade and the creation of wealth across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good.

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

For more information please visit Explore our insights and comment on our blog, BeyondBorders. Follow Standard Chartered on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.


@iLabAfrica Receives Motorola Solutions Foundation Grant

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motorola Picture
Nairobi, Kenya– @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University, today announced it has received a grant from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions.

Through the grant, @iLabAfrica will build Capacity Development on Internet of Things and Data Analytics Technologies to Rural-based Universities in Kenya.

The Motorola Solutions Foundation awards grants each year to organizations which support and advance public safety programs and technology and engineering education initiatives.
“With the help of the Motorola Solutions Foundation grants program, @iLabAfrica will help provide underrepresented and underserved students across the globe with technology and engineering learning.” Leonard Mabele- @iLabAfrica, IoT Manager.
This year, Motorola Solutions Foundation grants will support programs that help more than 2 million students, teachers, first responders and community members around the globe. There is a specific focus on providing grants to programs that impact underrepresented populations, including females, minorities, people with disabilities, veterans and others.

“We are very pleased to support the work of @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University,” said Monica Mueller, executive director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation. “We believe in organizations that foster innovation and drive change, and we’re proud to be part of the positive impact they are making in the community.”
For additional information on the Motorola Solutions Foundation grants program, visit:
For more information on @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University please visit
About @iLabAfrica

@iLabAfrica is a Centre of Excellence in ICT Innovation and Development at Strathmore University. The centre spearheads Research and Innovation in Information Communication Technology for the Development (ICT4D) of ecosystems towards the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to contribute toward Kenya’s Vision 2030. The research centre is involved in interdisciplinary research, students’ engagement and has partnered with over 800 institutions (Universities, NGOs, foundations and government) worldwide and other funding agencies.

About the Motorola Solutions FoundationThe Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions, the leading provider of mission-critical communications, software and video solutions that help build safer cities and thriving communities. The Motorola Solutions Foundation makes strategic grants, forges strong community partnerships and fosters innovation by funding programs in public safety education, disaster relief, employee giving programs, and technology education. The Motorola Solutions Foundation provides over $11 million in support to over 250 charitable organizations and universities in over 30 countries annually. For more information on 3 Motorola Solutions Corporate and Foundation giving, visit our website:

Propel your career: SAP DUAL Study Program

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Kickstart your career in tech with SAP’s Dual Study Program at @iLabAfrica Strathmore University!

You will graduate from the program as an SAP Associate Consultants, which gives you a competitive edge in pursuing various career paths among SAP’s globally positioned customers and partners.




  • Start your journey to become an SAP Consultant;
  • Gain globally-recognized associate-level SAP Certifications;
  • Learn directly from SAP experts;
  • Experience classroom and workshop based training in SAP Technologies;
  • Develop the soft skills needed to prepare you for successful job applications;

As a student, you will only pay Ksh. 85,000 as opposed to nearly $12,000 USD for this program.

This fee (Ksh. 85,000) includes Class Sessions (practicals included), SAP Learning Hub One Year Access Fee, and Exam Fee.

Course Dates: 2nd to 6th December 2019

Application Deadline: 18th November 2019

To register Click here 


Learn how to tell captivating stories using Data

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@iLabAfrica in Partnership with Fringe Graph have partnered to offer a training on Data storytelling.

The training is for individuals and groups who want to acquire 21st century skills that will guide them on how to use data in creative ways to tell impactful stories.


Writers, bloggers, journalists and persons interested in learning about how to analyze and use data for better reporting. 

For more information register below

Data-Journalism-Conference-v6 (1)

Click here to register 

Or email

Tanya on

0r call 0730 734 476

Building IOT Solutions for Smart Cities.

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Wazi hub 2

As the world grows into a progressively intersected and technology-dependent universe, an upsurge of smart applications begin to change how we approach everyday activities.  Would you like to walk down a street and the lamp posts know it? Embedded with smart sensors, lamp posts can brighten and dim as foot traffic varies to conserve energy, forming maneuverable, safer walk paths for the inhabitants 24/7.

This was just one of the countless discussions held at the 2nd @iLabAfrica Wazihub Bootcamp  to  close of the year. The 4 days of training encompassed participants who were motivated to use the Waziup platform to develop IOT solutions for local problems.
WAZIHUB (in Swahili for Open-Hub) is an innovation project for Africa aiming to create an Open Hub of IoT (Internet of Things) and Big data cutting-edge and African-grade solutions, co-designed by African people where these solutions can then be adapted to match local service needs. Wazihub in  partnership with @iLabAfrica conduct IoT activities using the Waziup platform. @iLabAfrica runs a fully functional IoT (Internet of Things) Lab that researches, implements and tests robust and sustainable solutions in all sectors of the economy.

The first sessions  of the bootcamp enabled students to learn the basics of the hardware part of IOT, from Electronics Fundamentals to Bread boarding which were led by IOT Specialists Joseph Shitote and Stephen Ngetich from @iLabAfrica. The participants further had the opportunity of an industry visit to Liquid Telecom who have partnered with Sigfox to build and deploy a nationwide IOT network covering 85% of the Kenyan population.
Smart cities carry along infrastructure and technology to improve the quality of life of people and heighten their communications with the urban environment. Nonetheless, how can data from areas such as transportation, air quality and energy construction be unified and efficiently used? The Internet of Things (IoT), could have some of the answers. The participants were divided into 5 working groups and developed projects that were pitched on the final day.
The projects included, Smart Traffic System-Transport Chap Chap which aimed at reducing traffic congestion by providing data for informed decisions to the police department. This collected data aided them in re-routing vehicles to less congested areas. A vegetable humidifier reinforced the theme of food security by monitoring critical parameters such as temperature, humidity and air quality in storage facilities which in turn provide feedback mechanisms for quality produce.
A review of the use of smart energy systems brought the Solar Sasa team which concentrated on ensuring maximum solar radiation absorption by the solar panel at any time during the day, improving the efficiency of the solar panel. Home devices provide a sense of convenience, particularly when they’re preventing numerous accidents due to gas cylinder leakages which cause explosions. The Gaspector group outlined a smart home monitoring system implementation that provided a sensor to monitor the levels of CH4 in real-time through an application that would send notifications when the threshold exceeded.
Zima Auto held on to maximizing energy efficiency in households. They would utilize motion and light sensors to save energy in areas where domestic lighting was not required at all times.

Throughout the bootcamp project manager Margaret Njenga, took the participants through different phases the Wazihub program, and what they would expect in the next steps. Participants also had practical sessions learning about configurations and setups by IOT Engineer Marvin Ngesa from Liquid Telecom.

The workshop was closed by a judging panel that comprised of a balance of technical and business experts namely, Wandiji Ngongang an IOT Engineer from the UN Habitat, Patricia Ahau, Strathmore University and Stephen Ngetich of @iLab Africa.

The judges crowned the Traffic Chap Chap team as the winners of the 2nd Wazihub bootcamp and all participants were awarded certificates of participation and the winning team a variety of sensors.

As smart technology continues to develop and urban centers expand, both will become interconnected. By taking a step towards the future, we will advance not only how we interrelate with our general environment but how cities interrelate with us, guaranteeing that we receive the best quality options and waste fewer resources.

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Winning Team at the 2nd @iLabAfrica bootcamp.

Metathesiophobia – Innovation’s Biggest Constraint

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I recently came across this term “Metathesiophobia” while reading a book written by Neil Sahota and Michael Ashley titled “OWN THE A.I. REVOLUTION”. The authors of this book spend a lot of the initial chapters of the book delving into the evolution of different technologies leading to Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) alongside the side of psychology and the human mind on “Learning” and the rate of adoption of change relating to technology. The authors bring out an interesting comparison of technology adoption based on knowledge. Their description of the “things we know, we know”, “things we know, we don’t know” and “things we don’t know, we don’t know” really caught my attention especially in regards to technology adoption! Metathesiophobia, as loosely put by Michael and Neil means “Fear of Change” and I thought this might just the biggest constraint of innovation.

In the wake of Internet of Things (which has become my daily life), metathesiophobia might get a lot more amplified than it already is. Simply because, Internet of Things is a collection of technologies and not just a single technology. The technologies making up this collection are constantly experiencing evolution leading to new changes almost every year driven by more innovation. This is enough to scare off a company, especially one that has a traditional setup.  At a first glance, Internet of Things (IoT) should be understood as simply as the term – “Internet of Things” where one part has “Internet” and the other part has “Things”. In this era, even a 5 – year old who will have a slow loading cartoon on YouTube, will tell you “there is no Internet” (Am not overlooking the digital divide, there are many rural places lacking Internet access so the 5 – year olds here have a different experience) which means we are all growing into having Internet access as a basic need. This definitely speaks for the numbers that know what “Internet” means. On the other hand, “Things” are just that – Things, that is: buildings, roads, land, atmosphere, vehicles, electronics, transformers, boxes, warehouses, oil pipelines, solar power plants among other numerous things. It is important to note that people, under IoT, are also things! From this get go, anyone who hears “Internet of Things” should relate to the term as its two parts and be excited to hear how everything works. It is its implementation that probably starts to breed metathesiophobia.



Looking at the diagram included here which breaks the two terms – “Internet” and “Things” into two parts and lists their technology domains perhaps can help bring out the different elements that IoT encompasses which somehow just shows how wide an IoT conversation can get within an Innovation subject. A lot of C-level individuals are happy to have it but how many are really doing it? Or how many are really ready to invest in some of these technologies just to create a paradigm shift in their existing business models? Could it be a fear of “we know, we don’t know” or “we don’t know, we don’t know” so cannot set up a separate budget to get moving on Low Power Wide Area Networks Innovation or TV White Spaces, Artificial Intelligence etc? How many startups are VC’s funding to develop solutions leveraging these kind of technologies? In Kenya, my experience of working with corporates, has got me almost getting to a conclusion that, it is the fear of change (read metathesiophobia) that is limiting the pace of innovation.

A research publication done by Dr. Ovidiu Vermesan and Dr. Peter Fries titled “Internet of Things – From Research and Innovation to Market Deployment” lists “Smart Living” as one of the applications of IoT embodying intelligent ways of shopping, efficient usage of energy and water, remote control of appliances, usage of smart home appliances, gas monitoring, safety monitoring among other sub-applications. In the 374-page document, the authors seem to converge to one objective elucidated by the Internet of Things (IoT) which is “A Smart Population”! A smart population inspired by “Internet” and “Things”.

There is a lot under the umbrella of these two terms to be implemented in order to really realise the smart population. First, the technical pieces which stretch from Things to the Internet amidst constant innovative developments. Second, a supportive Research and Development ecosystem within companies and research institutions to inspire the development of the technical components. Third, a proactive and flexible national environment that follows the development of the technologies close enough to craft the regulatory frameworks for all of these technologies to thrive for the growth of the smart population. Fourth, other reasons. The innovation happening at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM among the other tech giants exploring the technologies around IoT (as shown in the diagram) is the biggest driver for their growing revenue. New careers are also emerging within this innovation space spitting out job titles that have not existed before especially as new domains emerge. Elon Musk’s description of Tesla Inc. as a technology company is probably the reason that has kept the company staying on top of innovation consuming the technologies around “Internet” and “Things”.

If we do not rise above metathesiophobia, we will not innovate and sooner than we know it, we might have innovative startup companies buying out well established companies. metathesiophobia might limit our dream of achieving a smart population that can provide us ready markets. It might also get us holding onto the statement of “there are no jobs” when we could create more jobs through innovation. Whichever way we look at it, Metathesiophobia might limit our innovation when probably all we need is the “Internet” and “Things”!

Leornard Mabele


Leonard Mabele  is a Junior Research Fellow and Manager of the IoT Research Lab at iLabAfrica, Strathmore University