The past weekend of 22nd to 24th November the Startup Weekend Nairobi version was held at iLabAfrica. This is a global event that aims at bringing together programmers, developers, marketers, designers, start-up enthusiasts among other diverse groups, to form groups and develop viable business ideas in 54 hours.
The event was facilitated by Julian Ferr from South Africa. Also in attendance was Njeri Rionge, one of the founders of Wananchi Online and a globally renowned entrepreneur in Kenya. Njeri was recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of Africa’s most successful serial entrepreneurs. In her key note speech, Njeri noted that Investors are looking for startups with a clear business model backed by passionate people who understand product and market.
There were 25 ideas pitched during the 60 secs elevator pitch session. This required one to convince the audience on the viability of the idea. The pitches were followed by a voting session where the audience would vote for the best idea and the top seven ideas would proceed to the next round. The voting system provided by Mservey was quite effective and real time. The top seven ideas (in no particular order were):
- Local DM :- Aims at availing affordable housing in the slums areas.
- PesaApp:- Creating a mobile money transfer module that would seem money transfer between all banks and telecoms
- Tunajali:- An online platform that provides designers a marketplace to sell their stuff and at the same time supports good causes
- OverPlusSports:- An application that aims at being a one stop shop for sports news, betting and anything to do with sports
- DereMjanja:- A mobile game for kids aged 10-18yrs that helps them learn traffics rules.
- WorkPoint BPM :- Simplifying business by eliminating paper work
- SooTano:- A microjobs site where all jobs go for 500/=
The teams went ahead and built on their ideas through the weekend to Sunday and the final pitches were done on Sunday evening. Judges voted for the the top two ideas that would proceed to the next level of the competition. These two were PesaApp and SooTano . SooTano a microjobs site that connects people for accomplishing jobs and tasks at Ksh. 500 carried the day, becoming the grand winners. PesaApp took the runner up position while Local DM scooped the social award.
iBizAfrica will offer incubation to the top 5 idea of the Startup Weekend for a chance to nature them into fully-fledged businesses over the next few months.
Written by: Njuru Mwangi |Twitter: @Njurus