Mobile Technology Challenge and Virtual Incubation Program
The University of Waterloo, Canada, and Strathmore University, Kenya, are collaborating to support technology incubation programs in Kenya focused on the use of mobile and social media technologies to find solutions to socio-economic problems affecting large numbers of the population.
Mobile technologies are transforming sub-Saharan Africa. They are providing individuals in the region with previously unimaginable access to information and, as a result, significantly impacting the economies of the region. This has opened opportunities to develop and improve social and economic systems in ways that can truly impact the ‘bottom-of-the-pyramid’ in Africa.
The two Universities have conducted an agricultural mobile application challenge that is meant to address challenges that farmers encounter in the agricultural sector. Agriculture was chosen since this is the mainstay of at least 80% of the Kenyan population and therefore has a direct impact on the bottom of the pyramid masses.
The challenge kicked off in January of this year with a total of 45 teams applying. 28 were shortlisted in the first round. In the second round 10 were further shortlisted and then a final selection of six teams. These top six teams have undergone a vigorous incubation program that was conducted by the Strathmore University team and the University of Waterloo, Conrad Business School, Virtual Incubation Program team.
The business incubation was facilitated by use of a virtual technology platform. This is the first of its kind in Africa and it will further enhance opportunities for entrepreneurs with novel ideas to benefit from training and funding to launch sustainable enterprises. The Virtual Incubation Program aligns to the running policy of the Jubilee government on entrepreneurs’ empowerment.
There will be a ceremony to launch the virtual incubation program. During this ceremony the six finalist teams will be acknowledged. The teams represent various universities from the entire country, namely,
Masinde Muliro University, Egerton University, Nairobi University, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, United States International University Africa and Strathmore University. The prizes for the first two teams will be:
- The first prize is a fully paid one-week fellowship at the University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada
- Second prize is a fully paid admittance to the 6-months Strathmore Enterprise Development Program run by the Strathmore Enterprise Development Centre (SEDC).
The ceremony is scheduled for Friday 22nd January 2016 and will take place @iBizAfrica, Strathmore University, 5th Floor Student Center.