The purpose of the SingularityU East Africa Global Impact Challenge is to foster moonshot innovations and startups that positively impact the lives of people living in East Africa, with an ability to scale and impact a billion people worldwide in 10 years.
The Prize of the Challenge is free attendance to the transformational Global Solutions Program at no cost.
This year, the GSP has two big changes:
(1) climate change is the overarching theme, and
(2) we have a new collaboration with XPRIZE.
We selected the climate change theme because it has consequences for every industry, geographic region, and way of life. Even if you don’t consider yourself a climate change authority or innovator, your skill set can probably help mitigate the effects of climate change. If you’re already passionate about impact or working in the impact space, you can create a moonshot innovation to address this urgent global problem.
We will not require participants to innovate in the climate change space, and welcome people from all disciplines to apply, but this theme will inform the GSP curriculum. We are looking for applicants from ANY technology or science discipline because we know a challenge as huge as climate change can only be solved within the convergence of multiple disciplines and exponential technologies.
Our collaboration with XPRIZE will give you an extraordinary opportunity to tap into the wisdom and expertise of the best minds working in this field today and their established network of funders.
Application & Assessment
- The challenge is open to residents and citizens in East Africa Countries
- You must be age 21 or older on the first day of the GSP
- Must be fluent in written and spoken English
- Able to participate for the entire GSP17 program
- Applicants selected as finalists will be interviewed by a panel of judges on 24th March 2017
- Degree of solution’s relevance to the theme of the challenge
- The regional relevance in solving the challenge in East Africa
- Feasibility, Viability and Coherence of implementing the idea
- Entrepreneurial and innovative potential, with a focus on technological novelty
- Applicant’s leadership experience and quality, profile, achievements, and potential
Save the Dates
- Applications Open- 13th February 2017
- Applications Close – 13th March 2017
- Pitch Day Event – 23rd March 2017
- Summary of accomplishments
- An abstract of the project idea
- A video URL of the project idea
- The idea should leverage exponential technology.
What is the Idea Foundation Seed Stage Program?
The Idea Foundation Seed Stage Accelerator Program is a platform to develop and grow innovative business ideas through training, mentorship and coaching and financial support. The program is implemented by @iBizAfrica in Collaboration with IDEA Foundation. There are two intakes in a year, in April and August. The program targets innovators and leaders seeking to solve problems that affect the society in Kenya through innovation and entrepreneurship.
Who is eligible to apply?
The program is open to qualifying students and alumni of Strathmore University. We target teams comprised of individuals with competent skill sets to make the business a success. The team should include at least a visionary (CEO), Business Lead (CFO), Marketing Lead and Technical (CTO) Lead.
Why should you apply?
The program is is a great platform to accelerate the development, growth and success of startup business ideas. In the past Through this program @iBIzAfrica and IDEA Foundation have help many companies to develop, grow and succeed. These include: Purpink Gifts, Valuraha Group and Buymore LTD.
What Benefits will YOU get?:
- Develop and sharpen business skills.
- Receive mentorship and coaching from successful entrepreneurs and experts.
- Upon Successful completion, receive a certificate of completion and an opportunity to receive seed funding of upto KES. 500,000. The funding is a low interest rate .(subsidized and below market rate) repayable upon the business becoming successful or convertible to a grant. We do not take equity.
- Work-space at and access to office facilities at @iBizAfrica
What is the program Duration?
The program is 3 months long between April and June. Key Dates are as follows:
- Call for Applications-Feb 16
- Selection-March 25
- Training Starts-April 1st
- Training Ends –April 15th
- Incubation starts –April 18th
- Selection Committee Approval for Funding-June 10th
- Incubation Ends-June 17th
- Submission of Applications for Funding-June 17th
Register here to be considered for the Program!
WINNERS: Team Convifarm with Dr. Victor Kyalo (PS, Ministry of Information and Communications)
Six fervent teams of university students across the country, took part in an exciting 1 year incubation programme courtesy of a strong collaboration between Strathmore University and University of Waterloo. The six who were shortlisted from a group of 45 teams comprised of; Mkulima, Kilimo Watch, Convifarm, Greenup_africa, eVet, and Agribora. Greenup_africa won 2nd place while Convifarm bagged the winning price.
The challenge aimed at producing solutions that would address agricultural issues in Sub-Saharan Africa using mobile and social networking technologies. Mobile technologies are transforming sub-Saharan Africa through 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. Agriculture was chosen due to the mainstay of at least 80% of the Kenyan population and therefore has a direct impact on the bottom of the pyramid masses.
“The University of Waterloo is rich on entrepreneurship, it is the one reason we were happy to join hands with them. While we chose agriculture because it is one of the businesses that provides a large revenue to the country,” Dr. Sevilla, Director at @ILabAfrica Research Centre and @IBiz Incubation Centre, explained while giving his welcoming remarks.
The business incubation was facilitated by the use of a Virtual Technology Platform – a CONRAD University of Waterloo initiative and the first of its kind to be used in Africa. The platform aims at enhancing opportunities for entrepreneurs with novel ideas to benefit from training and funding that will launch sustainable enterprises. The program also aligns to the running policy of the Jubilee government on entrepreneurs’ empowerment. This programme was also officially launched during the awarding ceremony.
Dr. Victor Kyalo – representing CS Ministry of Information and Communications, while giving the key note address lauded the students for engaging in a virtual incubation initiative that is different. He also stressed out the fact that there are numerous opportunities for information capital to be exploited in the country and such a step is commendable.
The winning team Convifarm, comprised of two students – Norman Muga from Strathmore University pursuing a course in Bachelor of Business Information Technology (BBIT) and Mburu Njunge from Kenyatta University pursuing a Bachelor of Science (BSCs) in dry land agriculture and enterprise development. Convifarm was created to bring convenience to farmers through mobile agriculture in accessing information and services across diverse enterprises along the agricultural value chain.
The team wins a fully paid trip to Waterloo, Ontario Canada where they get an opportunity of observing the Waterloo eco-system of venture creation, and to meet individuals and groups that can further assist in developing their idea.
The second team Greenup_africa comprised of three students – Peter Okwara from University of Nairobi (UoN), Samuel Kamau from Jomo Kenyatta University of Technology (JKUAT) and Hiral Shah from USIU. Greenup_africa connects farmers to farmers and eventually farmers to buyers. It helps farmers reduce the production process by cutting the middlemen and brokers. The team hopes to scale this application to the counties, helping the grassroots farmers to have control on whatever they produce by stabilizing the market and stabilizing the prices.
2nd Place: Team Greenup_Africa with Dr. Sevilla(Director @iLabAfrica) and Mr. Gathogo(SEDC Lectrurer)
The team win the option of participating in the Enterprise Development Program offered by the Strathmore Enterprise Development Centre (SEDC) worth Kshs 480,000. Team members will have the chance of meeting seasoned entrepreneurs and trainers enabling the team to practically implement their business model and grow their enterprise. The team was also given the opportunity to engage the county government administration through Ms Anna Othoro who represented the office, on potential funding options for their application.
We thank all the teams for taking part in this competition and all stakeholders for the support that they offered.
The GIST Tech-I Competition is focused on young science and technology innovators who have an idea or startup. If this describes you, then apply today! Or if you know someone whose idea or young company deserves the world’s attention, please forward them this message.
22nd January 2016.
Expert reviewers will select up to 100 applicants to advance to the semi-finals, during which their pitch videos will be featured online and voted on by the public. These votes will help to select thirty finalists who will present their ventures to a global audience at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley, California. During this internationally prestigious event, these amazing up-and-coming innovators will receive intensive skills training, mentorship, and networking access to global leaders in their fields. Winners of GIST Tech-I will receive seed capital prizes and all finalists will receive up to three months of mentoring following the finals.
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.
Dear Negawatt Participant
Thanks again for participating in the Negawatt Weekend and sharing your amazing urban energy efficiency solutions with us. In gratitude for all of your hard work, intellectual energy, and great ideas, the Global Negawatt Team would like to extend an additional opportunity for you to participate in our challenge competitions “virtual track” and pitch your solution at the 2015 Smart Cities Expo Congress. To do this the World Bank has partnered with the MITClimate CoLab (www.climatecolab.org) to provide a virtual track for participants with the aim of creating a massively open online problem-solving platform to address urban energy efficiency. We’re looking for innovative solutions to age-old urban energy efficiency challenges and seek your talent and know-how to transform cities into more sustainable and energy efficient places.
In order to participate go on ClimateColab.org , enter your team, submit your proposal today, refine your solutions and help us “flip the switch on urban energy efficiency.” An expert judging panel will review the proposals, provide feedback, and identify a winning team that will be flown to Barcelona to pitch their ideas to mayors from all around the world at the Smart City Expo Congress. The Climate CoLab Judges’ Choice and Popular Choice Winners will also receive a special invitation to attend selected sessions at MIT’s SOLVE conference and run the chance to win the Climate CoLab $ 10,000 Grand Prize.
Entries are due June 13th.
We hope to see you on ClimateColab.org and in Barcelona!
The Negawatt Challenge Team!
Kindly note that, this is open only to those who took part in the Negawatt challenge from day one(including those who did not get shortlisted for the Bootcamp).