@iBizAfrica

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.

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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 

Invitation to Participate in the Digital Radio – IoT Ideation Event

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Strathmore University – @iLabAfrica and Motorola Solutions invites students and professionals (in teams of at most 3 people) to present their Internet of Things (IoT-based) ideas under the following critical concepts:

1. Public safety (police, fire, health, security and services)

2. Utilities : Electricity distribution, water and wastewater

3. Energy, including Oil and Gas

4. Emergency Preparedness/Response: Natural disaster warning systems and

5. Wildlife.

The teams are expected to submit a write-up of an Internet of Things (IoT) solution that incorporates a prototype description of a sensing system that can remotely transmit data using different connectivity mechanisms such as two-way radio, GSM networks and Bluetooth as well as any other connectivity method. The teams will select the open platforms they feel comfortable using and transmitting the data to.

The deadline of submission of these ideas is June 13th. The teams with outstanding ideas will be selected to participate in the Digital Radio – IoT Ideation Event that will be held on June 22nd. In this event, the teams will do an oral presentation of their submitted ideas to a panel of corporates and academicians. A set of successful teams at this stage will be selected again. Tokens for participants and awards to the winning teams will be given after this event. The winning teams will then be marched with Motorola Solutions value-add-resellers to initiate a 90-day period of incubation that will see these teams’ ideas nurtured into businesses as well as trained to work with the relevant technology.

After this period, an assessment will be carried out to determine the most outstanding team(s) that will be attending Motorola Solutions’ participation in the first dedicated Mission Critical Communications Industry Event in Africa in Cape Town, South Africa in November 2017.

For Queries please contact: lmabele@strathmore.edu/fbalala@strathmore.edu

Register Here

Cohort 1 Graduation: Project Autistech

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The first Cohort of the Autism Tech Project completed their classes on 28th April 2017. The project is on a pilot basis and is the first project of its kind in Strathmore University. The project seeks to create an environment whereby certain individuals on the Autism auti2Spectrum can be trained on Software Testing and other areas of IT and get employment. @iLabAfrica partnered with IBM, who provided their software testing tool.  After a series of interviews, 5 students were selected to pioneer it at @iLabAfrica.

 

 

Background

Project Autism Tech was conceived in November 2015 as a possible means to addressing the problem of unemployment amongst capable individuals in the Autism Spectrum within the field of software testing. This specific area was selected because it is a model that has been successfully proven in all continents of the world except in Africa.

@iLabAfrica, being a Research Centre in Strathmore University established in 2011 to spearhead Research and Innovation in the ICT for the Development (ICT4D) ecosystem towards the attainment of the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Kenya’s Vision 2030, was selected by the Project pioneer to partner in the execution of the pilot project.

The project sought to create an environment whereby certain individuals on the Autism Spectrum could be trained and get employment on the basis of their areas of strength. Software Testing & Quality assurance is one such area where people with Autism have been known to excel and thus the project was borne.

Training

The 5 Candidates went through a series of classes that comprised of Information Technology, soft skills and life skills. In IT they learnt about software testing, data entry, cloud computing, basic programming and Internet among others. Some of the soft skills they were taught were communicating with colleagues, respecting personal space, advocating for themselves and professionalism of work. They were also taught on how to do interviews, going through contracts and seeking advice before signing any agreement with companies or persons. They were exposed to making and doing presentations in order to show and sell any ideas and information when required.

“The experience has helped the candidates grow a lot socially since the beginning of the project. Initially, they had difficulties in holding conversations and teamwork. These communication and social challenges are due to the fact that they are on the autism spectrum. But with time, through intensive coaching and role playing, a huge improvement has been seen. Today they are able to hold group discussions and work in a team with minimal supervision”, said Naomi Nyambura who is their Job coach.

The project gave the candidates an opportunity to make friends and have meaningful work relationships with neuro-typical colleagues. Through the pilot project, those in the university were sensitized on Autism and what it is all about and were able to connect with the candidates and  assist them in any way possible.

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Outcome of the Project

From the training, the candidates were able to learn about research and documentation and make presentations based on the research. The candidates were also able to learn about software testing which included practical sessions on manual and automated software testing. They used the IBM software testing tool to do the automated testing successfully. Other areas that the candidates were trained on was cloud computing, programming in Java and website development. During the graduation ceremony, one of the candidates was offered an internship opportunity at Kenya Communication Centre for Learning (KCCL) by the Principal.

The ego, confidence and morale of the candidates also improved a great deal as a result of being in the Autism Tech project. They had always dreamt of being in a university, being accepted and treated normally without discrimination. This is what they got and it has helped them increase their self-belief, and worked hard throughout their training. Their goal is to get employed, to be independent. This project opened a door for this goal to be achieved.

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All in all the Autism Tech project has been a great success. It is evident that with continued support, people with disabilities have a chance of getting training in IT and getting meaningful employment thereby becoming independent and leading a more normal life.