Five @iBizAfrica Startups Semi-Finalists in Pivot East 2014

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pivot eastThe Pivot East 2014 semi-final list is out! Five startups from the iBizAfrica business incubator made it to the semi-finals. These include:

  1. Buymore : Buymore offers student discounts that enhance user retail experience and push foot fall to merchants. 
  2. Sootano : Sootano provides a platform for Businesses and Freelancers to connect. It facilitates finding and contracting reliable service providers for jobs or projects. 
  3. SokoNect : SokoNect uses mobile technology and the Kenyan County govt to reduce farmers post harvest losses and maximize profits by eliminating Brokers. SokoNect enables farmers to upload information about availability of their produce for sale enabling buyers to prepare enough package materials. 
  4. Muva Studios : Muva Studios develops small engaging games for low-end devices and high-end devices to cover the larger market
  5. Valuraha : It simulates Kenya’s financial ecosystem and enables students to interact with it using virtual money enhancing investor education.

Pivot East is East Africa’s premier mobile startups pitching competition and conference held annually since 2011. The competition is an initiative of m:lab East Africa  whose aim is to amplify and consolidate the gains of East Africa’s Mobile developer and entrepreneurship ecosystem. 

The finalist will be announced in the last week of may and finals will be held on 24th June 2014 during a pitching conference. @iBizAfrica is a partner in this year’s Pivot East. 

Click here to view the complete list of 2014 semi-finalists and here to download the list in pdf. 


The IBM CSC Next Gen­er­a­tion Devel­op­ment Team at @iLabAfrica

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Over the next one month, the following highly skilled IBM professionals will work at @iLabAfrica, Strathmore University. They will impart technical skills and run a two weeks-long intensive course in next generation applications.  The course prepares developers for the revolution that is being driven by Cloud, Mobile, Web, Social and the Internet of Things. It follows a hands-on approach with access to the latest technologies and tools. Team Profile

Maria Kacerikova
Maria Kacerikova

Finance Education Coordinator in IBM International Services Center in Bratislava, Slovakia. 

5 years working in IBM in Finance department, last 1.5 years focusing on soft & finance skills development.

Master degree in Economics focused on Tourism management.




Loh Sheng
Loh Sheng

Life Cycle Management Engineer for IBM’s Mainframe and Power Systems. 8 years of mentoring and tutoring experiences for students from primary and secondary schools. Masters of Business Administration. Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic Engineering).






Dominic O'Toole
Dominic O’Toole

Software Architect supporting IBM’s Endpoint Manager product. 18 years software development experience with a focus on Middleware applications. I engage regularly with customers and co-ordinate the implementation of their requirements with the development teams. Bachelor degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering from Trinity College Dublin.

Announcing the Sinapis Business Plan Competition

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In the last four months Sinapis has successfully managed to train 120 entrepreneurs. This is growth from the pioneer class, which had a total of 50 students.

The Business Plan Competition will be a session where selected participants will be given an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a panel of Judges. The aim of the competition is to assess the various business plans and select the best, which will stand a chance of winning USD 10,000 as seed capital for the business.

Date and place
The business plan competition is to be held in the Strathmore University Auditorium on the 10th of May 2014 as of 1.00pm to 4.30pm.

Event Link

Twitter: @SinapisGroup

About Sinapis

IBM Corporate Services Corps Team Visit @iLabAfrica, Strathmore University

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A high profile team from IBM visited @iLabAfrica, Strathmore University on the 5th of May 2014. The team otherwise known as IBM Corporate Services Corps team comprised of high achieving employees from IBM offices across the world. The IBM Corporate Services Corps program is an IBM initiative started in 2008 to serve communities in emerging markets in solving economic and social problems. The team will be working in Kenya over the next one month with various stake holders including government ministries, universities and tech hubs.

Dr. Joseph Sevilla, the director @iLabAfrica (middle) with the IBM Corporate Services Corps Team

This year, @iLabAfrica, Strathmore University will host 3 experts from the IBM Corporate Services Corps team for over a period of four weeks. While at Strathmore, the team will conduct training workshops and presentations on next generation applications. The workshops will entail intensive training on mobile apps development and cloud platforms including the IBM BlueMix cloud platform, APIs, applications management and collaboration, big data analytics and entrepreneurship. The training will run from the 12th to the 26th of May at @iLabAfrica Strathmore University.

Strathmore University enjoys a strong partnership with IBM and this collaboration will see the two entities work together to provide the best training in next generation applications. This is expected to improve the quality of application development in the country as well as impart skills in the latest technology among Kenyan software developers and entrepreneurs. @iLabAfrica is also in the process of launching an ambitions research project in collaboration with IBM for cervical cancer awareness and prevention.  IBM is also working with government and other agencies in the country in research and innovation projects that will set the country on the right course to achieve vision 2030.

Strathmore and IBM BlueMix sponsor Intensive Course in Next Generation Applications

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@iBizAfrica, in collaboration with IBM, will run an intensive training course during the month of May on Next Generation Applications.

The next generation of applications must be delivered faster, enhanced easier and be more integrated, intelligent and secure. This course prepares developers for the revolution that is being driven by Cloud, Mobile, Web, Social and the Internet of Things. It follows a hands-on approach with access to the latest technologies and tools.

This training will cover:

  1.        Why Cloud Platforms are changing the way developers build and deploy applications
  2.        Developing the next generation of applications (Cloud, Mobile, Social, Internet of Things) easier and faster with Cloud Platforms
  3.        Using IBM’s Cloud Platform – BlueMix – to develop, deploy and secure next generation applications
  4.        Applying Big Data Analytics to next generation applications
  5.        Taking your application ideas to successful innovations

Why enroll in this course?

To position yourself strategically to take advantage of the Mobile and Cloud revolution in the ICT industry and to differentiate yourself with tools and techniques that create more engaging, more integrated and intelligent applications.

What the benefits?

Participants will benefit from receiving intensive training in the very latest Mobile and Cloud application development technologies and techniques delivered by global experts. This training has a total estimated value of over KES 20,000.

On completion of the course, together with submission of a completed material, participants will receive a certificate jointly issued by IBM and Strathmore University Faculty of Information Technology. The submission includes developed applications uploaded to the IBM JazzHub code repository, and a written blog article and/or video presentation of their experience and of the applications they have developed.

Who should attend?

  • ICT students that want to deepen their understanding of application development and the revolution that is driving change in the IT industry.
  • Mobile and Web Application developers that keen to sharpen and update their skills on the latest application development technologies.
  • Entrepreneurs who want to understand how next generation applications can help them deliver their vision faster and in a more integrated way to maximize the commercial viability of their endeavors.  

Course Pre-Requisites:

Applicants will need to demonstrate previous hands-on experience in the following:

  •          Programming fundamentals
  •          Experience with Java and/or JavaScript

Once confirmed, attendees will need to register before attending the course for free access to IBM BlueMix at this page: https://ace.ng.bluemix.net

What is the duration of the Course?

10 days (2 weeks) from 12th to 23rd May 2014.

What are the Course Fees?

This course is sponsored by Strathmore University and IBM’s Corporate Service Corps program. The goal is to help develop skills to take application development in Kenya to the next level.

As a result of this sponsorship, the entire course of 10 days intensive training will cost KES. 20,000 for non-students and KES. 5,000 for students. This is a great bargain as the course would normally cost KES. 105,000 without the sponsorship!

 Click here for more Information about this course. To read more about BlueMix click here.

Registration for this training is now closed!


Apply Now for The GE Healthcare Challenge

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GE is accepting applications for the GE Healthcare Challenge launched at #Idlelo6. This is the chance of a life time to launch a startup in healthcare to tackle the problem of maternal and child mortality in Kenya and Africa. The finalists of the Challenge will be anounced tomorrow evening (26th March) during the GE cocktail at #Idelo6
GE Challenge1
How Do You Enter
Submit your idea/solution here
What do you get:
If GE, FOSSFA and @iBizAfrica like your idea, you will be selected to enter the finals for a chance to win:
  1. Free incubation at the ultramodern @iBizAfrica business incubator- here you get access to office space, Internet, mentoring and coaching, legal advice, access to funding and more!
  2. Support from GE to launch and scale your solution
Apply Now for a chance to be selected and win the GE Healthcare challenge!
Read more about the GE Healthcare challenge here.

Seed Awards 2014- Call for Applications. Apply Now!

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The SEED Initiative has just launched the 2014 SEED Awards to support entrepreneurs for sustainable development.

The SEED Initiative is seeking entries from innovative start-up entrepreneurs who aim to generate environmental, social and economic benefits at the local level in a country with a developing or emerging economy.

This year SEED will make available up to:

  • 30 SEED Africa Awards to enterprises in Ethiopia, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Uganda;
  • 12 SEED South Africa Awards to enterprises in South Africa, four of them to enterprises in the provinces of Free State, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal;
  • 10 SEED Low Carbon Awards for enterprises in Colombia, India, Tanzania, Uganda and Viet Nam;
  • 3 SEED Gender Equality Awards, for enterprises in all countries that are not OECD or EU members (Kenya is eligible for this category).

Candidates can apply from 11th February 2014 and not later than 8th April 2014, 23:59 CET

Click here to read more.  Click here to apply!