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@iLabAfrica- Strathmore University Researchers Attend IST Africa Conference 2017.

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Three Researchers from @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University, were selected to present their papers in the IST Conference 2017 held in Windhoek, Namibia. Tabitha Mberi, Tracy Weru and Lorna Mutegi presented their individual papers to an audience comprising of senior officials from both the public and private sectors in education and research; Innovation stakeholders from Namibia, the European Commission, the African Union Commission, Southern African Development Community, Ubuntu Alliance among others. There were over 150 presentations from 36 countries.

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L-R; Lorna Mutegi, Tracy Weru and Tabitha Mberi

Tabitha’s paper themed:”Challenges to the Successful Implementation of E-Government Systems in Developing Countries: A Case of Taita Taveta, Kenya “was on work that @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University continues to implement in Taita Taveta County. Tabitha’s research looked at how devolvement of government from local authorities to county governments in Kenya has resulted in many counties adopting online revenue collection systems with the aim to improve public sector services and deliver them in an effective and efficient manner. Her study assessed the  various challenges that the team has faced in implementing the system which range from lack of trust of e-government systems by citizens, lack of infrastructure servicing by the county government, failure to follow procedures by system users among other reasons

Lorna’s paper, titled “Unlocking the Supply of Open Government Data for SDGs: A Case of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS)” focused on demand for data-for-development to support and monitor a country’s progress in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a rising global need. Lorna’s paper illuminates on a model for unlocking the supply of Open Government Data (OGD) for monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs based on a project that Strathmore University, through @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University, is currently working on in partnership with The World Bank and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). The model informs on the benefits of utilizing a quadruple helix model (public/private/research/civil society) in an OGD initiative, to unlock quality, timely and reliable government data to support and measure SDGs and other national development goals.

Tracy presented her paper titled “Cyber-Smart Children, Cyber-Safe Teenagers: Enhancing internet   Safety for Children“. Child Online Protection is a hard and tricky concern that requires multi-national efforts if it’s to be successfully tackled in the near future. This is mainly due to the exponential growth in smart devices. Providing a safe environment requires an in-depth understanding of the types and prevalence of online risks young Internet users face, as well as of the solutions most effective in mitigating these risks. To be able to get the right information on protecting children and teenagers there is need of  an Internet Safety awareness program that will build a generation of responsible digital citizens whose online behaviour demonstrate media literacy, ethics, safety and security.The paper presented by Tracy Nyatoro Weru proposes the development of a mobile based game application based on child online protection that will provide a comprehensive learning experience that is amazingly fun, highly interactive and extremely effective.

The IST Africa Conference provides a platform to strengthen Information Society, ICT and Innovation related policy dialogues both within Africa and between Africa and Europe, through Plenary Sessions, the rich thematic knowledge exchange facilitated by Scientific Programme and co-located multi-lateral (eg. JEG8, eu-Africa HLPD on STI) and private bi-lateral meetings. (Source: IST Africa).

Participation in the IST Africa 2017 conference continues to contribute to @iLabAfrica’s- Strathmore University exploitation and research and innovation strategy. In addition, the networking opportunity will continue to help build the research Centre ties with leading Public, Private, Education, and Research organizations from more than 39 countries who took part in the conference.

 

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.

Be part of Startup Mentoring by Enpact.

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Are you ready to scale up your business/ startup and looking to work closely with international experts and mentors

 Who can apply?

Entrepreneurs who…

  • Are beyond concept validation and prototype phase in their market
  • Want to improve their business operations with insights and best practices from experts and international mentors and other fast-moving entrepreneurs
  • Wish to experience an outstanding and long lasting personal and entrepreneurial journey alongside engaging in the enpact community
  • Are from Kenya, Germany, the East African region or Europe
  • are committed to doing the entire 8-month mentoring programme.

What is in it for you?

You will…

  • Work on new and exciting challenges to overcome with team, funding, product development, positioning, pivoting or business development
  • Explore new markets or consolidate within the national market
  • Pitch to an extensive network of partners (corporates, investors, influencers, etc.)
  • Gain exposure via international and regional media outlets
  • Exchange stories about failures, lessons, tips and tricks with the enpact community.

What is the programme about?

Over the last few years, startup mentoring by Enpact has driven ambitious entrepreneurs to overcome obstacles, scale their business, connect internationally with partners and gain new insights to develop their strategy and strengthen their management skills.

So far, more than 200 entrepreneurs have been through our programme and we have developed a pool of 100+ highly qualified mentors & experts. Participants from our earlier programme have employed 4 or more people in the first year and we are proud to see that they have a 80% survival rate.

Click here if you want to know more about what makes Enpact 8-month international mentoring program special!

 

Call for Applications: Safaricom Foundation Technology For Good Accelerator 2017

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Description
The Safaricom Foundation Technology for Good Accelerator is a three months long incubation and seed-funding program that empowers entrepreneurs to launch globally scalable mobile tech driven startups that solve relevant local challenges.
Details:
Selection-Our selection process is a unique full-day workshop and pitch presentation (after a week) where participants are trained and equipped with the most relevant lean startup tools to conduct customer discovery and validation. Teams then pitch to demonstrate customer-problem fit. The teams are also trained and equipped with the tools and skills for business modeling. They develop a business model to be tested during the incubation period. 
 
Selection and eligibility Criteria:
  1. Must be registered to conduct business in Kenya in accordance with Kenyan law
  2. Must demonstrate the innovation and how it links to the Safaricom Foundation strategic
  3. Must demonstrate capacity to develop and roll out the solution to benefit Kenyans
  4. Must demonstrate how they have involved partners and the community that will benefit from the innovation
  5. Potential innovations will be incubated for three months after which those selected will be funded
  6. Payments will be paid based on pre-agreed milestones
  7. There will grant to take the innovation to deployment and scale
  8. This is an innovation challenge fund and the Foundation reserves the right to take an equity stake in the final product (negotiated)
  9. The focus is on the benefit of the innovation to bring change to the community
  10. Those selected must be willing to be incubated for three (3) months at @iBizAfrica, Strathmore University
  11. The fund does not fund operational or logistical costs
  12. The selection will be by a committee comprised of individuals from Strathmore University, Safaricom Foundation, Mpesa Foundation partners, Safaricom Innovation and Technology divisions
Training-Selected teams undergo a one day customized training creativity and innovation and an intense two weeks curriculum designed to quickly orient them into the nuances of business skills, entrepreneurship and lean startup techniques. The training will equip the participants with the knowledge and skills across entrepreneurship, business modeling, team development, business processes, presentation skills and pitching, product development and lean startup methodology. Classes take place in the evening from 5:30 to 8:30 pm and on Saturdays from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.
 
Mentoring and Coaching-Teams will have access to top mentors and coaches from industry and Strathmore University.
 
MVP and Proof of Concept-Concurrently with the training, teams embark on building an MVP for proof of concept. They also run experiment to test the business model. The duration for this is one month. Teams pitch to demonstrate proof of concept and to submit application for seed funding.
 
Seed Funding-Applications for seed funding are submitted to the investment committee for review and approval. Applicants can apply upto KES. 5,000,000 in funding.
Who Should Apply
  1. Teams of a maximum of a maximum of three people by:
    • Kenyan youth (18-35 years)
    • National and community based non-governmental organisations
    • Faith based and civil society organizations
    • academic and research institutions
    • innovation hubs and the private sector
  2. Teams must have the relevant technical and business capacity required to successfully execute the the business
  Themed Categories for the Program
1. Education
2. Health
3. Economic empowerment
4. Environmental conservation
5. Water
6. Arts
7. Culture
8. Disaster relief
Duration: 3 months incubation, 3 months post-incubation support
Dates: 
  1. Open Call for Applications-2nd May
  2. Deadline call for applications-2nd June
  3. Incubation-June-August 2017

Check here to apply.

Call for Applications: Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge

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Five hundred billion devices and objects will be connected to the Internet by 2030!

Things like wells, cars, watches, refrigerators, and more will be connected to the Internet for the first time so that they can transmit and receive information. Digitization is about connecting people and things to the Internet so that the information those connections provide can be used to improve processes and decision making.

With digitization and the Internet of Things (IoT), good ideas can make a difference more quickly than ever before by driving economic development and helping people solve some of our most

Who Should Enter?

This challenge is open to students or recent alumni from any college or university. For detailed eligibility requirements, please click here .

Areas of impact could include, but are not limited to:

  • local industry/economic development
  • critical human needs (food, water, shelter, and disaster relief)
  • healthcare
  • economic empowerment/financial inclusion
  • education
  • environment
  • connectivity

Digital Technologies that enable these innovations may include, but are not limited to:

  • connected/smart solutions (smart home, smart city, smart energy)
  • connected transportation
  • wearables
  • big data
  • analytics
  • cloud computing

We are awarding $300,000 to support Global Problem Solvers. Click here to read more about the prizes.

Application Process

  • March 30 2017: Applications Open
  • May 30 2017: Applications Close
  • June 12, 2017: Finalists announced
  • June 12,-28th 2017: Peoples Choice Voting
  • June 29: Winners Announced

Why you should participate?

  • Huge cash infusion to develop your company or solution
  • Global recognition and publicity for your company or solution
  • Looks great on a resume or in a prospectus to potential funders
  • Review by Cisco technology experts and high profile judges
  • Peer and industry validation for your solution

 Digitize. Do More Good.

To learn more and take part in this challenge,please click here.

Call for Application: IDEA Foundation Seed Stage Accelerator Cohort 1 2017

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Description

The Idea Foundation Seed Stage Accelerator is a three months long incubation program that empowers entrepreneurs to launch globally scalable innovation-driven startups that solve relevant local challenges.

Details:

Selection-Our selection process is a unique full-day workshop and pitch presentation (after a week) where participants are trained and equipped with the most relevant lean startup tools to conduct customer discovery and validation. Teams then pitch to demonstrate customer-problem fit. The teams are also trained and equipped with the tools and skills for business modeling. They develop a business model to be tested during the incubation period. Teams that pass the selection interview and already having proof of concept and early traction (users and customers) proceed to submit an application for seed funding to IDEA Foundation.

Training-Selected teams undergo an intense two weeks curriculum designed to quickly orient them into the nuances of business skills, entrepreneurship and lean startup techniques. The training will equip the participants with the knowledge and skills across entrepreneurship, business modeling, team development, business processes, presentation skills and pitching, product development and lean startup methodology. Classes take place in the evening from 5:30 to 8:30 pm and on Saturdays from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

 Mentoring and Coaching-Teams will have access to top mentors and coaches from industry and Strathmore University.

 MVP and Proof of Concept-Concurrently with the training, teams embark on building an MVP for proof of concept. They also run experiment to test the business model. The duration for this is one month. Teams pitch to demonstrate proof of concept and to submit application for seed funding.

 Seed Funding-Applications for seed funding are submitted to the selection committee that approves them of review by the Idea Foundation Investment Committee. Applicants can apply upto KES. 500,000.

Who Should Apply

  • The program is open to teams lead by Strathmore Students and Alumni only. Women and alumni are highly encouraged to apply.
  • The program is open to small synergized entrepreneurial teams with balanced skill sets, relevant experience and passion to execute and succeed.

Selection Criteria

  1. Applicants must be Strathmore Students or Alumni (At least one applicant in the team).
  2. Applicants must be in a team of 2 to three people with relevant technical and business skills required in the startup.
  3. Applicants must be physically available to participate in the program  during the entire duration of the program.
  4. Only the applicants that will successfully complete the selection workshop will be admitted into the program.
  5. Applicant must demonstrate innovation and address relevant local challenges with impact on the sustainable Development Goals

Themed Categories for the Program

  1. Agritech-Innovations in agriculture
  2. Edtech-Innvations in education
  3. Healthcare
  4. Fintech
  5. Energy
  6. Governance and Ethics

Duration: 3 months

Dates: 

  1. Open Call for Applications-27th April 2017
  2. Deadline call for applications-27th May 2017
  3. Incubation-May-August 2017

To apply to this call. Please fill in this form.