Women

Women in Tech 2nd Cohort Launched

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Standard Chartered in partnership with @iLabAfrica this week launched the start off a search for a second cohort of women-led technology startups which will see five entrepreneurs win Sh1 million each.

The Standard Chartered Women in Technology Incubator Kenya 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 excellence.

Through the Women in Tech Incubator, 10 businesses will benefit from mentorship and seed funding.

The program combines world class startup support with local and international experience to provide Africa’s most competitive and attractive startup incubation program focusing on immersive learning, mentorship, building and growing Africa’s next iconic startups taking on the continent’s most relevant challenges and opportunities.

Shortlisted start-ups will be selected to go through a 12-week incubation period after which five will win Sh1 million.

“The Women In Tech Incubator programme will help identify, grow and bring to the market unique business ideas and change the fortunes of women entrepreneurs and business owners in Kenya,” said Public Services, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia while speaking during the launch on Monday.

Last year, the five businesses which received seed funding were solar cooler company Maziwa Plus, e-commerce platform Heri Online, insurance information app Bismart, career solutions hub Zydii and Africa Solutions.

Some of the winners have gone on to attract funding from local and international investors to scale up their businesses.

How to APPLY

Who are we looking for?
We are seeking to recruit the best entrepreneurial minds, women-lead startup teams leveraging on technology as a key driver of innovation in business. The applicant must:
  1. be a woman
  2. be the CEO with equal or majority ownership in the company
  3. 18 and above
  4. of Kenyan nationality
What are the the program thematic areas?
Applicants may submit applications across but not limited to the following thematic areas:
  1. Agribusiness
  2. Education
  3. ICT
  4. E-Commerce
  5. E-Health
  6. Fintech
What do Participants Get?
  1. Three months incubation at Strathmore University’s leading businss and innovation incubator
  2. Mentorship from world class mentors
  3. Coaching by top business, technology and legal professionals
  4. Immersive, world-class entrepreneurship curriculum
  5. Networking and exposure to expand your business networks
What do Winners Get?
  1. USD 10,000 or KES 1,000,000 equity-free grant seed funding for the top 5 winners
  2. 9 months ongoing support from Standard Chartered and @iBizAfrica to assist with go-to market and scale.
Terms and Conditions
  1. Participants must be physically available to attend the program over the three months incubation
  2. Participant accommodation costs are not catered for

For more information Click here

To Apply click here

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@iLabAfrica Hosts the MIT Open Mic Africa Summit

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Hosted by Strathmore University, @ilabAfrica this year hosted the MIT Open Mic Africa Summit, is an annual summit that celebrates the goals championed by the Legatum center in MIT alongside the Mastercard Foundation.

The peak of the summit is the award of the Zambezi prize, an annual prize for two hundred thousand dollars in in cash prizes and a chance to attend an entrepreneurial boot camp hosted in MIT. The prize is awarded to an entrepreneurial venture that incorporates financial inclusion through both financial technology but also creates social change. Megan Mitchell, who appeared on behalf of the Legatum center emphasised that the end product of the venture had to be impactful on the society. Over 500 applications were received for the Zambezi prize and in narrowing down the applicants, certain criteria, as explained by Ashley Onyango, the program manager for the Mastercard Foundation had to be met. This included the combination of problem solving with economic growth in Africa, providing accessible, affordable financial inclusion to the unemployed and underemployed, and assisting in lifting people out of poverty. The boot camp, a part of the prize, is instrumental in shaping the leadership and entrepreneurial skills of the prize winner as well as enable them to create a network to better scale their venture.

This year’s event was marked with vison talks, short pitches and of course, the promotion of the ten finalists in the running for the Zambezi prize and its award, at the conclusion of the event.

The vision talks focused on entrepreneurs that discussed not only their successes, but also their losses and the lessons that stemmed from them. Rachel Balshan, the Deputy CEO of MFS Africa, detailed her experience in building the company and learning how to make decisions that better shaped the future of MFS Africa and led them more clearly to their goals.

In addition, up and coming entrepreneurs were given a chance to pitch their ideas for ninety seconds, enabling them to get a platform and potential connections to drive their entrepreneurial ventures.

The finalists of the prize included agricultural ventures that targeted smallholders and enabled them to access services such as investment capital, access to small loans and micro finance, real time agricultural education, access to household goods for women and the opportunity to infuse waste collection with a redeemable point system.

The winner of the prize was WALA, a venture set up to bring digital banking to underbanked consumers in Africa using a combination of cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence.

In all, the summit exemplified the overarching goals of the prize and spurred discussion about how to create innovative, financially inclusive technology that will spur the growth of smallholders in Africa.

Kids holiday boot camp – Developing the future

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Kids holiday boot camp – Developing the future

For the last two weeks @iLabAfrica has held a 2 week kids holiday boot camp for over 30 children from various schools around Kenya as they prepare to resume back to school.

The kids holiday bootcamp, in partnership with digikids, is a two week per school holiday training for children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old in Information Technology and related areas such as robotics and electronics, web design, and web security. The training is hosted by iLAB and based in Strathmore University.

With a rapid rise in the use of and development of technology, there is a corresponding need to gain an understanding in IT from a young age. Started in 2014, the programme sought to address this need and build basic skills and besides this, takes into consideration other factors such as the existing curriculum of the students in which they need more practice, skills or training as well as the need in existing job markets for an understanding of IT. The programme also provides an excellent background for those who wish to study IT further in university and creates a curiosity in IT and provides young children with a creative outlet to learn and develop their interests.

The training divides the children into three age grades, 5-9, 10-12 and 13-17 and teaches them based on their existing skill and knowledge while maintaining the same overall content. The younger students learn by pre-programmed mechanisms while the older students are encouraged to develop and design their own code and have a larger overall project that demonstrates their progress in the programme.

This holiday boot camp enables the students enjoy an enabling environment and are provided with ample computer time to pursue interests outside the curriculum, under the supervision of their instructors. Shiro, a class four student in the programme mentioned that she particularly enjoys the facilities and making new friends as she has an interest in learning how to create a webpage and advertise products as well as enable her to produce better schoolwork.

 

For more information on the course kindly visit www.ilabafrica.ac.ke  or contact Sharon on Email: sanyanga@strathmore.edu  Phone number: 0729876680

Nairobi Tech Week

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Nairobi Tech Week is Back!

iBizAfrica together with Moringa School is excited to host the 3rd Edition of Nairobi Tech Week, Sub Saharan Africa’s largest tech event, whose aim is to bring all actors and influencers in the tech ecosystem in one space, fostering conversations and learning around various relevant technology-related topics.

The event will be taking place from Thursday 19th April to Saturday 21st April 2018 at iBizAfrica, Strathmore University. This year’s theme will be “The Role of Technology in Problem Solving for Africa’s Future.”

Nairobi Tech Week presents a 3-day event packed with panel discussions, workshops and a hackathon with incredible prizes to be won.

“Our aim is to launch a community-driven tech event focused on developers, thought leaders within the tech space as well as the best innovations in Sub Saharan Africa” says Sandra Mukidza, NTW’s main event organiser.

 

For the first time, Nairobi Tech Week will host Nairobi Tech week Awards, in a bid to recognise companies playing influential roles and driving impact within Silicon Savannah.

​The title sponsor this year is Microsoft , other sponsors include Visa, Facebook, Safaricom JUMO, Github, Liquid Telecom, Google and iBiz Africa-Strathmore University.

 

Several key organisations have come forward to partner with Nairobi Tech Week; iHub, Africa’s Talking, Swahili Box, AngelHack, M-Power, CBO and Metta. In previous years Nairobi Tech Week has had global title sponsors like Facebook and Twitter

 

Applications for Nairobi Tech Week opened on March 19th 2018 as well as nominations for the Tech Week Awards.

Apply for your ticket to this years Nairobi Tech Week 2018 here and also place your Tech Week Awards nomination here.

For more information contact Bernard on bchiira@strathmore.edu

Connecting Statups to Investors

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@iLabAfrica Research Centre, Strathmore University has partnered with Pangea an international startup support platform to pilot a US$ 50,000 accelerator program in Kenya.

The two organizations shortlisted 40 startups from a list of 400 applicants. The group of 40 startups are currently on a 3 month program being coached and trained by international and local investors and experts.

Through this partnership the startups are being assisted to get access to capital and networks that will enable them grow and scale up in their area of operations.

The 40 startups fall under different categories e.g. Fintech, fashion, agriculture etc.  Each startup companies gets an opportunity to meet industry experts in their fields who share their experiences and expertise. The startups also connect with mentors who offer guidance on how to make it in the industry and help open doors for the young entrepreneurs.

“It is an amazing program for startups especially because they get to benefit from the training, coaching and mentoring sessions offered. It will help create an enabling environment, where entrepreneurs can develop competence, access relevant network, and capital in order to reach their full potential. We are really happy to be partners on this program and we look forward to working on more projects with Pangea to help startups in Kenya” Bernard Chira, @iBizAfrica Manager said.

Ahmed from Pangea also mentioned “We are really glad to have got a competent and resourceful partner such as @iBizAfrica. The learning environment is amazing and the incubation space which is available for startups under the program is really helpful. The coaches and mentors that have been offered by @iBizAfrica to help in the program have also played a major role in running it. We are glad that we got to work with @iBizAfrica and we look forward to future partnerships.”

Startups that have joined the Pangea accelerator program have the opportunity to benefit even more from the funding as Pangea is looking to launch its crowd investment platform in June 2018.

40 start-ups shortlisted for the Standard Chartered Bank, in Partnership with Strathmore University Women in Tech Incubator Fund.

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The Tech Incubator has shortlisted 40 teams for the Kes 20 million Standard Chartered Women in Tech Incubator capacity building programme.  The 40 have been shortlisted from more than 200 applications in the initiative targeting women-led start up teams of 2 – 3 people leveraging on technology as a key driver of innovation in business. The applicants were drawn from the general public, schools, colleges and universities in Kenya.

The 40 teams will advance to the selection pitch, a two stage process (semi-final and final) that will see only 10 of the best selected for the incubation program to compete for up to KES. 1 million in seed funding.

Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director of @iBizAfrica- Strathmore University, noted that through the incubator program female-led startups in the ICT sector are envisaged to transform Kenya through innovation.

“This marks the beginning of a journey of innovation that will see top 10 female-led startups transform into viable businesses. We congratulate the shortlisted teams and wish them the best of luck in the remaining selection stages. It’s very encouraging that we received applications from all over the country! We believe the shortlisted teams have great potential for advancing to the finals. We thank our experienced judges for helping us shortlist the top 40 out of more than 180 applications,” added Dr. Joseph Sevilla.

The teams were shortlisted based on performance in the programme’s 100 points criteria such as female founder eligibility above 18 years, Teams of at least three people who demonstrated capacity to execute: clearly defined roles, balanced skill set (team lead, business development, product development and marketing). Addressing problems and solution innovation, availability of Market opportunity and social impact in Kenya.

The launch of the programme in Kenya follows a successful rollout of a similar initiative in USA by Standard Chartered.  The Bank first launched the programme to support women in technology in 2014 at the City College of New York where it created the Women Entrepreneurs Resource Center. The US program includes a dedicated workspace, mentorship, coursework and access to an extensive network designed to support entrepreneurs navigating the challenges of starting a business.

The shortlisted teams are:

  1. Majik Water
  2. Grassroots Bima
  3. Taimba Ltd
  4. Zoa
  5. Sakal Africa Limited
  6. Redhunt
  7. Tekkies Kenya Bn-N6gcpm
  8. Helvetian Company Limited
  9. Botlab Limited
  10. Savanna Circuit Technologies Ltd
  1. Bim Registry
  2. Catapult Studios
  3. Greymate Care
  4. Jobonics
  5. Lindaafya
  6. Gari Soko Consulting
  7. Esvendo
  8. Bamboo Design Afrika Ltd
  9. Bima Kenya Agency Ltd
  10. Mimea Poa Consultancy
  11. Beta Art Kenya
  12. Bismart Insurance Agency Ltd
  13. Nekkta
  14. Zydii
  15. Avopower
  16. Gawana Rideshare
  17. Unified Arts
  18. Niokoe App
  19. MotoAlarm
  20. Cnc Kenya
  21. Brightgreen Renewable Energy
  22. The Magunga Bookstore
  23. Bar Limited
  24. Zalika Creatives Limited
  25. Farmallke
  26. Mzurii Kenya
  27. African Solutional Technology
  28. Rickard Retail Watch
  29. Somethinggrown Company Ltd
  30. Bluewave Insurance Agency Limited

For more information contact Bernard Chiira on bchira@strathmore.edu

Mentorship Series-Co-Founder Dating

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Join Hilda Moraa, one of Kenya’s top women entrepreneurs for a mentorship session on Co-founder dating. Hilda will deliver a series of mentorship sessions on various issues about building a successful startup!

The first session: Series #1: Co-founder dating: How to find the right Co-founders for your startups! will run on Saturday 23rd April at @iBizAfrica.

It’s all about the People! You think you have a good idea? It’s not good enough without the right co-founder(s) and team, for the “startup marriage” and your idea to flourish. Many early stage startups or aspiring entrepreneurs are held back by the process involved in finding the right partner and team. Not knowing;

  • When and Where to start looking?

  • How will you know he/she is the right person to join your “startup marriage”?

  • How do you go about the process and build relationship?

Join us at iBizAfrica Incubation Centre. Strathmore University on 23rd April 2016, 10am-12:30pm to hear from one of our mentors Hilda Moraa, a successful young tech entrepreneur & Former Weza Tele CEO, who will be leading this discussion and having an engaging peer mentorship session with the participants attending this event. Sign up here to confirm your attendance!

About Hilda Moraa

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Hilda is the Founder and former CEO of Weza Tele Ltd, a leading mobile service provider startup in the Fintech space that was acquired in 2015 for more than $1.5M. Hilda has more than 5 years diverse experience in entrepreneurship and developing and scaling startups and innovations across East Africa. Prior to Weza Tele, Hilda spent 5 years in the private sector working for global multi nationals to the likes of Coca-Cola where she was in charge of managing innovations in the supply & distribution value chain. Hilda was also part of the founding team of  iHub Research where she led the research strategy across East and West Africa. In the past she has incredulously won various awards and fellowship programs globally e.g. Indiafrica and Oxford.In 2015 she was also featured as one of the top 40 under 40 women by Business Daily. She also has an Msc in entrepreneurship and Degree in Business Information Technology from Strathmore University.

She has continued to champion the local tech scene  in Kenya by supporting and mentoring other young techpreneurs through sharing her lessons and entrepreneurial knowledge, experiences in inspiring ways such as through her first book  “A Kenyan Startup Journey- 10 Key Lessons I learnt” . She was also a key note speaker at the Global Entrepreneurship summit 2015 and Pivot East 2015.