Call for Applications: Safaricom Foundation Technology For Good Accelerator 2017

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tech4good

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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idea-foundation

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.

The Event That Was: Nairobi Tech Week (N TW)2017

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NTW1

#NTW2017 was the hashtag buzzing the 4-day event between 22nd March and 25th March 2017 all over social media. This year’s event was arguably the best one yet as it united local and global software and industry leaders, coupled with developer workshops and challenges, as well as informative panel discussions, all of which had a huge impact to all attendees.

After opening keynotes from Facebook, Moringa School and @iBizAfrica – Strathmore University representatives the NTW2017 participants were introduced to the event with very interesting sessions. The first one was a Scrum Training aimed at teaching participants on the development and deployment of resilient financial USSD applications. Occurring concurrently was a workshop by Safaricom that educated the participants on Intellectual Property and it’s importance in today’s technology space. Google also had a very interesting workshop on building scalable web applications through the Google Cloud Platform.

After the lunch break the participants had a hard time on deciding which workshop to attend as they all looked exciting.

NTW2

JUMO WORLD facilitated one session on MOB Programming, Moringa School had theirs on designing for Mobile and Intel enlightened attendees on the fundamentals of Machine Learning, Deep Learning & Artificial Intelligence. It wasn’t any easier in the evening as Brave Ventures in their workshop challenged the participants to think like Data Scientists.

Participants who attended the Dalberg workshop learnt how to create an effective relationship between Developers and Designers, while those who attended the Facebook workshop got to understand the business opportunity on the Facebook Messenger platform and how to leverage and maximize on the Messenger Bot API.

Day 2 commenced with the kickoff of the Angel Hack Hackathon with Facebook and JUMO which challenged developers to unite and come up with innovative mobile solutions.

NTW3Developers were so engrossed in the hackathon as they were ready to stay overnight developing their applications. They did! There was the promise of mind-blowing prizes and opportunities for the winners on each challenge, which kept them highly motivated.

 

In the meantime, there were several workshops and panel discussions as well. Industry experts from Twiga Foods, Cellulant, Seven Seas Technology, Summit Recruitment and Frontline SMS consisted of a panel that enlightened the attendees on the best ways to acquire developer talent in Sub Saharan Africa. Up next was another illuminating panel and workshop facilitated  by Dalberg, Brave Ventures, BRCK and Mercy Corps representatives on bringing UX (user experience) to new startups. The day was concluded with the Developer-Startup Speed Networking event. The hackathon continued overnight and on to the third day.

NTW4The third day began with a panel and workshop on Cyber Security. Representatives from KPMG, Ernst & Young, Euclid Consultancy as well as the Government discussed various issues on security facing the society such as lack of proper awareness, social engineering, IoT security and ransomware. They also advised the attendees on some practical things they can do to protect themselves and their organizations. The afternoon session was yet another educative workshop and panel discussion on The Do’s and The Don’ts of Product Management. There was also a TechTalk event which entailed the Previous, Present and Future of Technology.

By the time it was Day 4, the attendees were very informed and knowledgeable. Little did they know how promising the final day would be. It started off with a CTO panel discussion on scaling products into new markets, from both the operational and technological perspectives. The panel consisted Chief Technology Officers from JUMO, Safaricom, Cellulant and Facebook. They enlightened the participants how companies build products for scale, considerations they make as well as their challenges and experiences on the matter.

NTW5The next panel consisted of representatives of Eneza, BRCK, M-Shule and @iLabAfrica who discussed how developers can build tech products that uniquely serve the education sector. Liquid Telecom, Chimera, @iLabAfrica and MKOPA were also involved in another panel discussion concerning the Internet of Things (IoT) and its numerous applications. The final panel discussions before lunch break was the applications of Data Science in Fintech (with speakers from Eclectics, Juntos, IBM, Neveru, Busara and Intellipro) and how Technology is revolutionizing and disrupting traditional industries, with great emphasis on logistics; by TechMoran, Lori, Sendi, Vitumob and SokoWatch.

The afternoon sessions included a discussion by speakers from Techweez, Bithub Africa, Kimwatu and Crypto Assets on bitcoin and the implications of Blockchain technology in Africa. A panel with speakers from Intel, Microsoft, ProLabs and M-Changa engaged with the attendees on Artificial Intelligence and how it has taken the world by storm, with greater focus on Africa.

NMG, Twiga Foods, Gro Intelligence, WeFarm and FarmDrive on their panel discussion talked about agriculture and what technology can do to enhance agriculture. An E-commerce panel of representatives from Jumia, Mookh, Jumia Market and BuyRentKenya shared their experiences, strategies and challenges of e-commerce demands and supply chain and logistics.

Net Neutrality in Kenya was also a topic of discussion in another session. The final panel discussion of the day was on the role of corporates in supporting developers and SMEs by Moringa School, JUMO, Liquid Telecom and Facebook.

NTW6

The 4-day event was concluded with a closing keynote from the various companies as well as announcing the winners of the AngelHack Hackathon. This years winners of NairobiTech week was PesaPocket. @iBizAfrica will offer 3 months free Incubation services to the top 3 winners of the Nairobi Tech Week

@iBizAfrica partners with Wadhwani Foundation to build startup ecosystem in Strathmore University

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Strathmore University through @iBizAfrica has partnered with Wadhwani Foundation to build a vibrant startup ecosystem in Strathmore University. Wadhwani Foundation is the brain child of Romesh Wadhwani, American billionaire of Indian decent who made his wealth through an empire of data, technology, healthcare and analytics companies.

Through this partnership, @iBizAfrica will run the most upto date curriculum and practicum that merges theory with practice. The curriculum has been developed to enable any student in campus regardless of the course of study move from self-discovery and ideation to launching and growing a startup in campus. Students taking part in the program will also join groups and form an e-cell, a student-lead club focusing on the practical aspects of entrepreneurship.

The program is free for all Strathmore students to signup and start on a path to becoming an entrepreneur in Strathmore University. The program is expected to enhance Strathmore University’s student experience and at the same time become a launch pad for student-lead companies in the University.

The program will run every Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at @iLabAfrica (Kifaru Room). Interested students can find out more on how to benefit from this initiative by contacting @iBizAfrica via mail on ibizafrica@strathmore.edu or get in touch with Esther on esaya@strathmore.edu

Read more about Rornesh Wadhwani and Wadhwani Foundation here

ESET East Africa and @iLabAfrica Sign MoU to Fight Cyber Crime

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iLab -ESET MOU Signing

Kenya has in the recent past suffered from Internet Security threats such as hacking,impersonations, loss of money, loss of information and even exposure of confidential information. The attacks are mainly targeted at individuals, banks, financial institutions and government institutions.

A report by Deloitte named Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions 2017, ranked Kenya as one of the most vulnerable countries worldwide in terms of cyber security. Kenya has a current internet penetration of 85.3 percent, one of the highest in Africa.The report showed companies and government organizations in Kenya lost a record of US$171 million through cybercrime in 2016 and this is expected to rise by 30 percent by the end of 2017.

To help reduce cyber security threats in Kenya, ESET East Africa has signed a memorandum of understanding (M.O.U) with @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University. ESET will support Strathmore University’s current academic programs on cyber-security, through collaborative research and benchmarking approaches on issues of local interest such as ethical hacking, phishing and ransomware studies. Teddy Njoroge, Country Manager ESET East Africa, said the company will explore joint opportunities with like-minded partners and contribute assets in developing innovative cyber-security solutions targeting both blue chip businesses and Small and Medium Enterprises over the next one year.

Estimates indicate that Kenya has just about 1000 certified cyber-security specialists, way lower than the optimal 40,000 needed “The rise of cyber-crime and related information security incidents in the country can be attributed to this shortage of personnel coupled by the slow development of homegrown research driven solutions” said Collins Oduor the Information Technology Security Manager for @iLabAfrica centre.

@iLabAfrica offers customized cyber-security training in ethical hacking(CEH), computer hacking forensic investigation as well as certified security analyst courses to about 200 graduate and undergraduate students annually – drawn from the financial services sector, government agencies and academia.

Among other agreements, under the M.O.U with ESET East Africa, @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University plans to develop and introduce additional courses on emerging technologies and skills to tackle new cyber threats such as Internet of Things (IoT) Security, Security for Industrial Control Systems, Cyber security for Executives, Advance Malware Analysis and Secure Application Development among others.

Apply: Facebook Bots for Messenger Challenge

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bots

For many years Facebook has been promoting innovation across the Middle East and Africa, providing startups with the tools they need to build, grow, monetize, and measure. Facebook grew out of a hacker culture, and we thrive on seeking out and promoting innovation on new platforms. That’s why they are launching the Bots for Messenger Challenge, a contest to recognize and reward developers who are able to create the most innovative new bots on Messenger in (i) the Middle East and North Africa; and (ii) Sub-Saharan Africa across one of these these three categories:

  1. Gaming and Entertainment
  2. Productivity and Utility
  3. Social Good

Teams of up to 3 people are invited to participate in the Challenge. The submission period runs from February 15, 2017 to April 28, 2017, and winners will be announced on June 19, 2017.

In view of this, Facebook will be partnering with AfriLabs to implement the Bot challenge through our network. We will like to request for your shipping address so we will be able to send across the Facebook posters for the Bots Challenge once received from them.

AWARDS
Finalist Teams
From each region (i) Middle East and North Africa; and (ii) Sub-Saharan Africa, 30 finalist teams (10 from each category) will win a Gear VR and mobile phone, Facebook mentorship and up to $40,000 USD in tools and services from FbStart, a Facebook program designed to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their bots

Note: All student teams or individual student entrants who make it to the finals will receive an additional $2,000 USD.

Runner Up Teams
For each region, 3 runner up teams (1 from each category) will win $10,000 USD and 3 months of Facebook mentorship.

Winning Teams
For each region, 3 winning teams (1 from each category) will win $20,000 USD and 3 months of Facebook mentorship.

DEADLINE
April 28, 2017

RULES 
Please review the Terms & Conditions carefully before registering.

Some important rules to note:

    • Bots must be created, and will be verified, between February 15, 2017 to April 28, 2017. Bots created before February 15, 2017 will not be eligible to participate.
    • Bots must comply with all Facebook for developers Messenger Platform developer guidelines and rules, and use the Messenger Platform API.
    • Any bots created on other non-Messenger bot platforms will be excluded.
    • Bots must be created by people in the Entrant’s home region of either (i) the Middle East and North Africa or (ii) Sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Bots may be in any language (or combination of languages). Only the Bot Submission must be entirely in English.
    • It is optional to submit a link to an online video of the bot, but if you do, the video must be under 2 minutes long.

Judging Criteria

    • Technical Quality – How well does the Bot use the Messenger platform features? [35%]
    • Non-Technical Quality – What is the degree of excellence of the Bot, taking into account the Bot’s distinctive attributes and characteristics (except for the technical aspects)? [35%]
    • User Experience – How usable is the Bot for the intended audience, including how well the conversation flows? [30%]

To learn more and participate in the challenge, kindly visit here.

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