Mukeli Matei, a scholar in the Safaricom Academy MSc. MTI course emerged a winner in the recently concluded Transform Africa Summit in Rwanda. Mukeli was second Runner up in the most Innovative category. She was among 25 startups who exhibited their innovations from 32 countries in Africa.
Mukeli’s innovation was FISHMATE, a mobile application that connects fish farmers, fishermen, fish consumer and industry players in one market place. FISHMATE app provides a resource of aggregated location-based information on those who seek to get into fish-farming, a wealth of data and resources for those already practicing fish-farming and a market place for the public who seek to buy not from fishermen but fish-farmers near/around them.
The Transform Africa Summit is an event that aims to pool together International participants to set a new agenda for Africa to leapfrog development challenges through the use and uptake of Broadband and related services. This year’s summit was themed “Delivering the future today” which embodied the concept of having a SMART Africa.
Who is team Bud Code?
Hello, Bud Code is a team of three young Techpreneurs. My name is Sam Nujoma, I am the lead developer. I work with Lucy Wanjiru who heads Marketing and Harris Mwangi our UI/UX designer.
What is the name of your startup and what is the idea behind it?
Our startup is called Bud Code Software and we develop mobile apps to improve everyday life in our society. We are currently working on a service that helps clients to access and contact medical specialists with ease from their mobile device. We entered the application for the App Wiz challenge.
The idea came up when one of our team members, Lucy shared her difficult experience in finding a medical specialist for her problem, having seen many doctors and specialists yet the problem persisted. We discovered there was a gap in finding information about finding the right specialist. People depend on word of mouth or directory services like the yellow pages in which case you must at least know the title of the specialist. We wanted to provide an easier, faster way of accessing medical specialists.
How does the service work?
Our solution is called Find A Specialist (or Bud Doctor) and we developed an Android application that helps clients search for medical specialists through a variety of parameters. These include by ailing body part e.g foot for a podiatrist; known medical field e.g mental health for a psychiatrist; by medical specialty if it is known to the client or by the name of the specialist. Not only can you find this specialist’s exact location but also call text or email them to book an appointment or make an enquiry. The application can be downloaded from the Google play store. We also acquired the website kenyandoctors.com. Here we list various medical specialists with their contact information and other details. The site is synchonised with the Android App such that you can access the same info through your mobile phone.
How is the usage so far?
The website records an average of 4000 hits per day, with majority being from Kenya. We have 50+ download for the mobile app.
Who is your competition?
In the challenge, we have similar teams doing apps in the health category. In Kenya we have Med Africa, directory services and the yellow pages as our competition. Safaricom also have a medical service via sms and voice dial. Our Service is however geared towards connecting people in need of specialized treatment to specialists in the fastest and easiest way possible using an Android device or the web.
What has your experience been like in the app wiz competition?
Initially it was challenging. At some point we thought our idea was not strong enough for the competition! However, after talking to people about it we got more approval than discouragement. We decided to give it a shot.
We learnt a lot about what it takes to build a successful business. We also met great mentors. We hope to win in the health category and even the grand prize.
What are your future plans beyond this competition?
We intend to bring health services closer to the people. We are in the process of finalizing the registration of our business. We also intend to work with the Kenya Medical and Dentistry Board to bring more doctors on board and help in the verification of qualified doctors. For us this competition is just the beginning.
How can one get in touch with you?
You can reach us via social media: Twitter @budcode
The Transform Africa Summit took place on the week of 28th October to 1st November. This was the second time after six years since Kigali first hosted the summit.
The ITU (International Telecommunications Union) partnered with Government of Rwanda to host the continental summit in Rwanda.
The conference featured four events.
- The Transform Africa Summit and Forum
- Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Extravaganza
The summit, exhibition and awards took place at the prestigious Kigali Serena Hotel while the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation sessions took place at Des Mille Collines Hotel.
Transform Africa Summit and Forum
The summit’s theme was “Delivering the future today” which embodied the concept of having a SMART Africa. In attendance were 7 heads of state who discussed and adopted a Smart Africa Manifesto to leverage achievements in ICT to deliver Africa’s future by driving socioeconomic development across the continent.
The general feel was that ICT is an enabler in tackling and providing solutions to local issues.
Some examples from Rwanda:
Rwanda has a national optic fiber backbone. This has allowed transformation across the board from Agriculture, Health care, Government to every-day-life activities. Farmers have e-Soko, a platform that provides them with real-time commodity information on the major markets.
Entrepreneurs are able to register their business online and obtain their permits within 6 hours in a seamless and efficient process.
When citizen apply for passports, they get SMS notifications for picking them up when they’re ready. The passport processing takes less than 3 days! Lawsuits are also filed on-line.
The Africa Smart Manifesto will be implemented through an alliance with the African Development Bank, World Bank, ITU and the private sector.
Entrepreneurship Web 3.0S
The Athgo Entrepreneurship Web 3.0S program as part of the Transform Africa 2013 Summit was organized by Athgo International in partnership with the Government of Rwanda and the ITU. The program brought together 25 startups consisting of teams between the ages of 18 to 32 from 14 countries in Africa.
The program seeks to advance early-stage startup businesses through synthesized in-person direction and online collaboration and generate a knowledge base in four areas that strongly contribute to the success of growth driven startups:
1) Fine-tune ideas to generate genuine value for people,
2) Develop individual competencies and create a winning (skilled people),
3) Identify sustainable sources of capital, and
4) The Right motivation
At the end of the program startups pitched their fine-tuned business ideas and a panel assessed the startups based on the following four pillars of success:
- The business opportunity: the need or the problem that you are solving and the commercial viability of your solution as well as the business/revenue model
- Access to the market and to the necessary skills
- Current development and/or operational stage
- Growth or pivot plans
Solutions presented by the startups were targeting various local problems. The following startups were awarded grants (seed funding)
- Coming in first place was Hehe who bagged $7,500 US – Hehe Ltd which is a fully fledged software development company seeks to offer training for high school students to enable them excel in business or university.
- Second place was MobiCraft who bagged $5,000 US – MobiCraft offer a service that allows members of the Catholic church to receive daily devotion verses from the Vatican over SMS.
- In third place was FISHMATE who bagged $3,500 US – Fishmate is an on-line platform that connects fish farmers to their market.
At the end of the summit it was evident that ICT is being leveraged in Africa as an enabler – a problem solving tool.
IT professionals in Africa are asked to create local solutions for local problems.
It was also clear that the private sector is the driving seat in job creation and providing competitiveness.
For the entrepreneurs and those seeking to go into entrepreneurship: All problems are opportunities. You need a team and capital. Money isn’t the most important thing though. Lastly, execution is more important than the idea. Ideas are great but the execution is more important.
Please introduce the Rebel Dev Group
My name is Kenneth Mbuthia, I am a student here at Strathmore university taking BBIT. I am currently in my 3rd year. I am one of the co-founders of Rebel Dev. Group. Rebel Dev Group is a team of young techies who started out in November 2012. We started developing apps and websites for fun. Initially we were four, all students. I started together with Marvin Njoroge, Samuel Ngoda and Joe Muthoka who were all undergraduate students then. We are all still students at the moment. The team has since grown and now we are eight.
What motivated you to start Rebel Dev Group?
We love coding. Initially we were just coding for fun until we discovered @iBizAfrica. At the business incubator we learned that we can code for fun and money too!
Tell us about the first application you developed as Rebel Dev?
The first application we did was Pesa Manager, an Android mobile wallet application. The app keeps track of all your mobile money payment. The application is a utility for storing, backing up, restoring and sorting mobile transaction messages. With this application, you will never have to worry about keeping track of your business mobile transaction payments if you lose your phone or if your inbox thread gets deleted.
How can one get access to this application and what is unique about it?
The application can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Pesa Manager is unique in that it supports multiple mobile payment services. Currently we support M-Pesa, Airtel Money, Equity Bank, COP Bank and KCB.
What other applications has Rebel Dev Group developed?
We also have two more spectacular apps out on the store. First is Eclan (Event Clan), an events application that keeps you up to date with detail on what’s going on around you. The app Provides details about events in a clean and user friendly way. The application works for any location around the world.
We have also developed an application that helps users locate disability centers in Mauritius. The app is called GRF and is available for free download on the Google Play Store. This app was special to us because we developed it for the Global Rainbow Foundation, a charitable trust that supports persons with disabilities in Mauritius.
How has your experience been at @iBizAfrica?
@BizAfrica has helped us focus! We now have plans to make money and have expanded our developer team. The business Incubator has provided us with a great environment for our work.
Why the name Rebel Dev Group?
The name Rebel Dev Group signifies a different, unique and new perspective in the way we develop apps. We like to inspire people to think differently and that is the philosophy we follow in our work.
What are your future plans?
In the short term, we expect to do more aggressive marketing for our brand and applications. We also intend to buy dedicated server space as we scale and get more clients. In the long term we want to have our own building and become a Research and Development powerhouse in Kenya.
What is Startup Weekend?
Startup Weekend is an event that brings together programmers, developers, marketers, designers, startup enthusiasts among other diverse groups, to form groups and develop viable business ideas in 54 hours. It is a weekend-long, hands-on experience where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if their startup ideas are viable. On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical backgrounds- the other half have business backgrounds.
Startup Weekend is an NGO based in San Francisco, US, and has so far organized startup 500+ events in 110 countries and 120 cities.
Startup Weekend Nairobi
Startup Weekend Nairobi will look to not only bring together technology entrepreneurs, but also individuals from sectors such as agriculture, education, communication, among others.
Startup Weekend Nairobi will be held on November 22nd -24th, 2013, and will offer exciting prizes for the winners of the challenge.
Why should YOU attend?
● Education: Startup Weekends are all about learning. Expect to learn a new skill, a new programming or business language and more so, a new way of thinking.
● Enlarged network: Startup Weekend works hard to recruit high-quality, driven entrepreneurs – like you! You will create relationships that last long past the weekend.
● Learn how to launch a business: The goal of the weekend is for you to go from idea to launch in 54 hours.
● Get face time with local and international mentors: Tech and start-up leaders mentor and participate in Startup Weekends. They interact with event participants sharing experiences and giving business related advice.
● Get access to valuable start-up resources: By participating in Startup Weekend, you are given instant access to great products and tools. No one leaves Startup Weekend empty handed.
The 3-day event will be held at the Strathmore University @iLabAfrica, which is on the 5th floor of Strathmore University Student center, Ole Sangale road.
Startup Weekend Nairobi is being organized by, Evelyn Mwangi, Louis Majanja, Kenfield Griffith, Alieu Fofanah and Barbara Okeyo. To learn more about this event, you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check us out on:
Facebook Page: Startup Weekend
The Safaricom AppWiz Challenge is finally coming to an end. @iBizAfrica and Safaricom invite you to the Appwiz Apps Presentation. 17 mobile application development companies will showcase their latest innovative mobile apps and give Demos to participants. Come and Applaud our innovators!
Apps in the following categories will be showcased:
- Public Utilities
The event will take place at Strathmore University Auditorium on 29th October from 9am to 1pm. You are welcome to come along and bring your friends too!!
Kindly register your participation at this link: https://appwizpresentation.eventbrite.com
Oracle is in most enterprises we feel are Kenyan in their narrative. However, very few of us know where Oracle “plays”. So on the 25th October 2013 at Crown Plaza, Upper Hill, Nairobi, Oracle Kenya will show what they have been doing both in the public and private enterprise space. All Java users and developers are welcome.
To attend, register for the Kenya Java Day here.
Below is the program for the day:
9.00 am – 9.30 a.m.
Introduction – Oracle in the Enterprise?
9.30 a.m – 10.10 a.m.
Partnering with Oracle in the Public Sector – MinOFinance / Counties
10.10 a.m – 11.00 a.m
Partnering with Oracle in the Private Sector – Integration of Safcom Systems, and Equity Bank.
11.30 a.m – 1.00 pm:
Enabling Enterprise Development and Deployment
Oracle JDeveloper (ecosystem) – Java EE Application Server
Oracle Exalogic server – Enterprise application infrastructure
Mobility and Cloud – Oracle in Mobile Space
3.00 p.m. – 4.00p.m.
What does Oracle have for developers in the Cloud
Q and A + Mingling
– See more…