Strathmore Students emerge winners in Communications Authority Cybersecurity Hackathon 2019

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Florence Kithinji, Jayson Waigwa and Hilda Kiriga “CodeRed” Hackathon team.

@iLabAfrica-Strathmore University cybersecurity students emerged as the winners of this year’s Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Cybersecurity Hackathon as part of the CA National Cybersecurity Conference 2019. The theme of the conference was “Enhancing the National Cyber Readiness and Resilience”.

Communications Authority of Kenya held a National Cybersecurity Conference to engage Cybersecurity stakeholders on emerging cyber security matters. In recognition of the global cyber security month with the objective of promoting safe internet use and healthy cyber hygiene practices amongst Kenyans the conference was officially opened by Mr. Jerome Ochieng, PS, Ministry of ICT.

Part of the conference, CA held a 24 hour hackathon to examine current skill sets; stimulate cyber solutions development; provide a forum for interaction and knowledge exchange amongst cyber security enthusiasts in academia and industry; and encourage upcoming cyber experts to showcase their problem-solving skills in various cyber environments.

The Hackathon comprised of two focus areas Ethical hacking and Digital Forensics. Over 10 Kenyan universities and colleges participated in the event that saw Strathmore @iLabAfrica students win the Ethical hacking challenge.

The team known as “Code red” comprised of Jayson Waigwa – @iLabAfrica Student Associate, Florence Kithinji – BBIT 4th year, Hilda Kiriga – BBIT 4th year and Yashon Ochieng Computer Science 4th year. The students were able to show their prowess and emerged as winners in this year’s hackathon competition where they managed to ethically locate and solve an online vulnerable system in the shortest time.

“It was a great experience in general, being exposed to the real world challenges and threats in cyber security. What helped the team most was good team work since we had different skills where we are good at in solving the challenges. Speed also played a major role in solving and submitting of the flags.” Said Jayson Waigwa, @iLabAfrica Student Associate.

CA is committed to enhancing the National Cyber Readiness and Resilience in recognition of the critical role that the Internet and ICTs play in Kenya’s social economic transformation.

The Conference was attended by over 300 participants from both private and government organizations.

About @iLabAfrica Centre

@iLabAfrica is a Centre of Excellence in ICT Innovation and Development at Strathmore University. The centre spearheads Research and Innovation in Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) of ecosystems towards the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to contribute toward Kenya’s Vision 2030. The research centre is involved in interdisciplinary research, students’ engagement and has

Women in tech – Last call

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WITStandard Chartered in partnership with @iLabAfrica has launched a search for the third cohort of women-led technology startups which will see five entrepreneurs win Sh1 million each.

The partnership seeks more diversity in technology and for more opportunities for women to develop entrepreneurial and leadership excellence.

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

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 business and innovation incubator- @iBizAfrica
  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
Application  deadline 4th November 2019 


For more information Click here

To Apply click here

Call for Applications: Safaricom Foundation Technology For Good Accelerator 2017

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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.
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
  1. Open Call for Applications-2nd May
  2. Deadline call for applications-2nd June
  3. Incubation-June-August 2017

Check here to apply.

Apply: Facebook Bots for Messenger Challenge

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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.

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.

April 28, 2017

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.

Follow @iLabAfrica onTwitter and Instagram to learn more about our work

Dell EMC Regional Graduation Project Competition for Turkey, Middle East and Africa

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In 2015, Dell EMC launched its annual graduation project competition for senior undergraduate students from universities in Turkey, Middle East and Africa who are enrolled in the EMC Academic Alliance program. The competition intended to spark the creativity of students for their graduation projects to play an active role in the Transformation of IT and get the opportunity to shine and win prizes.

Dell EMC 2016- 2017 Competition Committee invites submissions to the Graduation Projects Abstracts starting from 1st of November with novel cross-cutting work in related areas . Topics include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Cloud and Social Networking Apps
  2. Multi-Clouds and Hybrid Clouds
  3. Software-defined Data Centers and Networks
  4. Technology for Big Data Applications
  5. Domain Specific Big Data Applications
  6. Programming Techniques for High Performance Computing
  7. Applications of High Performance Computing

To learn more about the challenge visit here. You can also apply to be part of the competition by registering here. All the best!!

@iLabAfrica Safaricom Academy Students Emerge Champions in the Twitter #SmartCityChallenge

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Remember the Nairobi Tech Week event?? You may be  wondering what happened to the ReportTaka Team who were winners in the challenge. Well, we got a chance to interview Bettirose, one of the team members and this is what she had to say…

What made you come up with the idea?

When we decided to join Angel Hack’s Hackathon during the Nairobi Tech Week,  it wasn’t so much to win,  but to be part of the solution that Nairobi needed to be smart. Prior to the event,  we had been affected by the floods that occured in Nairobi every time there was a downpour. In fact,  the previous day,  one of our classmates had to go back home,  having covered half the journey to school after the vehicle he was in stalled.  This got us to think of a solution to help solve the flooding menace in Nairobi, and ReportTaka was created.

What exactly is ReportTaka?

ReportTaka is a platform that allows citizens to conveniently report unattended garbage using their phones. We aggregate this data,  either sent through Twitter,  SMS or our Android Application and relay this information to relevant authorities who we partner with.  This was the winning idea during AngelHack’s first Hackathon in Africa,  which gave us a chance to join their HACKcellerator program that is planned to start on 1st August 2016

Tell us about the Twitter #SmartCityNairobi Competition

Together with two other winning teams,  Naimotion and FixMtaa,  team ReportTaka got a chance to compete in Twitter’s #SmartCityNairobi Challenge. On 3rd June 2016,  ReportTaka was again crowned the winner of the #SmartCityNairobi Challenge taking home a $10000 cheque to actualize their project.

Who are the Team members?

The team is made up of five friends who are also classmates, studying MSc.  Mobile Telecommunications and Innovation at @iLabAfrica’s Safaricom Academy and they include Peter Gikera,  James Ngugi,  Bettirose Ngugi, Racheal Gathagu and Kizi Dimira.

What’s Next?

ReportTaka is  currently working on building partnerships with players in the garbage industry while refining their product.  Being Metta Nairobi members,  an initiative by Nest,  they are able to meet other entrepreneurs who help mentor and give us feedback. In October 2016, they hope to travel to Silicon Valley for the final event of HACKcellerator program. They are raising funds to help them cater for travel and accommodation costs since only one of their team members has been sponsored.

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@iBizAfrica Incubatees Win Kshs. 250,000 at Junior Achievement Competition

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junior achievement

L-R: William Nguru and Steve Njooro

Paid App Loyalty product of Inclusion Media startup won the Junior Achievement competition that was hosted in partnership with NIC Bank Kenya and Craft Silicon. Inclusion Media Startup, is an incubation startup at @IBiz Africa under Strathmore’s@ILabAfrica Research Centre. The proud winners, bagged home Kshs. 250,000.

Started by William Nguru – Strathmore alumni and Steve Njooro – Nairobi University alumni, Inclusion Media provides mobile and web application solutions, as well as consultation services on mobile and web apps. The team is set to use the prize money to expand their startup, especially the paid app product that won the challenge.

Junior Achievement is an NGO that supports young entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 24, who provide solutions or new innovations or products that have come up in the financial sector, to empower people financially and further the agendas of Millennium Development Goals financial inclusion.

Paid App Loyalty product, is a unified mobile based customer loyalty system that virtually awards points to customers for using different products.

This new systems therefore works at;

  1. Reducing the number of cards customers carry in general (in a generation where so many merchants give out cards for collecting points, customers can now be awarded points virtually)
  2. Provide a cheaper option for merchants to grant point’s without having to give loyalty cards. It is cumbersome and very costly to roll out loyalty cards for most merchants.
  3. Merchants are able to collect customer information creating a database of who their customers are.
  4. It works as a tool for marketing other services provided by other merchants.

Inclusion media chose to go into creating a Paid App Loyalty product in an effort to provide a solution for mostly merchants around the country.

The product has not been set up as a mobile application yet, therefore customers receive text messages with information on awarded points once they complete their transactions at the different outlets.

Part of the reason Inclusion Media won the competition, they believe, is because they already have merchants that work with them, 23 merchants to be precise with 139 subscriptions from customers across the country. These merchants provide an array of services; coffee shops, salons and spas, shoe stores, fashion stores and cake shops.

Inclusion Media submitted their startups profile competing against 38 other start-ups, before they were shortlisted to compete with startups from 3 other universities where they pitched their product to a panel of judges.

The money won will be used to create awareness about this new product, pushing the development further. They currently market their products through door to door pitching and word of mouth.

To register for the services click here Paid App.

Congratulations Inclusion Media.

This post was first published on the Strathmore University website