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:
- Gaming and Entertainment
- Productivity and Utility
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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;
- 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)
- 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.
- Merchants are able to collect customer information creating a database of who their customers are.
- 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
UAP-Old Mutual Group and Valuraha, a local company that operates at @iBizAfrica Incubation centre, based in Stathmore University. Valuraha promotes financial literacy, are set to kick off a student investment competition on Thursday. The two will organise a high school students’ investment competition that will take place at the Alliance Boys High School, Kiambu County.
The competition aims at creating investment awareness at an early age, which is an area of focus for UAP-Old Mutual.“We expect to start nurturing investments professionals at an early age in line with Old Mutual’s goal of imparting financial education, thus the need for the group to support the competition,” said UAP-Old Mutual unit trusts (Kenya) managing director Peter Ng’eno.
The competition is expected to attract close to 500 students with the top 15 students getting a combined Sh150,000.Investment professionals from UAP-Old Mutual Group and Strathmore University will be judges at the contest.
Valuraha, which has been promoting financial literacy in 10 schools, said it recently signed up another 23 schools to join the Valuraha club.UAP-Old Mutual Group was formed after Old Mutual and UAP merged their businesses in 2015. Old Mutual increased its shareholding in UAP to 60.66 per cent after buying stakes from private equity firms and Centum Investments.
The Ericsson Innovation Awards 2016 is an open competition for students all around the world. This year the competition is all about the future of cities. Today, more people live in cities than in rural areas, and by 2050, about 70 percent of the world’s population is expected to reside in urban areas. Ensuring that our cities are creative, connected and sustainable is a major challenge but also an opportunity to improve the lives of billions of people along with the health and future of the planet itself. That is why we are looking for students that have the next big idea to create a better future city life.
The cash prizes are just one aspect of winning the Ericsson Innovation Awards this year: there are important career-enhancing incentives on offer too
- First prize: EUR 25,000
- Second prize: EUR 15,000
- Third prize: EUR 1,000
- Fourth prize: EUR 1,000
- All finalists and semi-finalists will be given the opportunity to be interviewed for a possible internship or position at Ericsson
Dates to remember
- September 18- November 30: Phase 1 – Registration and submission. Register your team
- November 30-December 17: Open voting and Ericsson jury evaluation
- December 18: Semi-finalists announcement. 10 teams announced that make it into semi-finals
- December 19-February 11: Phase 2 – Development of a Minimum Viable Product, etc. Working with Ericsson experts to develop your idea.
- February 19: Finalist announcement. 4 teams announced that have made it into the grand final
- Date TBD: Award ceremony / final event in Stockholm, Sweden
The competition invites Business Plans from Start-up firms whose technologies, services, products, or business models show original features or promise of high added value to the society.
Candidates must be the business’ sole proprietor and fit the following criteria to be eligible for the competition;
- In business for about 3 years or less.
- Must have a maximum of up to 5 employees.
- Must be a registered business and with the necessary licenses to operate.
NOTE: All required documents must be presented on submission entry that is; business licenses, operations permit, and certificate of registration.
Entries will be evaluated in the criteria described below
- Innovative qualities (originality and competitiveness) – the potential to create new needs and markets in the specific industries.
- Strong Market Potential – what is the marketability, feasibility, sustainability and feasibility of the business? Judges will consider if the entrepreneur has done adequate market research. Whether he/she knows the market environment and if the entrepreneur is considering a financial balance, investment plan and room for the business to scale.
- Evaluation of applicant – judges will look at entrepreneurs with the experience, knowledge, tenacity, confidence and overall professional acumen needed to scale a highly potential business to a market leader.
- The price will be awarded to a business firm that shows great potential for growth and contributes to the regional economic growth and that which poses the characteristics below
- A new business which creates an added value to the economy through utilizing the regions resources i.e. human and nature
- That business which nurtures talent and attracts talent from the region.
The top 3 winners will be awarded by IQ Marketing an outdoor advertising contract and mentorship in marketing strategies for the business. IQ Marketing shall develop for the entrepreneur the creative concept, and content of the business’ Ads. And place the Ads at strategic street advertising locations for the business.
All entries to be dropped in MSK offices by close of business 19th October 2015. 47 Muchai drive, Off Ngong Road.