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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.

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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.

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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

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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