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.

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

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#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.


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.


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-Safaricom Foundation Technology for Good Initiative

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Mobile Technology for Public Benefit

Mobile communications technology has quickly become the world’s most common way of transmitting voice, data, and services in the developing world. They hold significant potential for advancing development. At the heart of our foundation is the belief that technology can address some of the Kenya’s most pressing social and economic challenges. Our responsibility and strategy is to utilize our innovative technology in mobilizing social change to improving people’s lives by supporting the development and deployment of mobile technologies that achieve social impact.

The Goal and Expected Results

The overarching goal is to improve the social and economic well-being of Kenyans through the use of mobile technology.

Mobile communications technology has quickly become the world’s most common way of transmitting voice, data, and services in the developing world. They hold significant potential for advancing development. At the heart of the Safaricom Foundation is the belief that technology can address some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges.

Areas of Focus

The Foundation intends to fund qualifying organizations/institutions, individuals and businesses that demonstrate innovations that are in line with the Foundation’s strategic areas of focus,which can be found here. The proposed Technology for Good projects will use any or all facets of technology i.e. text, voice, data, apps etc., and helplines. This innovations should address the following criteria:

  • Social impact /People focus– The project has Kenyan people as the key focus. It articulates exactly what the changes will be in their lives and in the long term
  • Needs Based/Evidence informed – The project articulates very well the social need that will be addressed; It is evidence informed – either through surveys or desktop reviews.
  • Innovation and Technology – The project clearly demonstrates unique innovation; how different to do things. There is evidence use of mobile technology. There is evidence of the required capacity and competences within the team to deliver the product.
  • Scale (number of beneficiaries) – The project demonstrates the potential to benefit a large number of people when it is completed
  • Strategic link to Safaricom Foundation – The project fits very well with the Foundation’s strategic areas of focus and any of the partnership models.
  • Sustainability – The innovation must demonstrate how the project continues to operate and benefit many Kenyans beyond the funding. The overall approach will be to have the project sustainable beyond donor funding.

Who can apply?

The Foundation will consider applications from individuals, national and community based non-governmental, faith based and civil society organizations; academic and research institutions; innovation hubs and the private sector. Click here to download the form. Send the completed form to


The Application process closes on 31st August 2016. Please ensure that you have read the Terms and conditions. You can Download application guidelines here.

The story was first published in the Safaricom Website
Image source: Internet

Safaricom App Wiz Demo Day

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An ongoing Appwiz Training Sessions

On 18th November, 2015,there will be an App Wiz Demo Day on Wednesday 18th November, 2015.This is a day when we open up @iBizAfrica to invited guests for Demos by the App Wiz group. Each group will set a stand at their workstation and present to guests as they come.

The Safaricom App Wiz Challenge is a three months long accelerator program sponsored by Safaricom. It aims to help selected innovators leveraging on mobile technology move from idea/prototype to product or service within an incubation period of 3 months. The program is an initiative of Safaricom LTD in collaboration with @iBizAfrica- Strathmore University. Safaricom App wiz challenge aims to become the best mobile startup accelerator program in the East African region launching successful start-ups into the Kenyan market.

You are invited to be part of the demo day to see the cool applications that have been developed. Kindly register here.


Only 10 days to go to submission closure of Safaricom Appwiz Challenge!

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Only 10 days to go to submission closure of Safaricom Appwiz Challenge.  Submissions close on 10th August 2014.

The Safaricom Appwiz challenge is an initiative started by Safaricom in order to provide local budding Mobile Technology based entrepreneurs with training and mentorship opportunities to scale their solutions leveraging on Mobile Technology. It is now in its 2nd year after a successful run in 2013.  The competition launched on 16th July 2014 and is currently open for submissions through the link . The categories for submission are as follows;

  1. Mobile for good and community development
  2. Financial Inclusion
  3. Smart Business and Cloud innovation
  4. Youth, Media and Entertainment
  5. Infrastructure and utilities

There will be an evaluation that will allow shortlisted applicants to demonstrate their prototypes as well as show their team structure and experience.

15 Finalist start-ups will be taken through an incubation process in partnership with @iBizAfrica after which final judging takes place on the 27th of November.

The Grand Prize Winner will walk away with; KES. 1.5 Million (Payable in 3 installments based on milestone achievement), Runner up – KES.1, 000,000 (Payable in 3 installments based on milestone achievement) and a category winner of KES. 200, 000 (Payable in 2 installments subject to achieving milestones).

Do not miss out on your chance to launch your start-up in the Kenyan Market!

Bob Collymore and Safaricom Team Visit Strathmore University

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Bob Collymore, the CEO of Safaricom and a team of managers from the telecommunication giant visited Strathmore University on the 13th of March 2014. It was all pomp, color and dance at Strathmore when the team took time off to meet and greet with excited university students, giving them a one-on-one chance to chat with Safaricom’s top management. Mr. Collymore also met with the director of @iLabAfrica, Dr. Joseph Sevilla and other members of the Strathmore community, both staff and students.

Strathmore University is home to many Safaricom sponsored programs including the Safariom Academy and @iBizAfrica, the business incubator located on the 5th floor of the Student Centre. The safaricom team had the opportunity to tour these facilities, interacting freely with staff, students and members of the business incubator.

A team from the Fanikisha na M-shwari promotion was also in Strathmore doing the rounds among the student community to push the product.

See the photo stream for this event here….

App Wiz Challenge Apps Presentation

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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:

  1. Financial
  2. Health
  3. Education
  4. Gaming
  5. Public Utilities
  6. Agriculture

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: