technology

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

Posted on Updated on

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.

NTW2

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.

NTW6

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

Posted on Updated on

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.

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

Microsoft’s #Insiders4Good Program in East Africa

Posted on Updated on

microsoft

 

Microsoft’s Windows Insiders Program is a global community of over 7 million people using technology to make a lasting impact on the world through meaningful relationships with people around the world. As part of Windows Insiders, we launched the #Insiders4Good Fellowship in Nigeria, which seeks to find leaders in local communities who are actively and creatively solving problems. We are very excited to expand the #Insiders4Good Fellowship to East Africa and are seeking East African entrepreneurs with projects in the early stage to apply to become part of our second cohort of #Insiders4Good Fellows.

To participate in the #Insiders4Good East Africa Fellowship, applicants must be:

  1. Registered members of the Windows Insider Program (sign up at: insider.windows.com);
  2. Legal residents of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania or Uganda, aged 18 and over;
  3. Have an idea, or a business, for a product or service in the early stage that will improve the lives of East African people;
  4. The product or service cannot have been selected as a winner in any contest or sweepstakes.

Twenty-five entrepreneurs will be selected and will receive:

  1. A premier suite of Windows hardware and software, and
  2. A 6-month mentorship program that will be kicked off by a special one-week learning event for Fellows and mentors. The 6-month mentorship will include tailored technical and strategic mentorship from local and international leaders to help raise the Fellows’ unique idea to the next level.

Application Deadline is March 31st.

To learn more and apply for this exciting opportunity, please check here.

Post and photo credits: Microsoft Winsiders Website

Global Impact Challenge- SingularityU East Africa

Posted on Updated on

AUIU

The purpose of the SingularityU East Africa Global Impact Challenge is to foster moonshot innovations and startups that positively impact the lives of people living in East Africa, with an ability to scale and impact a billion people worldwide in 10 years.

The Prize of the Challenge is free attendance to the transformational Global Solutions Program at no cost.

This year, the GSP has two big changes:

(1) climate change is the overarching theme, and

(2) we have a new collaboration with XPRIZE.

We selected the climate change theme because it has consequences for every industry, geographic region, and way of life. Even if you don’t consider yourself a climate change authority or innovator, your skill set can probably help mitigate the effects of climate change. If you’re already passionate about impact or working in the impact space, you can create a moonshot innovation to address this urgent global problem.

We will not require participants to innovate in the climate change space, and welcome people from all disciplines to apply, but this theme will inform the GSP curriculum. We are looking for applicants from ANY technology or science discipline because we know a challenge as huge as climate change can only be solved within the convergence of multiple disciplines and exponential technologies.

Our collaboration with XPRIZE will give you an extraordinary opportunity to tap into the wisdom and expertise of the best minds working in this field today and their established network of funders.

Application & Assessment

 Applicant Criteria:
  • The challenge is open to residents and citizens in East Africa Countries
  • You must be age 21 or older on the first day of the GSP
  • Must be fluent in written and spoken English
  • Able to participate for the entire GSP17 program
  • Applicants selected as finalists will be interviewed by a panel of judges on 24th March 2017

Assessment Criteria:

  • Degree of solution’s relevance to the theme of the challenge
  • The regional relevance in solving the challenge in East Africa
  • Feasibility, Viability and Coherence of implementing the idea
  • Entrepreneurial and innovative potential, with a focus on technological novelty
  • Applicant’s leadership experience and quality, profile, achievements, and potential

Save the Dates

 East Africa GIC Timeline
  • Applications Open- 13th February 2017
  • Applications Close – 13th March 2017
  • Pitch Day Event – 23rd March 2017
 What is needed
  •  CV/Resume
  • Summary of accomplishments
  • An abstract of the project idea
  • A video URL of the project idea
  Guidelines
 The challenge must be on solving a problem e.g. Climate Change or one of SU Global Grand Challenges, Thinks of a local problem scalable globally to positively impact a billion people of lives.
  • The idea should leverage exponential technology.

Apply: Citi® Tech for Integrity Challenge

Posted on Updated on

Citi® Tech for Integrity Challenge

Citi® and its allies are proud to present the Citi® Tech for Integrity Challenge (T4I), an open innovation challenge to source solutions that promote integrity, accountability and transparency in the public sector.

Solve for real-life problem statements that are relevant to government organizations globally.

Who can participate?

T4I is open to entries from all over the world. Both start-ups and mature technology corporates are welcome. If you’re chosen to participate at Demo Days, a pilot-ready solution must be showcased. Review the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Submission Categories

  • Financial Crimes and Illicit Activities
  • Analytics, Reporting and Transparency
  • Cutting The Red Tape
  • Procurement
  • Government Transactions
  • Culture, Ethics and Engagement
  • Information, Security and Identity
  • Crisis Management and Aid

For more information and how to apply, visit 

Nairobi Innovation Week- The Shortlisting

Posted on Updated on

hjhjhjThe Nairobi innovation week brings together partners from government, private sector, development partners and research centers with an aim of providing a platform for showcasing and encouraging innovation, networking and sharing knowledge. Strathmore University, through @iBizAfrica partnered with the Ministry of Industry Trade and Cooperatives to reach out to potential innovative startups.

The aim of NIW is to prepare home grown localized innovative and scalable startups to be investor ready and to  give them access to seed stage funding or growth phase financing options. Over a hundred startups registered themselves to take full advantage of this.

uiuiu

Through their application profiles, sixty of these startups were invited to pitch their ideas from 26th January – 27th January 2017 in front of a panel of judges The two panels of judges consisted of 5-6 industry business leaders.

Each of the sixty startups had fifteen minutes (10-minute presentation and a 5-minute Q&A session) to showcase their ideas and prove to the judges why their startup deserved to be in the 3 week NIW Boot Camp scheduled between 6th February and 22nd February 2017.

uiuiuuiui

The BootCamp will be hosted by @iBizAfrica and will entail different exciting elements needed in running a startup such as legal issues, pitching and presentation skills, business modeling among others. This will serve as inspiration to the startups to make impressive presentations.

A further shortlisting will be made after the boot camp to determine the finalists that will present during the main event that is to be held between 6th March and 10th March 2017. We wish all the shortlisted businesses the best during this amazing time of learning how to grow their startups.

Apply : Hack to Teach Education Hackathon

Posted on Updated on

hack

Introduction

Hack to Teach 2017 is a hackathon hosted by Ideation Social Innovation Lab. During the competition, African tech talents will be expected to design and build an ed-tech mobile platform geared towards improving the quality of basic education within the informal educational sector in Kenya.

About Ideation Social Innovation Lab

Five million underprivileged Kenyan children are taught by untrained and unqualified informal school teachers. The first poverty trap for underprivileged children stems from the lack of access to adequate basic education. Since July 2016, our program trained teachers from 120 schools and provided education loans to lower the tuition by 41%. In addition, our business management system helped multiple teachers college achieve financial sustainability.

Objective

In order to scale our education loan program and school management system in Kenya, Ideation Social Innovation Lab hopes to distribute their solution as a mobile platform to more colleges and teachers. Within the 3-day Hackathon, software engineers and developers will produce prototypes for a college accounting system, collection system for loan repayments, and post-training evaluation system for teachers.

Judging Criteria

  • Innovation / Ambition
    Is this idea creative or novel? Is this idea different from existing products out there? Does this solution provide unique value?
  • Product / User Experience
    Does the idea solve a clear problem for the targeted users? Is the workflow intuitive? Is it easy and pleasant to use?
  • Impact / Scalability
    Does this idea have the potential to reach many people at a large scale? Could it be used by different people in different areas?
  • Execution / Quality
    Does the app work completely from start to finish? How many and how severe were any bugs encountered?
  • Pitch / Teamwork
    Does the team explain well of their story? Does the demo show an effective solution? Does the team collaborate well?

Apply and innovate. Your solution may be the next big thing.