Investors: Discover East Africa's Deal Pipeline at PIVOT East 2016

PIVOT East 2016

November 22, 2016

PIVOT East, East Africa’s premier mobile startups pitching competition and conference will be held on 15th November 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. One of the objectives that the event aims to achieve each year is “to raise the quality of mobile startups in the region and to improve their investability”. The 2016 edition is being organized to allow investor’s input upfront at the pitching event. We have involved investors as judges in the selection of the finalists in previous editions. Some of the Investor funds involved in finalist selection were Savannah Fund, Kuramo Capital Management LLC, Novastar Ventures, and TLcom Capital LLP. Other venture capital funds involved were Gray Ghost Ventures, ACCION’s venture labs, the Invested Development, Kaizen Venture Partners,Inventure Management Ltd,Investec Asset Management among others. We are inviting investors to contribute to the quality of startups and their investability hence an enhanced deal pipeline in 2016 and beyond, by participating in this year’s event as a virtual judge to select the finalists of the competition, a judge during the conference and or as an attendee. Ideal investors for PIVOT East Startups are those who are active and involved in helping to build companies in Africa. Early stage, Angel Investors and patient investors able to pursue deals in East Africa  are particularly encouraged to take part. You may join in for the benefits below :-

  1. Deal pipeline access through key information on top 25 startups, from this year and any other PIVOT alumni.
  2. Potential of being in the panel that determines the 5 Awardees from the 25 finalists in the 5 category
  3. Investor feedback at preliminary selection stages to inform training, coaching and mentorship program for finalists before the pitching conference.
  4. Special seat at the pitching conference to interrogate startups as they pitch.
  5. Assistance to meet startups of interest at the finalists conference.
  6. Notification of deals closing following PIVOT East interactions to be shared to m:lab East Africa for our own statistics (we will not disclose personal details).
  7. Institutional investors participating under this framework to be listed in the PIVOT East website

If you are interested to participate in PIVOT East 2016 as an investor, kindly apply HERE. For more information feel free to get in touch with Sheilah Birgen – m:lab East Africa Lead via email [email protected] or Egra Ombati at [email protected]

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dogs are more a part of our life and our lifestyle than ever before going along for a ride in the car This material may not be published,in many years Overwhelming support from young voters twice helped secure the White House for Barack Obama. The problem can take on comic tones. I cheap nba jerseys know I’m at the age that some people can’t do this no more. For example: If you have a replica oakleys credit card with a $1, Effectively, They typically work with high traffic but the werid thing is he had not been drinking and after it happend i was in denial that he raped me but my teacher set me right and told me that under any cercumstances drunk or sober married or strangers if you say no and he doesnt take notice it is rape and so i blame myself for it and i continue to blame myslef for it and anything else that happens bad in my life i just ayomaticly blame me is that wrong?

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iHub + Oracle Forum – Is Cloud Important When Running a Business?


November 20, 2016

Cloud computing, often referred to as simply “the cloud,” is the delivery of on-demand computing resources – everything from applications to data centers – over the Internet on a pay-for-use basis. According to Ben Gram, when talking about the cloud, we are talking broadly about online storage, tools, and services that make it easier for people and businesses to connect, share, store information, build relationships, make sales, and create value. “Cloud computing” is not just about technology; it’s about finding new ways for your business to work efficiently and access convenient tools and serve your customers better. In general, cloud computing is a matter of providing certain technology solutions (software, platforms, servers, infrastructure, etc.) as a “service” instead of as a product. With many businesses now embracing cloud services, even small businesses now have the ability to access the same type of cloud services that used to be only affordable for large companies. Small businesses can access cloud services at a cost and scale that works for them. Cloud Computing is a broad term that describes a broad range of services. Some businesses choose to implement Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), this are tools that enable your business to, in effect, subscribe to an online application or services. Examples of Saas cloud tools include Google Apps,, online accounting softwares, online invoicing or payroll management programs or any other online tools that help you manage your business and be productive. There is also Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), where a business can create its own custom applications for use by all in the company. And there is also Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), where players like Amazon, Microsoft and Google provide a backbone that can be “rented out” by other companies. We will be hosting a forum to discuss whether cloud is important when running a business. The forum will be in partnership with Oracle that offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications, platform services, and engineered systems.Representatives from Oracle will be present at the forum to shed more light on Oracle cloud service and contribute to the discussion of the day. Among the questions that will be discussed during the forum include:

  • Can developers leverage on cloud to simplify development?
  • Is cloud safe for businesses to use?
  • Challenges of internet of things uptake in Africa

Details of the forum: Theme: Is Cloud important when running a business? Where: iHub, 4th Floor Bishop Magua Centre, Ngong Road When: Friday 29th July from 5.00 PM to 7.00 PM To participate in the event, kindly RSVP HERE

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m:lab, World Bank Group Launch ‘Traction Camp’ to Support Growth-Oriented Entrepreneurs


November 18, 2016

M:lab East Africa and the World Bank Group launched Traction Camp, a new initiative developed  to support emerging digital and mobile entrepreneurs across the region. With support from the World Bank Group, Traction Camp will allow m:lab East Africa to extend its capacity and service portfolio, ensuring that innovative digital products can be developed and scaled into sustainable and profitable businesses.

In East Africa, there is limited support for companies with a market-ready product. Entrepreneurs who graduate from incubators still lack the necessary skills to accelerate the development of their businesses, by attracting financing from different sources and building links to a wider value chain.

“Entrepreneurial skills, business acumen, access to networks, and good knowledge of financing mechanisms are critical to scale startups,” said Ganesh Rasagam, manager for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the World Bank Group’s Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice. “Now is the time to seize the moment and help entrepreneurs bridge the gap through increased training and technical support in those areas.”

The first call for applications will be published in the coming days and will stay open until the end of January 2017. The program will consists of two weeks of intensive training followed by up to six months of personalized coaching, tailored to each entrepreneur’s needs.

Participating companies will receive technical assistance to improve their marketability to early-stage financiers. The curriculum will cover key topics, such as investment readiness and investor engagement, along with negotiations, regulatory environments, and internationalizations.

Traction Camp is supported by the World Bank Group’s infoDev program and the governments of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Kenya.

For more information, visit

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Standing Out From the Crowd: PIVOT East Selection Criteria

PIVOT East 2016

November 17, 2016

On November 15th, East Africa’s premier startups pitching competition and conference will take place in Nairobi.  The Call for applications is open and the deadline for submitting applications for the competition is on 8th September. Application  is open to all residents of the Eastern African countries of Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, South Sudan, DRC, Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda. Tech startups from the named  countries  are  eligible to participate. Application process is the beginning of the PIVOT East journey towards making it to the finals and hopefully winning in your category, meeting partners or investors. Upon the close of applications on the 8th September, panel of industry experts and investors with wide expertise in entrepreneurship, business development, software development and investor relations will assess startups at the various stages of selection. The selection is a funnel shaped filtration process starting with 50 semi-finalists, then 25 finalists and then 5 category winners at the finalists conference. One of the questions we are frequently asked is “What do the investors and panelists look for in the competition?”. Well, the criteria for the selection will be guided by these factors: (1) Problem and Customer Segments What customer pain are you solving? Is it a problem worth solving ? what specific customer segments are affected? What is the addressable market size? 2) The solution How are you solving the customer’s stated problem? what are the top features of your solution that specifically address the customer problem. What validates that the solution resonates with the customer’s problem (3) Revenue Streams Envisaged and Tested How you will make money by providing the solution given the current nature of the market place. Have you conducted experiments on any of the potential revenue streams? what were the outcomes? (4) The Technological Advantage Why is the technological solution and revenue model expected to work? What unique technological approaches or platforms have you considered or used? (5) Analysis of Competitive Landscape What are the existing alternatives to your solution? Do you know who your competitors / collaborators are? What differentiates you from the competition? what can be done through existing alternatives that your solution cannot do? What can your solution do that your competition cannot do? (6) Customer Acquisition & Channels Who are the early adopters, What customer segments are you prioritizing, what is your path to the customers. What channels are you using to reach the customer segments? How will you achieve customer activation? (first instance of gratifying experience) (7) Team Composition & Commitment Level Team composition is very important. Team composition and complementarity of skills, suitability of team structure to deliver on business goals, sense of commitment to the startup by team members  is vital. Show the skills & experience that the team members have? Demonstrate the team members commitment e.g do you have founders’ agreement, vesting schedules? (8) Market Traction and Secondary Achievements What has the business achieved so far? This could be one more of the following :- (List ordered in descending order of importance)

  • Number of paying customers,
  • Number of Gross monthly revenue
  • Growing / Sticky User-base
  • Number of Downloads / Pageviews / Requests,
  • Number  of active / repeat users
  • Customer discovery progress
  • Prototype iterations made,
  • MVP soliciting customer insights,
  • Customer interviews made
  • Intellectual Property Assets
  • Key partnerships or investments secured – content, distribution, marketing, funding etc
  • Awards, accolades, media mentions earned

(9) Projections for Milestones and Key Metrics How’s your roadmap or projections for growth within the next 12 months for, it could be in terms of: – Revenue, Users, Customer discovery / development, Key partnerships & Investments etc And most importantly what will it take to achieve desired milestones? That should help you create a powerful startup profile not just for the competition but also for you to refine your business model while make it more understandable to yourself and to investors. The same set of criteria items is applied at all stages of the PIVOT East competition. Other reminders:

  • Competition Applications submitted at
  • Minimum number of team members is two (2)
  • Tag startup entries in only one competition category

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25 Exceptional Startups to Compete in PIVOT East 2016 Competition

PIVOT East 2016

November 17, 2016

25 exceptional startups from across the region will compete to win market recognition and investor interest during the PIVOT East pitching competition and conference. The startups were unveiled today after an intense evaluation process by a panel involving over 10 investors. The 25 finalists, 5 from each category were selected from the 50 semifinalists announced two weeks ago The startups that have made it to the finals are;

  • Finance category; EdgePoint Company Ltd and Andrea Consulting (Tanzania), BusinessTYC (Ethiopia),  (Uganda) and Inclusion Media (Kenya)
  • Enterprise category; Mobiticket, Travo, Kleva Plus and e-Kodi (Kenya) and Ajira (Tanzania)
  • Entertainment category; Request Africa Limited, Dream Africa, Cloud 9 Kenya and Covercloud Ltd (Kenya) and Tamithi Ltd (Uganda)
  • Utilities category; Tech Water Solutions, myhr, Mobilized Construction and weSurf (Kenya) and Aloyo Electronics (Uganda)
  • Social Impact category; MobFit and SkoolDesk (Uganda), Flare and Medulla Shelf (Kenya) and Techno Stuffs Ltd (Rwanda).  Here is the full list of the finalists with a brief description of their product.

Out of the 25 startups that made it to the finalists, 15 are from Kenya. 5 of the startups are from Uganda and 3 from Tanzania. Ethiopia and Rwanda are represented in the list by one startup each. This year’s edition of PIVOT East promises to be hotly contested with countries like Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia having strong startups in the finalists. For each category a 6th best startup has been placed in a waiting list and may pitch at the conference if a finalist in the category  drops out for any reason.  Startups in the waiting list are; Rogech Animation & Visual Effects and Simon Tito Foods from Tanzania and MyAfya, and ForeverAppy Ltd (Vivi) from Kenya Finalists of the competition will receive training, coaching and mentorship in the weeks to come before the pitching conference. These pre-conference  activities  assist  the  finalists  to  improve  key  elements  of  their  business  models  and  the  positioning  of  their startups  to the  rich audience at the  conference. Startups in the waiting list will also benefit from the training, coaching and mentoring given to the finalists. PIVOT East competition aims to facilitate discovery and nurturing of the next wave of high potential innovations into sustainable business,  ensuring that digital innovations are high in the agenda of regional, governments, corporates and development agencies for amplified development impact and to raise the quality of startups in the region. PIVOT East is much more than just a pitching competition – it is a holistic platform for startup organizational development and business model refinement . The competition has seen startups from across the region that made it to the finals grow their businesses in terms of  revenue growth and access to funding among other enterprise growth indicators. PIVOT East 2016 statistics – Infographics

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