PIVOT East 2016



How to compete – PIVOT East 2016

PIVOT East 2016

November 10, 2016

PIVOT East is a startup competition and conference held annually since 2011. PIVOT East has officially opened the call for applications for its 2016 edition and will continue to accept applications until midnight EAT on 8th September 2016. Startups from across the region that meet the requirements can start applying for the competition. Startups may join the competition here Eligibility criteria to participate in PIVOT East 2016:

  • Participating startups must be domiciled in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Burundi, Somalia or DR Congo
  • Entries to the competition will be considered to be startups as per the universal definition of a “startup”* or a startup company (*as done below)
  • Participating startups must indicate details of at least two members of their team in their application profile
  • Companies that reached final 25 lists of PIVOT 2011, PIVOT 2012 ,PIVOT 2013, PIVOT 2014, PIVOT 2015 may not compete with products/services previously submitted for the competition, the judging panel will have discretion to disqualify entries in breach of this requirement.
  • Competitors selected to the final 25 list must have set up a legal entity (business name, limited company etc) for their business by 8th September 2016. Competitors with legal entities already set up will have an added advantage at all judging stages.
  • Decisions of the judging committees at all competition stages will be final.

How to enter the competition Make sure you have a venture profile published on the VC4Africa platform Startups that meet the eligibility criteria may enter their application into the competition through the following steps :-

  1. Go to VC4Africa platform ( and set up your startup profile
  2. If you already have a startup profile on VC4Africa, go straight to
  3. Curate your Startup profile according to given profile headings
  4. Ensure that you upload a short (max 5 mins) video of the founders expressing the mission and strength of their startups on the VC4Africa profile.

Applicants are advised to use all components available under the profiles section to best describe their strengths and potential for growth. What is a startup? For purposes of PIVOT East competition, the definition that  “a startup company or startup is a company or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model” will apply. The competition will accept treatment of innovative software solutions fronted by companies that otherwise have other solutions as separate startup entries. This will be on the expectation that the innovative software solution entered in the competition can be spinned off into a separate autonomous company. Intellectual Property and visibility of Startups’ information Information submitted through the PIVOT East competition application process and the associated intellectual property belongs to the startups. The information will be visible to organizers of PIVOT including the judging panels for purposes of identifying the best startups to showcase and support through the competition. For more inquiry on how to apply for the competition, feel free to send an email at lincoln(at)  or egra(at) The deadline for submitting applications is 8th September 2016

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PIVOT East 2016

November 10, 2016

Talk to coaches from the college about what will be expected from you at a tryout. A coach can also tell you what positions or attributes the team is looking for. A player who played wide receiver and cornerback in high school may learn that the team is looking specifically for receivers.

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PIVOT East 2016 Semi-finalists Announced

PIVOT East 2016

November 3, 2016

PIVOT East, a startups competition and conference geared towards raising the quality of startups in the region and improving their investability, has unveiled semifinalist for this year’s competition. The semifinalists totaling 50 will be competing to be in the list of 25 exceptional startups set to fight it out for market recognition and investor interest during the finals conference on 15th November. The competition opened the call for applications in August 2016 with startups from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Somalia applying through the Venture Capital (VC4Africa) platform. To reach the best startups in the region, the PIVOT East team worked closely with hubs across the region to ensure that the best entrepreneurs in the region take part in PIVOT East. The competition attracted over 120 applications from Across the region. Compared to the previous editions, this year the competition received many applications from countries like  Rwanda and Ethiopia. The competition also attracted applications from Somalia, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We also received applications from non-East African  countries e.g Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Lesotho, Tunisia and Gabon. 13 thought leaders were drawn from across the region to review the PIVOT East 2016 submissions. This culminated in the top 10 startups in five categories being determined. The panel consisted of; Emrys Schoemaker – Research and Strategist at Caribou, John Kieti – Consultant at the World Bank , Richard Magu – ICT Projects Manager at Software Group ,Stephen Deng -Strategy & Innovation Manager at Caribou Digital , Jacqueline Dismas – Fabrication Laboratory Manager at Buni Hub , Kimathi Ikiao – Investment Associate at Accion Venture Lab, Kishor Nagula – Director at Caribou , Josiah Mugambi – COO at iHub, James Odede – Director at LakeHub, musa Kamata – Manager at Buni Hub, Marissa Drouillard – Senior Director at Caribou, Keziah Njeri – Angels Interactions at Viktoria Solutions and Craig Perue – Research Fellow & Senior Consultant at Mona School of Business & Management, UWI The criteria used by the judges helped to evaluate the startups’ purported customer pain, opportunity and customer segments, the solution and its fit to the problem, the revenue model, and analysis of the competitive landscape. Other selection criteria items helped to evaluate the calibre of the team and the startups’ focus to grow into sustainable enterprises. These included the team composition and commitment, current market traction, and projections for milestones and key metrics. We would like to thank all the judges who took time out of their busy schedule to evaluate the startups. Now without further ado, HERE are the semifinalists of PIVOT East 2016. Congratulations to all the semifinalist and All the best in the next stage. About PIVOT East PIVOT East is East Africa’s premier startups pitching competition and conference held annually since 2011. It is organised by m:lab East Africa an initiative of the iHub. The competition is comprised of a series of activities that culminate in the finalists conference that will he held on 15th November in Nairobi, Kenya. About 125 mobile startups from across East Africa have participated as finalists of past PIVOT East editions. And 20% of them have cumulatively raised over $20 million in funding after their participation in the competition.

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PIVOT East Startup Competition and Conference 2016 has been Postponed

PIVOT East 2016

October 31, 2016

We will be postponing this year’s PIVOT East startup competition and conference, which was scheduled to take place on 15th November 2016 in Nairobi.

The training, coaching and mentorship program that we provide to the finalists sets Pivot East apart from many other competitions in the market. This year, however, we have been going through a lot of changes and implementations towards our next phase and we have less time than we need to provide our finalists for the competition the experience and support they deserve.

We don’t want to compromise the quality of organization of what we think has become an institution in the ecosystem. We will continue working with the finalists to refine key elements of their business models and prepare the finalists for the conference next year. We will also give the finalists an opportunity to gain more traction and be able to compete effectively and position their startups to the rich pool of investors in the finalists competitions next year.

We will announce the new date for the competition soon. In the meantime we also are looking forward to continue engaging with sponsors, who are interested in helping us to get this program restarted in 1Q2017 with full force and energy.

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