PIVOT East an innovative startups competition geared towards nurturing the growing ICT talent in East Africa unveiled the winners of the 2014 competition. The unveiling was during a cocktail award ceremony at the Panari Hotel on 25th June. The competition which kicked off early this year was comprised of a series of activities that culminate to the finalists conference on 24th – 25th June. The open call for applications earlier in the year culminated into 50 startups from across East Africa being announced as the competitions semi-finalists early May. Five finalists from each of the competition’s five categories were selected by panels of judges drawn from among angel investors and representatives from venture capital firms. The 25 finalists were announced late May and went through a series of seminars, coaching and mentorship sessions to refine their business models and investor pitches. And the PIVOT East 2014 winners are: Mobile Society CategorySokoText (Kenya): SokoText uses SMS based pre-ordering service to make it easier for small fruit and vegetable sellers in slums to get their daily stock. SokoText is a social enterprise based in Mathare slum in Nairobi. Mobile Entertainment category UbongoKids (Tanzania): Ubongo Kids is a multiplatform, interactive edu-cartoon with SMS interaction broadcasting on TV to kids in Tanzania & online for kids around the world. Mobile Enterprise Category A SiM Mobile (Kenya): ASim Mobile is a supply chain mobile solution integrated seamlessly with most popular accounting, ERP apps in the world Mobile Finance Category ChamaSoft (Kenya): A group management platform which manages administration of chamas, allowing them to concentrate on investment rather than administration. Mobile Utilities Category Sendy (Kenya): A platform for on-demand errands. With the tap of a button, they instantly connect senders and riders and enable payments via mobile phones The founders award went to Online Hisab a cloud-based accounting package for Ethiopian SMEs, who are looking for an affordable and easy to use accounting solution. 1st Runners’ Up Beyonic (Uganda): Beyonic’s mission is to eliminate cash by creating the best solutions that enable business to make payments using mobile money. Online Hisab (Ethiopia): is a cloud-based accounting package for Ethiopian SMEs, who are looking for an affordable and easy to use accounting solution. MaraMoja (Kenya): Maramoja is Kenyan social enterprise dedicated to providing easy access to safe, reliable transport services through your mobile device. TotoHealth (Kenya): TotoHealth enables hospitals and organizations to communicate and provide targeted information on antenatal & postnatal care using low-cost phones. Safari Tales (Kenya): Safari Tales is an edutainment android mobile application for children to access Digital African Narratives & learn African Languages. The winners of the competition will win funding amounting to 10,000 dollars per startup from m:lab East Africa. The funding will be split into two halves, the first of which is a $5,000 grant. The other portion $5,000 will be an investment which may be topped up by other investors depending on the startups funding requirements and their ability to convince other investors. The category winners also win spots at a VC training course organized by Savannah Fund, Knife Capital and University of Cape Town. Winners of the Enterprise Category also get a fully paid trip to the Motorola Solutions Entreprise App Forum in Brussels – Belgium scheduled for November 2014. Congratulations to all the PIVOT East 2014 winners, finalists and semi-finalists!!! Much is expected of all the PIVOT East 2014 finalists in terms of market traction and growth. PIVOT East organizers are confident that there will be much to report from the finalists in the 2015 edition. This is based on the investment in trainings, coaching and mentorship opportunities for the startups in the month of May and June 2014. Announcement of 2014 winners ushers in the first stage of the PIVOT East 2015 edition. Innovative and entrepreneurial teams building the “next big thing” in East Africa are invited enter the 2015 competition. They are encouraged to start building profiles of their startups on startups.pivoteast.com for initial business model refinement support and guidance. Semi Finalists of PIVOT East 2014 who did not make it to the finals are eligible to apply for the 2015 competition.
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