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September, 2012
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Understanding Kenya’s mHealth Ecosystem – Wireless Wednesday

Health, Wireless Wednesday

September 19, 2012

Wireless Wednesday meetups at m:lab East Africa are aimed at creating a forum for exchange of views and networking between mobile application developers and practitioners in various industry sectors. Courtesy of Samsung’s support to the mobile ecosystem, m:lab East Africa will be hosting a series of four monthly Wireless Wednesday meetups on mHealth.

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The first in the new series of mHealth meetups will be held in the first Wednesday of October 2012. The meetup themed “Understanding Kenya’s mHealth Ecosystem” will see stakeholders in the health sector share thoughts on the mHealth ecosystem and the roles of the different sub-sector players. The exchange of such insights is aimed at improving understanding of the sector players and their roles among mobile entrepreneurs and mobile applications developers.

Key participants enlisted to share thoughts on the topic include Mojca Cargo –  Programme Co-ordinator for the  GSMA Development Fund, Dr. Martin Osumba – Chief of Party at the at Kenya National HMIS Program(AfyaInfo) and Dr. Judy Gichoya from AMPATH. Others invited to share industry specific insights include representatives from Samsung, Safaricom, and MedAfrica.
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The meetup will be at m:lab East Africa’s premises on Bishop Magua Center at 12.00 noon to 2.00pm on 3rd October 2012.
mHealth is the use of mobile technologies and devices such as mobile phones, tablet and computers for delivery and support of health care services. Considering the growth of mobile penetration in East Africa, mHealth is an area of practice that can augment efficiency and effectiveness of health care services. It has the potential to improve the wellbeing of people in the society through improving quality and lowering costs of healthcare. It is because of this promise that Samsung and m:lab East Africa are keen to foster the growth of mHealth services in the region – beginning with assisting mobile entrepreneurs to understand the mHealth ecosystem.
Representatives from Health NGOs, Government, Phone Manufacturers, mobile operators, entrepreneurs, and mobile app developers are invited to give their input to the discussion and network with other players in the sector. Registration to participate is through event brite site  HERE….  NB: there are limited slots available.

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M2Work Hackathon Winners Announced

Workshops

September 16, 2012

The M2Work Hackthon came to an end with crowning of four teams as winners on Sunday evening. The global event was conducted across the five m:Labs in the world. In Kenya, participants came up with 10 ideas, forming 10 teams. The teams concentrated on developing their ideas to prototypes overnight, with mentorship sessions being held periodically for insight purposes.

 After the hacking period came to an end, the teams did brief demos of their working prototypes to the judges, after which they pitched against each other for the top prizes.

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The winning teams of the M2Work Hackathon are:
1st Prize :Tafsiri
Tafsiri is a solution that aims to provide companies or organizations translation of specific information to the language of the local community, creating employment to multitudes. The team won prize money of Kshs 100,000.
2nd Prize: Smart Blackboard
Smart Blackboard is a solution that allows students to pose questions while doing their homework or preparing for tests and receive answers from qualified teachers. The team won prize money of Kshs 70,000.
3rd Prize: MobiAgent
MobiAgent is a solution that gives its user the ability to be an agent and get commission every time he/she sells a product e.g. event tickets to people on his/her phone contacts. The team won prize money of Kshs 40,000.
4th Prize: Kaisari
A compliance and authenticity  monitoring system that enables organizations and/or individuals to track down fake products and/or  non-compliant individuals. The team won prize money of Kshs 30,000.
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From all the participating teams in the hackathon, two still have a chance of receiving traction fund worth USD 2,000 each, if they demonstrate interest and potential to develop their prototypes to finished products.
More information about the judges and the judging criteria may be found in a previous blog article here. More information about the products of the 10 competing teams at the hackathon may be found in a previous blog article here. More information about the hackathon that was organized simultaneously in 5 parts of the world may be found on the central portal here
We wish to congratulate the winners and to all the participants for coming up with brilliant and promising ideas. Let us bring the concept of mobile microwork to life.

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m2Work Hackathon Ideas

Workshops

September 16, 2012

The hackathon generated huge interest in Kenya, with over One Hundred and Fifty individuals stating their interest in participating in the event.One Hundred and Twenty participants showed up. Participants came up with 10 ideas, forming 10 teams with each of the teams being on the same level ground, working their way towards the goal.
The ten ideas are:
Fikia
There is need for interaction between the common Kenyan and companies/businesses/politicians/churches etc who want to interact
with them,get feedback from them and assess themselves on their
popularity and quality of their services. Fikia offers an SMS platform
that can facilitate this at an attractive rate.
iContact
Microworkers collect contact information and addresses of different businesses around them and submit the information to a database. This information can then be fetched by users in need, using a mobile application or from a mobile website from their phones.
iFika
This solution aims at aiding motorists drive safely by providing driving instructions and warnings on dangerous areas or areas where they should be watchful, hence averting road carnage. Microworkers will submit data that indicate such areas that are considered dangerous or worth watching out for. This data will also be useful in determining the best routes, or strategic points such as filling stations, shopping centres, vehicle repair workshops, etc.
Kaisari
A compliance and authenticity  monitoring system that enables organizations and/or individuals to track down fake products and/or  non-compliant individuals.
MobiAgent
Businesses spend a lot of money in market research looking for the information that mobile phone users already have about their phone contacts. MobiAgent is a solution that gives its user the ability to be an agent and get commission every time they sell a product e.g. event tickets to people his/her phone contacts.
Mtafiti
Mtafiti is an app that solves the problems encountered by firms and companies when doing their research.
It involves a web portal and an sms platform to do research for companies by involving people at the far end locally in their neighbourhoods. The end people “micro-workers” will be paid on the number of complete submissions and the companies will pay for the researches done.
Smart Blackboard
Smart Blackboard is a solution that allows students to pose questions while doing their homework or preparing for tests and receive answers from qualified teachers.
Tafsiri
Companies or organizations may be in need of translating specific information to the language of the local community. Tafsiri is a solution that aims to provide this service, creating employment to multitudes.
TestSync
Application developers are faced with the challenge of testing their apps given the high cost incurred in acquiring mobile devices for testing. This solution is a user-based testing platform for app users to test an application from vendors and give feedback through the platform.
Trush-up
Trash-up is a platform that seeks to create employment while also having a positive impact on the environment. It helps improve and maintain sanitation through garbage collection and recycling it in ways that generate revenue. Jobless individuals sign-up and receive notifications of places that need cleaning.
Ten teams,ten different ideas, two days, three winners, who will it be?
To read more about the hackathon, the concept and its sponsors please check out the M2Work Hackathon website.
All the best  to the teams.

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M2Work Hackathon Jugdes and Mentors

Workshops

September 16, 2012

The m2work Hackathon will have four judges,  Ken Mwenda, Manoj Changarampatt, Paul Mwachi, Matia Mandela and Peter Gichangi.
Ken
Ken is the Managing Director at eMobilis, a Mobile Technology Training Academy, which trains individuals on mobile software development, as well as network infrastructure management.
 
 
manoj-150x150Manoj is the Business Leader (East & Central Africa), Temp for Nigeria at Samsung Electronics
 
 
 
Peter-150x150Peter is the Senior Service Development Engineer at Safaricom Limited, the largest mobile service provider in Kenya and one of the leading integrated communications companies in Africa. Peter has a passion for mobile technology and interested in mobiles for life.
 
 
Mwachi-150x150Paul is the Country Manager – Isys Software (K) Ltd. He is well versed in ICT’s and matching ICT solutions to real business challenges.
 
 
 
 
Matia-150x150Matia is the Business Developmet Coordinator at m:Lab East Africa.
 
 
 
 
 
With 10 teams working on 10 different ideas and with only two days to come up with a working prototype, the judges have huge task on their hands to select the 3 best teams.
The judging criteria is as follows:
1. Potential development impact, (15% weightage)
What is significance of the problem/development topic and what is the app’s ability/potential to address the problem (on a large scale)?
2. Novelty and innovation, (10% weightage)
Is it a fresh idea, or a new approach to an old problem, or a better way to do something efficiently/effectively/elegantly?
3. Feasibility, and (20% weightage)
Can the app be turned into a profitable/sustainable startup in the near future?
4. Clarity of presentation (20% weightage)
How well team covered and presented all of product and its confidence in the idea?
5. Product (35% weightage)
How well the product has been developed? Is there clarity, simplicity, friendliness, and an intuitive feel of how the app works? How complete is product? How effectively teams have used API(s) & Technology to develop the product?
The winners will be announced at 4:00 pm Kenyan time.
The teams also get to be mentor by subject matter experts in different field, ranging from mobile development, microwork, crowd-sourcing, project management and entrepreneurship.
The mentors are John Kieti, Erick Mutuku, Dave Yoon, Stephen Gugu, Mel Mbugua, Peter Gichangi, Paul Mwachi, John Karanja and Juliana Rotich. Their experience and expertise provides a rich source of knowledge on mobile innovation and enterprise.

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M2Work Hackathon Prize Money Breakdown

Workshops

September 16, 2012

Earlier this year, infoDev the m2Work Challenge, which yielded almost 1000 ideas on how to create jobs that people could do from many of the five billion active mobile phones in developing countries.
The m2Work Hackathon aims to:

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  1. Shape promising idea submissions into mobile application prototypes;
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  3. Bolster other prototype mobile microwork applications that qualify for pre-incubation support at infoDev’s Mobile Application Labs (mLabs), and
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  5. Increase awareness for the job-creating potential of mobile microwork in developing countries.

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The hackthon is taking place across the five m:Labs globally. The event attracted a huge number of techies in Kenya, with over One Hundred and Fifty of them stating their interest in participating in the event.

The event kicked off well on 15th September with One Hundred and Twenty participants showing up. Participants came up with 10 ideas, forming 10 teams with each of the teams being on the same level ground, working their way towards the goal.
Prize money at stake is as follows:

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  • 1st Prize   Kshs 100,000
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  • 2nd Prize  Kshs 70,000
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  • 3rd Prize   Kshs 40,000
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  • Stage 1 Traction Funding USD  2,000
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  • Stage 2 Traction Funding USD 5,000

The three winning groups in the hackathon will be awarded the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize monies respectively as stated above. Stage one Traction fund, worth USD 2,000 each, will be awarded to two of the most outstanding teams that show interest and potential to develop their prototypes to finished products. The funds will be disbursed based on the milestones the teams make on product development.
Stage two traction will be awarded by m:lab East Africa as seed investment to the team with the most traction on their finished product and intend to grow it into an enterprise.
All the best to the teams.

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Mobile Apps targeting post harvest challenges in Agriculture – Wireless Wednesday Recap

Agriculture, Wireless Wednesday

September 13, 2012

On 29th August this year’s fourth Wireless Wednesday meetup on mobile innovations in agriculture happened. The meetup with mobile apps developers, entrepreneurs, farmers, NGOs, financial advisors,media, government representatives, and other stakeholders, reviewed apps targeting post-harvest challenges. The event, sponsored by USAID through DAI and organized by m:lab East Africa, had farmers representatives from Western, Central, Eastern, Coast and Rift Valley Provinces and other attendees give developers feedback on their applications. The event started with developers giving the attendees brief demos of the apps to familiarize them with the applications before the reviews.
The applications reviewed were:

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  • Soko Huru: An app that offers farmers a platform and businessmen to market and buy farm products respectively.
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  • Packhouse Manager: An innovative Desktop software program that makes it easy for exporters of fresh produce to easily manage their Farms, packhouses and Farmers that supply them with produce.
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  • Soko Shambani: An SMS platform that allows farmers of Potatoes to connect with buyers.
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  • Ukulima: Farmers mobile social network product

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A summary of the feedback given by farmers and other agricultural stakeholders present is as follows :-

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  1. Work with the end users: When developing and implementing an application, work with people who will eventually use your product. This allows you to give them a finished product they can relate with, since they had input during development.
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  3. Join bodies that work with your end users: Developers were advised to join organizations that work with farmers and farmer groups. This gives their applications credibility as well as an edge because of the affiliation of these organizations the constantly work with.
  4. o

  5. Research: Before you develop an application, research. Researching helps a developer examine specific questions, issues or problems in a given field before developing an application in that field. They were encouraged to keep searching even after the application has been developed to keep improving their product for the users sake.
  6. o

  7. Engagement: After developing the application, devs were encouraged to, keep contact with your users. Having a feedback mechanisms on your platform is a good way to do this so as  to keep constant engagement with the end users.
  8. o

  9. Rapport: Understand the end users to be able to establish your commonality and create a relationship with them. Understand that they have preference, feelings and deserve to be treated with respect. Don’t exploit your end users emotionally or economically. Creating a rapport with the end users makes them your product’s ambassadors.

Additional suggestions and feedback given to developers and mobile entrepreneurs targeting agricultural solutions was given in previous Wireless Wednesday events. A recap of these suggestions may be found in previous articles in this blog as follows
27th June 2012 : Reviewing Mobile Applications Targeting Agricultural Productivity
25th April 2012: Using mobile tech to overcome post harvest challenges in horticulture
29th Feb 2012: Nine considerations for implementing apps for Agriculture
29th Feb 2012:Using technology to enhance productivity in agricultural value chains
In October we will have two Wireless Wednesday: health and agriculture focused. On 3rd October the first event on health will take place, the event is themed “ Understanding the mHealth Ecosystem”. The fifth event on mobile innovations in agriculture will be on 31st October.

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Mobile Apps targeting post harvest challenges in Agriculture – Wireless Wednesday Recap

Agriculture, Wireless Wednesday

September 13, 2012

On 29th August this year’s fourth Wireless Wednesday meetup on mobile innovations in agriculture happened. The meetup with mobile apps developers, entrepreneurs, farmers, NGOs, financial advisors,media, government representatives, and other stakeholders, reviewed apps targeting post-harvest challenges. The event, sponsored by USAID through DAI and organized by m:lab East Africa, had farmers representatives from Western, Central, Eastern, Coast and Rift Valley Provinces and other attendees give developers feedback on their applications. The event started with developers giving the attendees brief demos of the apps to familiarize them with the applications before the reviews. The applications reviewed were:

  • Soko Huru: An app that offers farmers a platform and businessmen to market and buy farm products respectively.
  • Packhouse Manager: An innovative Desktop software program that makes it easy for exporters of fresh produce to easily manage their Farms, packhouses and Farmers that supply them with produce.
  • Soko Shambani: An SMS platform that allows farmers of Potatoes to connect with buyers.>
  • ukulima.net: Farmers mobile social network product

A summary of the feedback given by farmers and other agricultural stakeholders present is as follows :

  1. Join bodies that work with your end users: Developers were advised to join organizations that work with farmers and farmer groups. This gives their applications credibility as well as an edge because of the affiliation of these organizations the constantly work with.
  2. Research: Before you develop an application, research. Researching helps a developer examine specific questions, issues or problems in a given field before developing an application in that field. They were encouraged to keep searching even after the application has been developed to keep improving their product for the users sake.
  3. Engagement: After developing the application, devs were encouraged to, keep contact with your users. Having a feedback mechanisms on your platform is a good way to do this so as to keep constant engagement with the end users.
  4. Rapport: Understand the end users to be able to establish your commonality and create a relationship with them. Understand that they have preference, feelings and deserve to be treated with respect. Don’t exploit your end users emotionally or economically. Creating a rapport with the end users makes them your
    Toujours s’élargir autre la le prix de levitra barrière dont Gênes plus il acheter du viagra en pharmacie sans ordonnance forum protection temps enfin d’un acheter viagra en belgique ces par gamines “click here” – ont: de. Trois durée action cialis Par dit la déplaisait http://healingseedsapp.com/hifio/traitement-cialis-5mg/ désordre perroquets l’état dans http://healingseedsapp.com/hifio/acheter-viagra-sans-ordonnance-en-france/ l’autre à – ne de! Côte duree d’action cialis Quand – langue http://zhanpeng.org/acheter-cialis-20mg-en-pharmacie contre Suisses au flomax plus cialis son du de, hautes épais blagues avec viagra par pure un et http://www.fotografiecursus.org/xame/cialis-sur-internet-avis et haute effet comment reconnaitre le vrai cialis Gavi leur eut http://www.goldentonewood.com/site-de-vente-cialis.html l’Enfant impériales réputées les abordée.

    product’s ambassadors.

Additional suggestions and feedback given to developers and mobile entrepreneurs targeting agricultural solutions was given in previous Wireless Wednesday events. A recap of these suggestions may be found in previous articles in this blog as follows:

In October we will have two Wireless Wednesdays. On 3rd October the first event on Health will take place,the event is Themed:Understanding the mHealth Ecosystem and another one on mobile innovations in agriculture on 31st October.

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Nokia and m:lab in partnership to support mobile startups

Incubation

September 9, 2012

From a retrospective view of East Africa’s mobile ecosystem in the last three years, it is difficult for one to ignore Nokia’s supportive role to East Africa’s mobile application developers. Through organizing competitions, trainings and hackathons, the large multinational has assisted to increase the depth and breadth of local mobile application development skills. Nokia has also supported major independently organized events such as Pivot East, Mobile Monday and Demo Africa among others, that have helped much to identify and showcase talent in East Africa’s mobile ecosystem.
nokia-logoMlab-Logo-large
It is a progression of Nokia’s relentless and innovative approach to growing the mobile ecosystem that a partnership with m:lab East Africa began mid 2012 to support mobile startups through business incubation services. The new focus on business incubation is a transition from an existing focus on developers to entrepreneurship support. The aim is to move a further step forward to help build sustainable businesses around mobile applications technologies, a shared objective between Nokia and m:lab East Africa.
In the partnership, Nokia and m:lab East Africa are hosting five mobile startups at the Green House building along Ngong Road – Nairobi’s emerging tech corridor. Apart from getting physical space to work out of, internet and other business facilities at subsidized rates, the startups in the program also benefit from intense  and customised entrepreneurship training. In the program which is facilitated as an extension of m:lab East Africa’s incubation program, the startups also have access to hours of coaching and business advisory. The incubated startups also receive support, advice and linkages to access early stage funding.
The five promising startups currently at the premises just 2 kilometers away from iHub and m:lab East Africa premises are :-
planetrackusPlanet Rackus Limited – A company founded by some talented Kenyan individuals with an inspired vision and shared passion for telling African stories through a sustainable Digital Educatainement Framework. The company’s products include Ma3Racer – which got them awarded best overall winner prize at the Pivot East competition / conference of 2012. The company also has through Ma3Racer got shortlisted to the finals the meffys in 2012. In August 2012, Ma3Racer also got the company a much prominent coverage in the starting paragraphs of a much cited article in the economist.  Planet Rackus’ other product is Matatu Mania Episode 1 which is a digital comic telling the story of Wambua and his rise through the Kenyan society from a humble beginning as a matatu tout (conductor). Both Ma3Racer and Matatu Mania Episode 1 are available for free download in the Nokia Store. More about the company may be found on their website.
fomobiFomobi Solutions Limited –  Some of the founders of this innovative company were in the pioneer class of m:lab East Africa’s mobile applications technology and entrepreneurship program. Fomobi’s flagship products are mTracker, and SchoolBursar. mTracker is a menu-driven mobile application that enables asset owners; fleet managers, motorists, cargo and laptop owners amongst others, to manage the security of their possessions in an easy manner from their phones. mTracker is currently funded to a tune of $50,000 by the Kenya ICT Board through its Tandaa program. Fomobi also won the Financial Services Category  of the Pivot East Competition / conference of 2012 through SchoolBursar, an e-payment solution that streamlines reception and management of mobile money payments in schools – the single largest institutional recipients of mobile money payments in Kenya. More information about the company may be found on their website.
elimu-smallElimu Learning Company Limited –  This is a company originally inspired and formed at the iHub. Its product, eLimu is an interactive, engaging and fun application for children inthe Kenyan Primary School education system to learn and revise for their exams. The company incorporates animations, videos, songs, music, games and quizzes into the content from leading local textbook publishers based on the Kenya national primary education curriculum. Through the eLimu platform, the company was the winner of Mobile Web East Africa’s applications contest sponsored by inMobi. The company was also shortlisted  for finals of the Meffys in 2012. More information about the company may be found on their website.
zoealexander-smallZoe Alexander Limited – This is a for-profit organization aiming to create sustainable, culturally relevant solutions, enabling communities worldwide to break longstanding cycles of poor maternal health. Through “Malezi-Bora” a mobile application providing content on maternal and newborn health, Zoe Alexander aims to educate and empower mothers with the knowledge required to make educated decisions regarding their health, and the health of their newborns. From participating in the Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge for Development, the company won a Seed grant to implement and scale “Malezi Bora”. More about company may be found on their website.
lipisha-smallLipisha Consortium Limited – The company builds payment bridges that enable businesses to link their mobile money accounts to their existing bank accounts. Their product, Lipisha Payments Pro facilitates collection of revenues such as school fees and rent payments through mobile money, credit cards and other cash equivalents to the institution’s bank accounts. Their other product named Lipisha Outflow Pro, on the converse facilitates bulk outward payment of amounts from institutions’ bank accounts to designated mobile money accounts. The company also has an emerging international money remittance service called Tellele that allows people from all over the world to send each other money from their mobile devices or computers. Their accolades include being InterNews Innovation Grant Finalists in 2011, App Circus 2012 first runners up, and being placed second at the Nairobi IEEE Exhibition of September 2007. More information about the company may be found on their website
More information about the partnership between m:lab East Africa and Nokia to support mobile entrepreneurs through incubation services can be sought through sending an email to [email protected]

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Winners of the Third Mini and First and Second Major Draw of Samsung Apps Campaign

Workshops

September 3, 2012

The third Samsung Apps Campaign draw took place on 24th August 2012. The draw saw three developers win Four Samsung Galaxy Pockets and two other developers win Samsung S III each.
The following developers and apps won during the draw:
Samsung S III
Thomas Kioko with the app Nduru
Jacob Shaviya with the app Love Messages
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Thomas receives his SIII from Tosh of iHub                 Mercy of m:Lab handing Jacob his SIII
Samsung Galaxy Pocket
Isaak Mogetutu with Mfarm
Mwenda Wahome with TafutaID
Michael Wanyama with Bible Trivia
Michael Wanyama with Awesome Pick up Lines
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Linda Of Mfarm, Mwenda Wahome and Michael Wanyama receive Galaxy Pockets they won in the campaign
Opening an account in the Samsung Apps store is free. Samsung Kenya is awarding developers within the East African region for uploading Apps to the Samsung Apps Store. Each uploaded application earns the developer a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy Pockets, Samsung Galaxy SIII or both.
How to be part of the campaign

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  1. First uploading your App (Android, Bada or Windows Mobile platforms) in the Samsung App store, whereby you’ll be issued with a unique App ID.
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  3. Secondly, send an email with the Subject line “Samsung Apps” to (apps at mlab dot co dot ke) with Your Name, the Name of Application, and the application ID issued by the Samsung Apps system.

So far, three mini draws have taken place and this has seen 14 individuals walk away with 16 new Samsung Galaxy Pockets.This has also seen two major draws taking place and two developers winning 2 Samsung S III.

The fourth mini draw and third major draw are set to happen on the 19th of September 2012. Each uploaded App stands a chance to win,in this campaign that will last till November 2012. By uploading as many Apps as possible in the Samsung Apps store, a developer increases his/her chances of winning as many devices as possible, since each upload counts as a separate entry.
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Rachel and Tosh of iHub during the Draw Job of Samsung with one of the winning raffles.
Thomas Kioko Celebrates After receiving his Samsung S III

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