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June, 2013
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Pivot East 2013 Winners

PIVOT East, Winners

June 26, 2013

After long, intense and exciting two days of pitching and several months of planning, East Africa’s premiere mobile startup’s pitching competition and conference came to an end today.The competition kicked off early this year with outreaches across East Africa. Today, we are pleased to present to East Africa the winners of Pivot East 2013.
The winners are:

Mobile Society category

Irene Kagwa of Uganda Communications Commission awarding the Kytabu Team, Dr. Ndun’gu and Tonee Ndung’u

Kytabu: A micro-leasing textbook subscription application that enables students to get just the material they need to learn, when they need it, wherever they are and pay for just that piece of content while they have it. From Kenya

Mobile Enterprise category

Ivan Lumula Of Microsoft awarding Mikul Shah and Johann Jenson of Sleepout

Ivan Lumula Of Microsoft awarding Mikul Shah and Johann Jenson of Sleepout

SleepOut.com: Web and SMS-driven booking process connects both commercial and peer-to-peer hosts with guests and agents. From Kenya

Mobile Entertainment category

Kola Studio's Team

Kola Studio’s Team

Kola Studios: Matatu, is a two-player card game based on the popular Ugandan game played with a pack of cards.The game can be played on Mobile (Android) and on Facebook. From Uganda

Mobile Finance category

Erik Hersman giving Geoffrey Ndosi of Go Finance the trophy

Erik Hersman giving Geoffrey Ndosi of Go Finance the trophy

GO Finance Company Ltd: GO, leverages business value chains & technology to provide MSMEs at the base of the pyramid. From Tanzania

Mobile Utility category

Agatha Gikunda of Intel with Laban Okune and Mark Ngetich of Ma3Route

Agatha Gikunda of Intel with Laban Okune and Mark Ngetich of Ma3Route

Ma3Route: Ma3Route, crowd-sources for traffic and transport information from locals in order to provide users with up-to-date information that can inform their movements. From Kenya.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE FINALISTS AND WINNERS!!!

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m:lab East Africa Outcomes – Two Years Later

Incubation, PIVOT East, Training, Wireless Wednesday, Workshops

June 26, 2013

It is two years since the official launch of m:lab East Africa. Much was anticipated with regard to the m:lab’s contribution to the regional mobile ecosystem. The sheer interest and attendance by industry stakeholders at the June 2011 launch in Nairobi pointed at great expectations and an implied mandate for the m:lab to stir up the mobile ecosystem to progress. A seed grant totaling $725,000 given to the m:lab by the World Bank’s infoDev program also solidified expectations of stakeholders across the board.

Launch Cutting Tape 3

Official opening ceremony of the m:lab in June 2011

Key findings of an outcome and impact study by University of Nairobi of the m:lab’s two year activities were reported at the third edition of Pivot East – the m:lab’s annual regional mobile startups pitching conference. The study which was conducted between April and May 2013 focused on  3 key activity areas at the m:lab namely (a) mobile entrepreneurship training (b) Pivot East regional competition and (c) the incubation program. Below are some of the findings. The m:lab has attracted major partnerships, sponsorships and brand associations with industry players across the board. Besides infoDev, the m:lab’s key partners over the two years have been Samsung, Nokia, Microsoft, Qualcomm, inMobi, Intel and Mocality International Holdings (MIH). Other key partners that have sponsored the m:lab’s ecosystem building activities are Mercy Corps, USAID, CGAP, Omydiar Network, Uganda Communications Commission, National IT Authority – Uganda, Kenya ICT Board. Mobile network operators such as Tigo, Safaricom and MTN have also contributed financially and in kind to the m:lab’s activities over the last two years. Other private institutions such as Equity bank and Craft Silicon also contributed generously to the m:lab’s programs. Mobile entrepreneurship training: The m:lab held five waves of mobile entrepreneurship training programs each lasting over four months. A total of 125 trainees were recruited with 103 individuals completing the program. In the study, technical training, business skills , pitching skills and business networks were rated as the most beneficial aspects of the training program by the program beneficiaris as indicated in the chart below
training benefits 500

Benefits of training according to trainees

75% of the train ing participants were found to have been college graduates and 64% were youthful (21 – 24 years). A male to female participation ration of 4:1 was observed in the program. About half (55%) of the trainees had never run a business prior to being in the program.  The study also found that among alumnus of the program, 72% continued to be involved some form of entrepreneurial activity by the time of the study. 16% of the alumnus were found to to be working at their startups on a dedicated full time basis. Key recommendations of the study regarding the training program were :-

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  • To extend the training’s business support period
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  • To formalise entrepreneurial support beyond the training
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  • To diversify the mix of participants by gender, professional background and citizenship
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  • To enhance the business training component
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  • To integrate the training with mentorship
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  • To create a knowledge loop with past graduates

The regional mobile startups pitching conference – Pivot East: The annual competition and conference whose first edition was in 2011 has gone on to be a strong regional brand. The competition has evolved from focussing on great mobile appsto great mobile entreprises according to interviewees in the study. The study found out that most (80%) Pivot finalists in 2011 and 2012 had registered companies. The study also found that 75% of the founders in previous finalist startups were still continuing to work at their startups. Most of the founders (90%) of the companies reaching the finals were male and most (86%) had a computing background. According to the study, the most valuable benefits to finalists of Pivot in 2011 and 2012 were acquired pitching skills (87%), visibility (74%), training and coaching (68%). The finalists found least benefits in Pivot’s outreach activities and meetups (27%) and getting investment (37%). An expectation gap was found among the previousfinalists in that for some, anticipation to meet partners (38%) and attract investors (14%) was not fulfilled. The most largely met expectations of the previous finalists were visibility (67%) and business skills (64%). The study found that 75% of previous finalists stated that their businesses had been growing. 19% of them had suspended their business.

pivot company status - 450

Status of startups pitching at Pivot in 2011 and 2012

Through the competition, every year 25 startups have pitched to an audience of investors and industry players.  Five category winners were awarded a $5,000 prize each in 2011. In 2012, five winners were awarded a prize of $10,000 each. In 2013, five winners of Pivot East will be awarded a $5,000 grant and a $5,000 investment option.
Among the previous finalists, 47% had began generating revenue according to the study.
finalist startup revenue status - 500

Financial status of previous Pivot finalists

The study found areas of improvement as follows :-

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  • There was a mismatch of interpretation of purpose of PIVOT between the finalists and the organizers
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  • There’s a need to ensure that everyone who got to finals was a winner in some way
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  • Follow up mechanisms beyond competition were required
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  • There’s need for increased incubation capacity
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  • There’s a need to bridge the apparent  gap between investor and start-up expectations
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  • Attract skilled business people into start-ups
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  • Tiered competition levels

The on-site incubation program The m:lab’s onsite incubation program has had 8 startups incubated. These are Kopokopo, MTL systems (MShop), Uhasibu, Mfarm, MedAfrica, Whive/CrowdPesa, Zege Technologoes and Mprep. Among these, Kopokopo. Three of the startups (Kopokopo and MedAfrica) graduated from the program within the 12 months of being there. Expectations of the startups with regard to the incubation program are depicted in the chart below

incubation benefits 450

Expectations of startups incubated at the m:lab

According to the incubated startups, the m:lab was most helpful in giving visibility (62%) and access to business networks (50%). The least helpful component was in pitching to investors (38%) and Technical skills (12%). The study also found that the moste useful aspects fo being incubated at the m:lab were office space (75%), shared meeting rooms (75%), internet connectivity (75%) and coaching (50%). The study also found out that 7 out of 8 incubates perceived their businesses to have grown. Areas of business growth as perceived by the startups were :-

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  • setting up own offices
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  • positive cash flow
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  • evolution of business and products
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  • Growing customer numbers
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  • Growing visibility
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  • Partnership commitment
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  • Signing on investors

Of the 8 startups incubated, 4 of them had signed on new investors according to the study. The greatest challenges expressed by the incubated startups were scaling businesses, fundraising, and arriving  as a business model. The study recommends the following as areas of improvement

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  • more personalized coaching and mentorship
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  • creating stronger investor networks
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  • bridging the investor – startup expectation gap
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  • Support on going to market.

The m:lab  is hosted by a consortium comprising iHub, eMobilis, The World Wide Web foundation and University of Nairobi

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Pivot East 2013 Day One

PIVOT East

June 26, 2013

The first day began with a bang, with powerful presentations from the finalist in the Mobile Society, Enterprise and Entertainment categories. The battle today was between Kenya and Uganda with two categories Society and Entertainment having two finalist from Uganda and three from Kenya while Enterprise category saw four finalist pitch from Kenya and one from Uganda.
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There were two interesting fireside chats that featured big names in the East African region technology scene. The chats were moderated by Joyce Tonda. The first chat “The regional mobile market place (subscriber base) and the opportunities it presents for entrepreneurs.” featured MTN Uganda – Mr.Phrase Lubega, Cellulant – Ken Njoroge, Facebook, Nicola D’Elia, Savannah Fund- Mbwana Alliy, Qualcomm- Gilles Fayad and Musoni- Vincent Van Dugteren. The second chat was “The role of the regional mobile ecosystem in discovering and supporting the next wave of high growth mobile startups” that had these panelists: Etienne Deguine – Google, Stephen Musoke – Thoughtworks, Emobilis – Ken Mwenda and Samsung – Simon Kariithi.
Fireside chat
Today the stage is set for a showdown between finalists from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in the Mobile Utility and Finance categories. Tomorrow we are expecting fired up fireside chats on “How can we raise the quality of mobile startups in the region and their investability” and “Role of innovation in driving the regional economy (To sustain the push towards having mobile innovations high in the agenda of regional governments, corporates and development agencies.)” that will feature iHub- Erik Hersman, Nokia East Africa- Moses Sitati, CEMM Group- Michael Niyitegeka, Isis Nyong’o, Ed Simnett- Prince Street, Intel Corporation – Agatha Gikunda, James Saaka – NITA-U, VISA Rwanda – Mark Pickens, CGAP- Camillo Tellez and UConnect- Daniel Stern.
You can follow pivot us on facebook: Pivot East and or Twitter @PivotEast, or watch the event live on our website. Join in the conversations on social media using #PivotEast

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Pivot East 2013 is finally here! the battle lines are drawn

PIVOT East

June 24, 2013

pivoteast_logoPivot East 2013 is finally here. With only a few hours left to the conference, the organizing team is working on final details of the event while on the other hand finalists are rehearsing their lines for the big stage. The audience this year will be rich with investors, development partners, telecoms operators and other industry players from East Africa and Across the globe. Sheraton Hotel in Kampala Uganda will provide the big stage on 25th and 26th June.

 Between teams from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda the battle lines are already drawn. One of the most interesting battle to watch will be in the Finance category. In an notable departure from past trends where Kenyan startups dominated presence in all categories. Kenya does not have a single representative in the Mobile Finance category.

The curtains will close down on 26th June with a fierce battle between two Tanzanian startups Go Finance and TiME tickets pitted against Uganda’s Inforex, Mduka and Intelworld. Stiff competition between Kenyan and Ugandan startups exists in all other categories. The Mobile Society category will be the first category on the big stage, followed by Mobile Enterprise category, another category with stiff competition. A complete programme of the conference can be found at the Pivot East Website.

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We have  a number of speakers who will be participating in 4 fireside chats titled;

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  • The regional mobile marketplace  and the opportunities it presents for entrepreneurs.

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  • The role of the regional mobile ecosystem in discovering and supporting the next wave of high growth mobile startups.

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  • How can we raise the quality of mobile startups in the region and their investability.

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  • Role of innovation in driving the regional economy (Are there mobile innovations high in the agenda of regional governments, corporates and development agencies.)

The ticket price is $100, you can purchase your ticket here, at Outbox Hub Uganda or on the morning of the 25th June at Sheraton Hotel. The event will be streamed live on the Pivot East Website. The address of the live stream page will be announced at midnight.

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Mxit's Andy Volk Confirmed As Keynote Speaker for PIVOT East 2013

PIVOT East

June 21, 2013

AndyVolk

Andy Volk, Mxit’s VP of Apps & Developer Relations

We are super excited to have seasoned technology guru Andy Volk as a Keynote speaker for PIVOT East 2013 next in Kampala on the 25th and 26th June 2013 at the Sheraton Kampala. Andy is the Vice President of Apps and Developer Relations for Mxit, the South African Stellenbosch-based company running Africa’s largest social network, where he is responsible for building

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the ecosystem of applications and developers using Mxit’s open developer APIs and virtual currency platform. Andy has led a range of pioneering web products over the last 13 years, including products at Yahoo! (music, video-on-demand, video player platform, and video search), LOYAL3 (direct-to-consumer company stock purchasing via Facebook), Scour.com (Internet broadcasting and peer-to-peer technology), and Kongregate (social gaming and community site for gamers and game developers). His early startup experience includes inventing and launching Live365.com in 1999, which grew exponentially to become the Internet¹s second-largest broadcaster with over 2.7 million annual tuning hours.  

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Mobile Monday Uganda – PIVOT East 2013 Edition

PIVOT East

June 20, 2013

momougMobile Monday (MoMo) Uganda will be held on the 24th June 2013 at Outbox as a precursor to PIVOT East on the 25th and 26th June 2013 at the Sheraton Kampala. The PIVOT East Edition of MoMo Uganda will be in the an informal discussion between selected PIVOT East 2013 speakers, panelists and delegates about the key drivers behind the mobile startup ecosystem in East Africa: where are we now; what are our strengths, weaknesses; what is missing; where do we want to go; and how do we get there? The PIVOT East edition of MoMo Uganda will feature business leaders from East Africa’s mobile entrepreneurship space to share their views. You can grab your ticket for the PIVOT East 2013 edition of MoMo Uganda here

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David Muriithi & Salisha Chandra To Present At The Last PIVOT East 2013 Kenya Workshop

PIVOT East, Workshops

June 20, 2013

We are pleased to announce that seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and startup experts Salisha Chandra, David Muriithi and Patrick Maina will be presenting in the final PIVOT East 2013 Kenya Finalists Workshop tomorrow, Friday the 21st June 2013 at the iHub between 3.00 pm and 6.00 pm. The topics that will be covered by this stellar line-up of presenters are as follows:

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  • Accounting and Tax Considerations for Startups by David Muriithi
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  • Operational and Financial Planning for Startups by David Muriithi
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  • Financing a startup – An Entrepreneurs experience on what works and what does not by Salisha Chandra
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  • Intellectual Property by Patrick Maina

You can find out more about David and Salisha as below:
Salisha Chandra

salisha

Salisha Chandra

Salisha has a strong background in finance, corporate strategy and turnaround management. She worked on a greenfield venture in India and is currently the campaign coordinator and social media communications in-charge for Africa Network for Animal Welfare. She is also a principal at CF Gear Holdings where she worked on key turnaround projects. Previously, Salisha worked in management consulting with Marakon Associates and with JP Morgan in risk management, financial analysis, corporate restructuring and business turnarounds. She is a specialist in finance, entrepreneurship, strategy, and communications.
 
David Muriithi
David Muriithi

David Muriithi

Creative entrepreneur, realtor, talent and event manager, music promoter and DJ, David Muriithi is also Managing Director of Amalgamated Properties Ltd and the Creative Enterprise Centre, a regional capacity building centre whose main focus is formulating and implementing various capacity building strategies that enhance professionalism within the creative industry in the region. David is an Ernst & Young retired auditor and a regular commentator who is always present in regional and global conversations about the Creative Economy, and has been facilitator and trainer for local and regional creative enterprise capacity building initiatives. David’s varied interests include intellectual property rights, business planning and financial management, audience building for the African creative economy, promotion of diverse and unusual partnerships, and training and teaching a new class of creative entrepreneurs. He has been instrumental in the British Council Creative Entrepreneur Program, working in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Sierra Leone as a trainer and curriculum developer as well as running his own capacity building initiative the “Creative Enterprise Centre”.

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The PIVOT East 2013 Travel Checklist.

PIVOT East

June 16, 2013

After months of planning, we are barely a week away from PIVOT East 2013! This year’s event is the first ever that will be held in Kampala after the last two consecutive years in Nairobi. On this note, having the event in Kampala we felt it would be best to share an all-inclusive checklist of things you need to consider if you plan to attend, or are still sitting on the fence? So, in a nutshell, based on all the information we have to-date, here is the PIVOT East 2013 travel checklist: Venue. PIVOT East will be held the Rwenzori Ballroom of the Sheraton Kampala on the 25th and 26th June 2013. The full programme for the conference and competition can be found at http://localhost/wordpress//programme/ Tickets. If you plan to attend PIVOT East 2013, the first and most important thing is that you need to buy your

ticket(s). Tickets are being sold online via credit card and mobile money (Kenya and Uganda only) for US$ 100.00. You can buy your ticket(s) online at www.pivoteast.com/payment. If you are unable to buy tickets online for any reason, we recommend that you buy them on-site at PIVOT East in cash in US Dollars. Flights. We have managed to secure competitive rates from Air Uganda for those who would like to fly to PIVOT East 2013. The latest discounted rates from within the region are as follows, as are the contacts for each respective country:

  • Kenya: Nairobi – Entebbe – Nairobi @ US$ 298.00. Reservations via Beatrice Netia on tel. +254 (722) 511 230 or email. [email protected] Alternate contact is Njeri Wachira on tel. +254 (732) 689312 or email. [email protected]
  • Tanzania: Dar-es-Salaam – Entebbe – Dar-Es-Salaam OR Kilimanjaro – Entebbe – Kilimanjaro @ US$ 345.00. Reservations via Lucy Ismail on tel. +255 (783) 111 983 or email. [email protected]
  • Rwanda: Kigali -Entebbe – Kigali @ US$ 234.00. Reservations via Cyprian Kabeera on +250 (782) 229 572 or email. [email protected]

Accommodation. We have secured the rates as below from the following hotels in Kampala: Sheraton Kampala

  • Classic Rooms (Single): US$ 180.00
  • Classic Rooms (Double): US$ 230.00
  • Executive Rooms (Single): US$ 200.00
  • Executive Rooms (Double): US$ 250.00
  • Club Rooms (Single): US$ 210.00
  • Club Rooms (Double): US$ 260.00

The above rates are inclusive of a Full American Buffet Breakfast and Internet Connectivity, but subject to 18% VAT and US$ 2.00 Local Hotel Tax. IMPORTANT: You have to quote “PIVOT East 2013″ when booking or making reservations to get these preferential rates. You can make reservations on email at [email protected] You can also email Jacqueline Nalubega on [email protected] or call her on tel. +256 (752) 780 013. Metropole Hotel

  • Single Room: US$ 100.00
  • Double Room: US$ 160.00

The above rates are on bed and breakfast terms including taxes. Reservations can be made by sending an email to [email protected] or calling tel. +256 (312) 391 000 and +256 (774) 442 821. Fairway Hotel & Spa

  • Standard Room (Single) US$ 95.00
  • Standard Room (Double): US$ 115.00
  • Executive Room (Single): US$ 125.00
  • Executive Room (Double): US$ 145.00
  • Suites (Single): US$ 170.00
  • Suites (Double): US$ 185.00

The above rates are inclusive of 18% VAT and as well as Hotel Tax. In addition, Reservations can be made by sending an email to [email protected] or calling tel. +256 (414) 259 571 or +256 (414) 259 572. NOTE: We will continue to add more information to this checklist as we get it over the next few days leading up to the event so do check-in every couple of days.    

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Investor & Startups Expert Bruce Wilson To Coach PIVOT East 2013 Uganda Finalists

PIVOT East, Workshops

June 16, 2013

Bio PicBruce Wilson, an Investor and Startups Expert from the US will be in Kampala on Tuesday the 18th June 2013 to provide coaching and feedback on pitching for each of the 10 Uganda based PIVOT East 2013 finalists. Bruce is the Founder of The Relay Foundation, an early-stage investment fund and incubator in the US that has helped over 40 companies and over 2,000 students take the next step into the entrepreneurial field. He also has a depth of experience in Change Management in companies ranging in size from three or four locations all the way to nation-wide policy programs.
When not immediately developing, financing, or starting his own businesses, Bruce works on Tax Policy in the United States as it relates to the startup community and gives inspirational talks and performances to audiences of over 700 people. He’s getting involved with the PIVOT East 2013 finalists to share with them the key lessons he has learned from being on both sides of the pitching table so that they can sidestep all of the hurdles that he faced in his own experiences. We are delighted to have Bruce on-board for the coaching sessions, which will better prepare our Uganda based finalists for PIVOT East 2013 in just over a week’s time.

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Carey Eaton To Train PIVOT East 2013 Kenya Finalists on the Lean Startup Approach

PIVOT East, Workshops

June 14, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 5.10.44 PM

Carey Eaton

As part of our PIVOT East 2013 Kenya Finalists training this afternoon, we will be having Carey Eaton who will make a presentation on the principles of the lean startup approach between 5.20 pm and 6.00 pm at the iHub. Carey is the Co-Founder of One Africa Media as well as the CEO of Cheki Africa Media own well known digital business brands such as Cheki.co.ke and BrighterMonday.com in Kenya, as well as Cheki.com.ng and Jobbberman.com.ng in Nigeria, amongst others.
Carey was previously the CIO of Seek.com.au, Australia’s and News Zealand’s largest careers web site with global interests throughout Asia. Carey will share his vast technology startup experiences in Kenya and Nigeria as a Manager and Investor, and also discuss the finer details of how finalists can leverage the lean startup approach.
The lean startup provides a scientific approach to creating and managing startups and get a desired product to customers’ hands faster. The lean startup method teaches you how to drive a startup how to steer, when to turn, and when to persevere-and grow a business with maximum acceleration. It is a principled approach to new product development.

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