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1730

The m:lab Ranked Among the top 10 Business Accelerators in the world

Incubation

November 27, 2015

m:lab East Africa has been ranked among the top 10 University Business Accelerators Globally by the UBI Global. The m:lab which is the only incubator from Africa in the top rankings, has been ranked position 10 globally during this year’s UBI Global World Rankings for university Business Incubators and University Business Accelerators.
Last week, The UBI Global hosted an online award ceremony for the 2015 High Impact Incubation Programs in Africa where the m:lab together with 2 other incubators from Nigeria and South Africa were recognized as the top three best performing incubators in Africa.
The three incubators were shortlisted for the UBI Global’s World Rankings in London, United Kingdom which was held November 25 where  UBI Global released the World Top University Business Incubator and Accelerator Rankings 2015. The UBI Global’s CEO, Ali Amin, announced the rankings from Trafalgar Square in central London, through a live broadcast streamed on ubi- global.com
UBI Global is thought leader in performance analysis of business incubation around the world. They help business incubators and business accelerators become more efficient and competitive through a comprehensive benchmark.
UBI Global provides their rankings and benchmarks of University Business Incubators and University Business Accelerators through a proper representation of worldwide incubation programs. This year the final participants were selected by assessing 1200 incubators after which over 340 from 64 countries were retained for the benchmark.
According to UBI Global CEO and co-founder, Ali Amin,” The importance of discovering and identifying these top performing incubators is underlined by our studies, which show that top benchmarked incubators provide almost half of the total economic impact within the incubation market”
We would like to thank the UBI Global for the recognition.

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2058

m:lab Recognized Among the Best Performing Incubator in Africa

Incubation

November 20, 2015

On 19th November, the m:lab East Africa was recognized among the top three best performing University Business Incubator in Africa by the UBI Global. UBI Global is thought leader in performance analysis of business incubation around the world. They help business incubators and business accelerators become more efficient and competitive through a comprehensive benchmark where more than 400 incubation programs in over 70 countries participate.
The UBI Global hosted an online award ceremony for the 2015 High Impact Incubation Programs in Africa. A High Impact Incubation Program is a successful business incubator or accelerator that is managed, affiliated or associated with a university, that has high impact on its ecosystem and provides higher value to their startup clients than their regional or global peers. They stand out from average-performing incubation programs with better outcomes on economy enhancement, access to funds and post incubation performance indicators.
It was during the UBI online award ceremony which was held at UBI Global’s headquarters in Stockholm and streamed live via https://goo.gl/onIf4J that the m:lab East Africa together with two other incubators from Africa (Technology Incubation Centre from Nigeria and Timbali Technology Incubator from South Africa) were recognized as the best performing University Business Incubators in Africa.

m:lab East Africa is the youngest of the two incubators having being started in 2011, while Technology Incubation Center from Nigeria was started in 2007 and Timbali Technology Incubator from South Africa started in 2004.
According to the UBI Global CEO, Ali Amin“Our African business incubation landscape is made up of 19 incubators, making Africa the fifth largest region UBI Global benchmarks in terms of sample size. Africa’s business incubators attracted a total of $15,4M, meaning each of the 19 incubators has received an average of $814K each. With regard to deal flow Africa’s incubators as a whole receive 1169 applications per year, equating to an average of 87 applications per incubator.In the last 5 years Africa’s business incubators have created 3150 jobs and over the same time period attracted $15.4M in investment”
The m:lab together with TIC and Timbali Technology Incubator  will be shortlisted for the UBI Global’s World Rankings in London, United Kingdom on November 25, 2015. A big thank you to the UBI Global for the recognition and congratulations to Technology Incubation Center and Timbali Technology Incubator

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541

Kidogo: Transforming Early Childhood Development In Kenya

Incubation

November 16, 2015

“57% of young children in developing countries have no access to preschool, 83% in Sub-Saharan Africa and 78% in the Arab region”, this is according to the Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development. Children living in the poorest households are up to 10 times less likely to attend early childhood education programmes than those living in the richest households. UNICEF estimates that 200 million children, globally, fail to reach their full potential due to lack of sufficient care during the early years, with only 12% of children in Sub-Saharan Africa accessing formal early childhood programs.
As we all know, learning begins at birth. The early years, defined as from zero to age six, are the foundation for lifelong learning. Early Childhood Development initiatives provide the essential base for the achievement of all Education for all goals and contribute powerfully to reducing poverty.
In January, 2014, Afzal left his well paying job at the Boston Consulting Group where he was advising Fortune 500 executives on major strategy & growth projects and together with Sabrina  who was working with the Aga Khan Development Network in East Africa, managing an Integrated Primary Health Care Project and the Social Innovations portfolio of a $13.5 million maternal and child health grant, and started a social enterprise called Kidogo (a swahili word meaning small).
During her time with the Aga Khan Development Network, Sabrina encountered the problem of babycare centers in Nairobi’s informal settlements. Dissatisfied with the traditional approaches to development, they decided to start Kidogo, a social enterprise to transform the way early childhood care and education is approached in East Africa.
Kidogo provides high-quality, affordable early childhood care and education to support the healthy growth and development of young children living in Africa’s urban slums, through play and creative activities. They also improves the health and wellbeing of the children, through access to adequate nutrition and health services. Kidogo helps all children reach their full potential no matter where they are born.
The startup has established two community “hub” centers in the informal settlements that offer safe, clean and stimulating physical environment for the children, trained early childhood development (ECD) caregivers from the local community, a health and nutrition program, as well as an exploratory play-based curriculum using learning stations and child-centered strategies. The startup have around 8 trained caregivers who take care of the children at the two hubs. The caregivers at the centres offer one-on-one attention to the children given that different children have different needs, there are some that need special attention from the caregivers.
The  two hubs which are situated in Kibera and Kangemi support 115 children collectively. The children are between the ages of 6 months to 6 years. They charge the mothers a small fee which helps sustain the hubs. One of the centre at Kagemi has been able to break even and is fully self-sustainable. In addition to charging the mothers a small fee for the services, the startup is exploring at other ways for generating revenue for the community hubs.
In addition to establishing community hubs, Kidogo is supporting and empowering local women from the community to start or grow their own babycare centre through their micro-franchising program. The program which is at its pilot stage is an innovative “business-in-a-box” model which delivers training, resources (e.g curriculum materials, branding support, etc) and an ongoing support to the mama-preneurs who are running their own centres.
Currently Kidogo is in the process of developing its own early childhood curriculum and teacher training program that combines global best practices with traditional local childcare practices. They are hoping to finish the curriculum in December and test it in January 2016. Once they have tested the curriculum, the program will have a potential to be patented and licensed to other early childhood providers.
Kidogo has participated in numerous programs and challenges including, Grand Challenge Canada, Spring, Ideo.org amplify challenge, Seed gender equality award and echoing green where both Afzal and Sabrina are echoing green fellows. The startup has cumulatively raised over USD 430,000 from the programs. They are looking to raise more in the next year.
In the next years, Kidogo is hoping to open another centre in Kawangware, launch their curriculum and solidify all their processes so that they are able to rapidly scale up in 2017.
For more information visit their website www.kidogo.co, you can follow them on twitter @Kidogo_ECD and like them on facebook www.facebook.com/KidogoECD/

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750

An e-voucher platform that enables you to send benefits rather than money

Incubation

October 16, 2015

There have been cases of donor and humanitarian funds sent to the country to provide aid to a group of people/beneficiaries not reaching the intended people. The funds end up being squandered and misused by other people especially officials who handle the funds. Paykind is solving this problem by providing an online platform that allows individuals and organizations to pay for the goods and services using e-vouchers, via mobile phone and smart card technology.
With Paykind you can literally send food, healthcare or educational aid instantly via an e-voucher directly  to the beneficiary. The recipient beneficiary gets the voucher by SMS  and is able to redeem the voucher  for only that particular good or service. Charity  and aid organizations in Africa are able to mass distribute SMS e-vouchers via Paykind. Vendors need only a smartphone with a Paykind app on it to accept the vouchers. The platform allows every single voucher distributed to be track-able and provide the valuable statistics and analytics in real-time to the donor.
Paykind is not only a cheaper, faster and more efficient way of distributing aid, but it also guarantees delivery of aid vouchers to the correct beneficiaries. With Paykind it is easier to reach individuals in remote areas and can also specifically send vouchers to targeted users using their registered phone number as an ID mechanism. All the vouchers are stamped with a unique ID and are registered upon redemption. This helps to gather strong metrics on the redemption rate of vouchers by region, gender, type etc.
So how does it work? Once you visit the site www.paykind.co, you can sign in as an organization or a vendor. If you are a humanitarian group, you can then create a voucher to send to a selected beneficiary while specifying a point of redemption. Once you choose the number of beneficiaries to send the voucher to, the amount is credited from your account. Recipient receive the voucher as an SMS alert or on their NFC smart card. They go to the selected registered vendors and redeem the voucher to  get the aid specified by the voucher. The vendor logs onto the platform and keys in the voucher code. Once validated, the vendor then gives the beneficiary the aid specified. Later on, the vendor can choose to claim the voucher, and a request is sent to Chase bank to pay the vendor the amount of the claim. The startup has partnered with Chase Bank, one of the leading banks in the provision of financial solutions to the SME market segment as their banking partner.
Paykind is targeting both individuals and organisations keen on tracking payments for particular goods and services for their beneficiaries. Paykind aims to focus on healthcare, education, nutrition and agriculture. The startup has worked with more than 3 organisations already and numerous inquiries and initial conversations with many more.
For more information on Paykind, visit their website www.paykind.co . You can follow them on twitter @paykind and also visit and like  their facebook pages www.facebook.com/paykind
 

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1454

Mobidev Kenya Ltd & Totohealth Graduates Out Of Incubation Program

Incubation

September 23, 2015

It all started 3 years ago in September 2012 when the now MobiDev team joined m:lab East Africa’s mobile applications development and entrepreneurship program. The four – six  month program was designed to offer individuals with a software development background an opportunity to sharpen their skills on mobile applications technologies as well as develop their entrepreneurial skills.
Leonard Korir together with 6 other students from the fourth wave of the training were brought together by one shared vision: To define the standards in mobile application development for emerging markets. They started a company called MobiDev Kenya LTD after the training. MobiDev focuses on developing enterprise grade SMS/USSD applications, Android, iOS and Windows apps.
Their first product was MobiAgent. MobiAgent was aimed at solving one of world’s most pressing problems of unemployment by linking up the unemployed with businesses that are looking for agents/resellers all via a mobile platform. The product was still at its early stages when they applied for PIVOT East 2013 and got into the finalists (waiting list) where they got a chance to attend the final conference which was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Uganda. In August 2013 they secured incubation space at the m:lab Business Incubation.
MobiAgent did not pick up well as they had expected and was eventually shelved but this did not kill the team spirit that had been developed over time.  MobiDev has grown over the years and has been able to deploy mobile applications in Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia and Nigeria. They have worked on projects on Mobile payment/banking, Agriculture, Education, Insurance and Governance.
Last Year, Mobidev gave birth to Totohealth, a platform that uses SMS technology to help reduce maternal and child mortality. Totohealth’s solution uses SMS technology to allow parents from low-resource settings to monitor the development of their child using the electronic set of Totohealth’s abnormality indicators, empowering them with relevant information and linking them to the right health care service providers for specialized care, treatment, and guidance. The startup is led by Felix Kimaru who is the Executive Director of Totohealth and a co-founder and former head of product Development at MobiDev.
Totohealth was in the first accelerator class of the Mobile Impact Ventures program early 2014. Mobile Impact Ventures Program is an accelerator program aimed at nurturing and supporting mobile focussed social enterprise. They then applied for PIVOT East 2014 where they were finalists in the society category. After PIVOT East they secured incubation space at the m:lab Business Incubation.
Totohealth has shown tremendous growth in the past one year of its existence. The startup has sent over 540,000 SMS’s, leveraged 700 community health volunteers, and reached over 15,000 mothers and fathers. They have 9 hospitals and 2 organizations using their platform to help improve their health outcomes
Totohealth has managed to sign up 15,000 parents and caregivers who are currently using the platform to monitor the development of their children and also receive timely and targeted information about their health and that of their children.They also work with hospitals and community health workers to help send SMS reminders for doctor’s appointments.
MobiDev and Totohealth have since moved location from m:lab East Africa on 3rd floor Bishop Magua Centre to its new offices at BlueViolet Building , opposite Top Plaza, Ngong Road, on 3rd floor, office 306.
For more information visit their website mobidev.co.ke and www.totohealth.org. You can follow them on twitter @devsmobi and @totohealth
 

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1845

Meet Paykind: a platform that enables you to pay for the needs of others directly!

Incubation

September 1, 2015

Rodgers Muhadi and Sam Masinde have been friends for close to 10 years now. They met in Nakuru where they lived in the same neighbourhood. “Even back then we used to work on some pet projects together!”  says Sam. As fate would have it, they found themselves in the same university, Egerton University in Njoro where Rodgers was a few classes ahead of Sam. Rodgers pursued a degree in electronics  while Sam pursued one in computer science
After completing university, Rodgers worked first as an engineering consultant and was also a retail outlet owner.  He later worked for a payments company before joining   a leading  enterprise  software solutions company in Kenya. From his engineering background and work experience, he was fascinated by micro-chip technonogy especially as used in smartcards and wanted to build a product around it.  In  late 2012 when Sam completed university, they came together and started working on their first product which was a school Smart Card for school fees, attendance among others,  which  used  “chip-to-cloud” technology by basically  integrating a Near Field Communication (NFC), smartcard to a web-based solution which led to the birth their company Cardplanet Solutions Ltd.
Later in 2013, they realized the potential of electronic money transfers tied specifically to allocated expenses. They extended their solution from just a student  payment card to becoming  an online platform electronic medical and nutritional vouchers platform, using mobile phone technology. This product branded as  Paykind, is now their main product.
Using Paykind, one can instantly mass distribute digital vouchers to people via SMS on both feature and smartphones. These vouchers can be redeemed by the receiver at any of the certified vendors.  The Paykind platform can be used for highly specific uses, including remittances or aid grants earmarked specifically for education, healthcare expenses, or food.  Paykind provides valuable tracking and analytics in real-time to monitor voucher redemption, product choices, frequently visited stores and identity of the user. Donors and aid organizations across Africa work hard to guarantee funds are allocated for specific services or resources. While international donations into food, health and education seem large on scale ($42Bn to Africa yearly), the direct impact of these donations are diluted by high overhead costs, distribution hurdles, information inefficiencies, and corruption. What if donors were able to know that 100% of that money made it to the intended beneficiaries?
Currently the startup is made up of a team of four , Rodgers who is the CEO and Sam who is the CTO, both of them are co-founders .Brian who joined the team in 2014 is their lead developer and was also at Egerton University, where he shared the same class with Sam. It is interesting that both Sam and Brian  were among the best in their class. Chris joined them recently to aid their growth as the  head of sales.
In late 2012, Cardplanet Solutions was accepted into Nailab incubation. In 2013 they  joined Savannah Fund accelerator where they got mentorship and funding of $25,000 to launch a number of products. Currently they are incubated at the m:lab business incubation program. The incubation space offers a quiet and dedicated space conducive for team building and “heads down” focus. Incubation at m:lab East Africa also improves access to resources including investors, mentors, potential partners, mobile trainings and an avid mobile community
Late last year, the startup was accepted into Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups. Cardplanet was the second African startup to be accepted at 500 Startups and the first Kenyan startup to make it to Silicon Valley accelerator. They were able to raise funding of $100,000 at 500 Startups. The startup has raised a total of $125,000 and is looking to raise another $250,000 to help with their growth plan for the next two years.
For more information on Cardplanet Solutions and Paykind, visit their website www.cardplanetsolutions.co.ke and www.paykind.co . You can follow them on twitter @CardplanetS and @paykind.
You can also visit and like  their facebook pages www.facebook.com/cardplanetsolutions and www.facebook.com/paykind
 

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2779

Meet MobiDev, a mobile consulting company that helps you innovate for emerging markets

Finalist, Incubation, PIVOT East

May 14, 2015

Almost 3 years ago, 6 young minds from very diverse background including Engineering, the Military, Actuarial science and computer science were brought together by one shared vision: To define the standards in mobile application development for emerging markets. In each of these minds was a burning desire to build amazing mobile experiences that not only would be impactful but also great to use. This meeting was the birth of a mobile consulting company: MobiDev that has grown to deploy mobile applications in Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia and most recently Nigeria.
Led by Leonard Korir, one of the co-founders, the team has successfully gone through the tough first two years where most early stage company die off and things seem to be looking up in their 3rd year of operation.
MobiDev Kenya LTD focuses on developing enterprise grade SMS/USSD applications, Android, iOS and Windows apps. The technical strength is founded on hands on experience gained from designing, development, testing and deployment of mobile apps across the continent and also the fact that each team member went through infoDev sponsored 4-6 months mobile app development and entrepreneurship program offered at m:lab East Africa – one of the 5 labs in the world that is focused in technology in the mobile space.
The training program which covered the technical skills coupled with entrepreneurship, a bit of user experience and design skills saw over 100 developers trained and startups like MobiDev Kenya LTD mTracker, mVerified among others created.
Last month, MobiDev partnered with Scytl – a worldwide leader in provision of secure electronic voting, election management and election modernization solutions – to deploy a real time election results transmission and tallying system engaged in Nigeria. The application, that ran on a combination of technologies including USSD, SMS and Maps was used by one of the leading political party to receive real time vote tallying results from the agents on the ground thus enabling party officials get the elections results as soon as they were counted from over 119,000 polling stations.
According to the team lead, Leonard and the project management lead, Moses Kioko, a project of such a scale comes with lots of challenges. The first being a 4 week hard timeline to develop, deploy and train all the agents on how to use the application. The team travelled to Nigeria on 22nd of March, a few days before the elections to conduct trainings and generally prepare for the elections. Just to get a sense of the scale: Nigeria has a total of 36 states and the FCT (Federal Capital Territory of Abuja) with 119,000 polling stations, about 4 times the number of polling stations in Kenya as per the last election. The population is also estimated at over 173 million people, more than 4 times Kenya’s estimated population and has a total area of over 923,768 km2(356,669 sq mi), making it the world’s 32nd-largest country.
Challenges were many in the project and it takes an experienced team to continuously respond to each challenge faced promptly and in the wisest way possible. This was well shown in the ability to have work around on logistical challenges, simplifying the training material for users and even making changes to the application based on factual real-time data and feedback came from agents and users.
According to Leonard Korir, the Chief Executive Officer MobiDev,The project opened up opportunities for the startup in Nigeria and they might be doing more projects in Nigeria and West Africa in the near future.
Apart from elections, MobiDev has deployed a number of projects in other industries including Mobile payments/banking, Agriculture, education, Insurance and Governance. One of the notable apps is a County Yetu, a governance app that enables citizens stay up to date with what is happening at their counties including news, development projects, tenders, job vacancies and general information on their county. The app also enables citizens to engage county leaders through provision of both textual and pictorial feedback .
In education, MobiDev helped see Akengo (now Arifu), develop from an ambitious idea to a live SMS and Web-based adaptive learning system that serves users in Kenya and soon Tanzania.
MobiDev has also seen through a product in mHealth- Totohealth, led by Felix Kimaru from an idea to a platform that is helping save lives of children under 5 years using simple SMS technology. Totohealth provides twice-weekly customized alerts on expected development changes from conception 5 years of age and currently serves over 6000 mothers. Totohealth also won 2015’s vision 2030 innovation award from Kenya’s ICT Authority.
It has taken time to build a great team culture and as per Leonard, there is still a lot of work to be done and he is positive that mobile will continue to impact so many people’s lives in ways that we cannot even imagine at the moment.
For more information on MobiDev visit there website http://devs.mobi or get in touch via [email protected] You can also follow them on twitter @devsmobi and like them on facebook

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1980

John Kieti Transitions from the m:lab

Incubation, PIVOT East

February 23, 2015

In 2011 a consortium comprising of iHub, eMobilis, University of Nairobi (school of computing and informatics) and the World Wide Web Foundation were awarded the infoDev (a program of the World Bank) grant to set up mlab East Africa. John Kieti took up the challenge to setup and run programs at the m:lab from the consortium. With the four years, he has managed to build the m:lab East Africa and PIVOT East names into strong brands as regards to mobile innovations and start-ups among other achievements.
John will be leaving his position as the Director of m:lab East Africa from March this year to pursue his doctoral studies at the University of Nairobi. “Looking back four years, its been a great experience, sometimes a roller coaster ride – a great thrill, but very importantly; a learning experience for me” said John.
According to John, the m:lab has great prospects! “The board and team I leave behind are great! Building on our successes and failures will open a new chapter for the m:lab and its affiliates for its prosperity in the next couple of years,

John Kieti and the team at Panari Hotel during PIVOT East 2014

John Kieti and the team at Panari Hotel during PIVOT East 2014

“I shall remain a strong exponent for tech startups in the region. Perhaps I shall also drink more water than wine in an economic space where entrepreneurial ventures are our best chance for emancipating our masses from poverty and injustice” he said
John shared his own reflections on the success and failures of his four year tenure in a blog article.
The team at m:lab is very grateful to have worked with John Kieti. He has been a great teacher, mentor, leader and boss – all rolled into one. He has inspired us in so many ways and for that we are very grateful. We wish him well in all his endeavors.
 

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1839

Eneza Education Hits over 350,000 Unique Users

Incubation, PIVOT East, Winners

January 29, 2015

“Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world” These are the wise words of former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela. It’s every parent’s wish to see their children excel in their education but not all parents can afford to take their kids to the best schools or even pay for tuition for their kids. Eneza Education is giving a chance to kids who cannot afford to go to the best schools or extra fee for tuition an opportunity to reach high and broaden their knowledge base.
The startup is making a serious dent in the education sector. In 2014, they reached over 350,000 students users across the country with over 40, 000 active monthly subscribers. Currently they are in 5,000 schools across Kenya and the startup is planning to grow to 7,000 school by the end of this year. The startup will be expanding to Ghana and Tanzania this year to spread the mobile education.
Over the past two years, Eneza Education has evolved with new features added to the SMS platform. In September 2014, they launched a gamification version of the SMS product called “Uko Wapi Ms. Mandizi”. Ms. Mandizi is a points – based game where users are playing detective trying to catch evil Ms. Mandizi who wants to disrupt the education system in Kenya so that she can control the minds of ignorant/uneducated children. She does this by stealing education funds and making it very hard for users to find her.
They have also added 3 baselines to automate impact assessment. Students begin their quizzes with baselines in Maths, English Grammar and English Vocab. They then take benchmarks exactly 120 days after joining Shupavu. The baselines and benchmarks identify students’ academic growth as they use Shupavu. Students also earn points as they take quizzes and also take advantage of Ask a Teacher feature.  Ask a teacher feature allows the students to ask academic questions to a virtual tutor/teacher and get individualized feedback from Eneza Education robust team of teachers. The feature allows shy and inactive students in class to improve their performance in school without fear of being intimidated by their peer.
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The company has a web portal for the users who can access internet regularly. Users register then they can access quizzes, lessons, marks and a live Ask a Teacher feature all from their computer or tablet.
Eneza Education is targeting to reach over 250,000 active monthly users in 2015 totaling to 550,000 lifetime users. The startup will be releasing more features in 2015.You can check out for their website www.enezaeducation.com like their facebook page www.facebook.com/EnezaEducation and follow them on twitter @EnezaEducation for more updates.
 
 

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1714

Totohealth: Transforming Maternal Healthcare in Kenya!

Finalist, Incubation, PIVOT East

January 13, 2015

“It is estimated that 7,700 women die each year in Kenya from pregnancy related complications. This translates to 21 women dying each day or one woman every hour from preventable causes, making the need to address safe motherhood a human rights imperative” This is according to the Centre for Global health and diplomacy.
Totohealth is addressing the above problem by  providing  an affordable and innovative mobile technology solution to address the high maternal and newborn mortality rates in Kenya. Totohealth aims to help parents receive targeted and action oriented SMS messages with dates for important vaccination dates, signs and milestones in the child’s health and ability to connect mothers with local hospitals. Totohealth SMS’s predict warning signs in kids, dispel myths, give nutritional advice, teach parents on reproductive health, refer them to the right doctors and clinics near them, reminds them to go for vaccination and clinics and also set appointments with doctors or nurses.
 
The platform also allows the parent to receive timely guidance and evident-based approaches to improve the health of pregnant mothers and also the child regardless of the type of phone the parent or caregiver has. Totohealth is targeting expectant mothers and parents with kids less than 5 years.
Since inception in March 15th 2014, Totohealth has grown tremendously. Currently the startup has 9 hospitals and 2 organizations using their platform to help improve health outcomes.The organizations are Carolina for Kibera an NGO that  fights abject poverty and helps prevent violence through community-based development in the slum of Kibera and Kidogo a social enterprise that improves access to high-quality, affordable early childhood care And education in informal settlements. Kidogo is also incubated at m:lab East Africa.
The startup has managed to signup 4,600 mothers and fathers who are currently using Totohealth to monitor the development of their children and also receive timely and targeted information about their health and that of their children. According to Felix Kimaru the founder of  Totohealth, various cases of growth abnormalities that could possibly lead to disabilities have thus far been successfully detected and referred for further care.

Totohealth Team

Totohealth Team

The startup was founded by a team of three founders; Felix Kimaru, Victoria Nyakundi and Joseph Murgor. Over the past nine months, the team has grown and currently they have 6 individuals passionate about the mission of the startup.The startup’s revenue comes from a business-to-business (B2B) model.
Totohealth applied for  PIVOT East, East Africa’s startup pitching competition and conference last year and despite the startup being at it’s very early stage, the judges saw the potential of the startup to grow and they were able to make it to the final 25 startups that pitched at the finalist conference on 24th – 25th June 2014. They emerged the 1st runners up in the mobile society category. “The feedback and the connections we got from PIVOT East is what has enabled us achieve the much we have today” says Felix Kimaru
Victoria and Moses from Totohealth pitching during PIVOT East 2014

Victoria and Moses from Totohealth pitching during PIVOT East 2014

Through PIVOT East, Totohealth got an opportunity to be incubated at m:lab East Africa incubation facility. The incubation space offers a quiet and dedicated space conducive for team building and “heads down” focus.
The startup was also part of the Mobile Impact ventures Program (MIVP), m:lab East Africa’s accelerator program for impact ventures with innovative solutions in Agriculture, Education, Health and water. Below is a video of Felix Kimaru explaining his experience in the program.

The startup raised  15,333 Euros through the Cheetah Fund crowdfunding campaign  which was held last year. In addition to working with hospitals and NGOs, the startup was invited to partner with Internet.org. “We see ourselves reaching more parents in Kenya through this platform. This is also good for us because of the publicity that has come out of this partnership” says Felix.  The startup has also partnered with University of Helsinki to produce video content.
Totohealth participate in Startup Sauna, 2014’s Fall Program. According to Felix, The program was important for Totohealth because of the business coaching sessions and access to potential partners in Europe. The startup was also shortlisted to showcase their product in Europe’s Premier Investor and Startup Conference called Slush. The conference had over 14,000 attendees.
For more information on the company, visit their website, like them on facebook at and follow them on twitter @totohealth

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