Pivot East is one of the most prestigious startups pitching competition and conference in the region. This year’s event went down on 25 -26th June 2013 at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala Uganda. There was stiff competition between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania startups in all the five categories. The competition culminated to the announcing of the winners at the gala dinner. The winners received a grant of 10,000USD
Four months down the line, the startups are making tremendous progress in terms of securing partnerships, grants, creating employment and scaling up their businesses. We have highlighted progress made so far by the startups in this article.
SleepOut: Kenya-based accommodation marketplace SleepOut has been named among the top 50 global startups in the run up to WebSummit 2013 to be held in October 30th and 31st in Dublin, Ireland. SleepOut made it to the top 50 list after having applied for the widely celebrated conference’s ALPHA Program. They have also been invited to exhibit, together with a selected number of individuals and startups from around the world.
SleepOut participated in Angel Fair which was held on 25th – 26th September at Sandton Convention Center, Johannesburg South Africa. Angel Fair 2013 aimed at bringing together accelerators, incubators and their emerging businesses from across the African continent and angel investors to do deals.
SleepOut makes it easy for you to make booking of accommodation online, they provide a secure accommodation marketplace connecting travellers looking for a cool place to stay, with hosts and their empty beds. Currently SleepOut is launching their new Africa and Middle East portal with listings in over 20 countries. They have also been selected to launch at this year’s DEMO Africa conference to be held in Nairobi, Kenya in October 24 and 25, 2013. SleepOut won in the Enterprise Category at PIVOT EAST 2013. For more information on SleepOut view their profile HERE
Kytabu: Kytabu is a textbook subscription app for android tablets for students that drastically reduces the cost of buying textbooks. Kytabu has won several accolades including PIVOT EAST 2013 best startup in the mobile society category and the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) competition which was held on October 12, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia where Kytabu emerged winners. Global Innovation Science through technology is an initiative of CRDF Global and other partners to help launch ideas or grow businesses of most promising entrepreneurs in these emerging economies through seed funding, training, networking and by providing mentoring from the best entrepreneurs in the world, angel investors, and venture capitalists.
Kytabu has been invited to TechCrunch Berlin on 28th – 29th October to showcase Kytabu Android on their tablets. Currently they are working on a desktop application which will be launched later this year in partnership with Microsoft. For more information on Kytabu view their profile HERE
Ma3Route: Ma3Route is a mobile/web/SMS platform that helps you get to your destination easily and quickly. Ma3Route helps citizens share/access info about transport and current traffic conditions for a city. Ma3Route is currently working to finalize their App on Windows and iOS platforms which will be up and running very soon. They are also optimizing their website for mobile.
Ma3Route is growing in terms of its team, currently they have a team of 8 people with 3 full time employees based at their offices at m:lab East Africa. Ma3Route has been able secured partnerships over the past few months. They have partnered with Nokia in their upcoming windows app and they are also in talks with Nation TV to propagate their data on the AM Live show.
Apart from taking part in PIVOT EAST 2013 where they won in the mobile Utility Category, Ma3Route participated in Angel Fair which was held on 25th – 26th September at Sandton Convention Center, Johannesburg South Africa. They were also in the semifinalist of VentureOut Internalization Challenge. For more information on Ma3Route, view their profile HERE.
Kola studios: Kola Studios is a developer and publisher of Social Mobile games for the web, smartphone & tablet devices. Matatu, a local Ugandan card game, is one of their most popular games with over 4 million games played in a year, a localized version for Kenya, Karatu was recently launched. On 16th August, Kola studios officially launched the game MATATU at Outbox in Uganda. The launch was graced by Airtel UG Managing director V.G Somasekhar. Kola studios emerged the best in the mobile entertainment category at PIVOT EAST 2013. For more information on Kola Studios view their profile HERE
Go finance: GO Finance believes access to finance is as vital to a community as access to clean water. GO works to bring a range of financial solutions closer to underserved small businesses and people at the base of the pyramid through using technology, business value chains, and by collaborating with strategic partners.
According to Geoffrey Ndosi Executive Director Go Finance, “Winning at PIVOT EAST has elevated our profile regionally as well as with multinational organisations. Not only have we reached a critical juncture with regards to equity financing from a seed venture fund, but we are also collaborating with Microsoft 4 Afrika and have had conversations with the International Finance Corporation (the World Bank’s private sector arm), and the FMO (Netherlands) as a result of participating in PIVOT EAST.” For more information on Go Finance view their profile HERE
Currently two startups (SleepOut and Ma3Route) are incubated at the m:lab incubation facility. Go Finance is incubated virtually.