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M-Farm receives funding from M-Pesa Foundation

Incubation

October 10, 2013

mfarmMFarm has secured a partnership with the M-Pesa Foundation.The partnership has seen MFarm receive a grant of KES 20 million (USD 230,000) from M-Pesa Foundation.

Linda Kwamboka co-founder and CMO of M-Farm said “We are thrilled to have secured the funds we need to continue to grow the business. Now, we will be able to help even more farmers beyond the over 8,000 farmers already using our platform, and improve their standard of living.”

MFarm limited, an award winning software solutions and agribusiness company provides vital market information and trading services to farmers via mobile app. Their mobile app enables smallholder farmers in rural Kenya to access market information hence make informed decisions on where and how to sell their farm produce.

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MFarm team

M-Farm which earlier this year graduated from incubation at m:lab East Africa has come a long way since its inception in 2010.The company has been featured much in both national and international media. In 2011, during Pivot 25 where MFarm was a finalist, the company caught the attention of Techfortrade, an international impact investment organization, Techfortrade later invested in MFarm. Techfortrade recently funded Jamila’s visit to London to meet with supermarket retailers to discuss potential partnership opportunities, and to speak at this year’s Africa Gathering conference.

The company has also in the past years won many accolades including winning the IPO48 competition in 2010 and becoming one of infoDev’s top 20 SMEs in 2011

For more information about M-farm visit their website or twitter handle @mfarm_ke. For more information on their partnership, you can reach MFarm through this email address [email protected]

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Waabeh in the Finals of VentureOut Challenge

challenges

October 2, 2013

WaabehWaabeh from Kenya made it to the finals of VentureOut Internalization Challenge. Waabeh is Africa’s audio marketplace [Music & online-radio] solving the problem of Discovery and Distribution of Audio Content from the continent.

Thirteen International startups have been announced as finalist in the mobile application internationalization contest challenge with Waabeh from Kenya representing East Africa. The finalists will receive

ongoing mentoring from exceptional entrepreneurs and investors from around the globe who have experience building companies and taking them global.

The finalists will compete before a live audience and a panel of mobile experts for $10,000 in seed funding in the Dragon’s Den in Chisinau, Moldova during an international mobile meeting organized by infoDev of the World Bank on 30th – 1st November.

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VentureOut Challenge is an initiative of infoDev and CRDF Global to propel expansion-ready mobile entrepreneurs into enticing international markets. The program runs from August to November 2013 and helps hundreds of entrepreneurs through hands-on training, virtual learning opportunities, mentorship, international exposure, and seed funding. For more information on VentureOut Challenge, visit their website.

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Pivot East Finalists makes it to Semi-finals of VentureOut Challenge

challenges, Finalist, PIVOT East

September 18, 2013

Semifinalists for the VentureOut Internalization Challenge, have been announced. The mobile application internationalization contest challenge attracted 113 submissions from 19 countries, East Africa having 20 submissions – 13 from Kenya, 5 from Tanzania and 2 from Uganda.

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 24 startups have been selected to the semifinals out of which 12 finalists will be selected. The startups will go through a mentorship program and use the feedback from the VentureOut judges and their mentors to upgrade their applications by September 24th for another round of judging. The top 12 finalists will be announced on October 2nd.The finalists will compete for $10,000 in seed funding in the Dragon’s Den in Chisinau, Moldova during an international mobile meeting organized by infoDev of the World Bank on 30th – 1st November

 Three Pivot East 2013 finalists made it to the semifinals of the VentureOut challenge. The startups include;

 brainshareBrainshare is an academic application that enables students to easily access ebooks, notes and past papers to help them revise and get ready for exams. BrainShare addresses the problem of poor content access by students in Ugandan schools. This is done by ensuring that notes, past papers and ebooks can be supplied to students easily and also enable student collaboration. For more information view their full profile on startups.pivoteast.com here or you can also visit their website www.brainshare.ug

Ma3Route 2 LogoMa3route is a mobile/web/SMS platform that crowd-sources for transport data and provides users with updates on traffic, directions and driving reports. Ma3Route has hit the streets by a storm with over 5,800 followers on Twitter, more than 25,000 posts on the platform, 1,500+ downloads from the Google Play Store, and 6.5+ million serviced requests. Ma3route was one of the winners of Pivot East 2013 in the utility category. For more information on ma3route view their full profile on startup.pivoteast.com here or you can also visit their website www.ma3route.com

JooistJooist is a social gaming network for mobile phones. It enables users to discover, play and share high quality mobile game apps in low to medium end devices. Their revenue model is mostly ad-funded but they have a paid component to it for premium titles. Jooist has strategic partnerships with three of the largest device manufacturers that they use to distribute and monetize the apps via white-label offerings. For more information on Jooist view their profile on startups.pivoteast.com here, you can also visit their website www.jooist.com

 Other startups that made it to the semifinals from East Africa are;

 Waabeh is Africa’s audio marketplace [Music & online-radio]  solving the problem of Discovery, Discovery and Distribution of Audio Content  from the continent. Currently Waabeh is available on the Web, and as native apps for Android and Windows 8, all with delightful and easy to use design that takes the headache out of discovering new as well as vintage African sounds and puts the focus back on what is important; hearing what you love.

Xcommodity is an online commodities market and auction house. It has been designed to complement and enhance the movement of commodities across continents and balance global supply and demand for raw materials with the goals and needs of developing economies.

VentureOut Challenge is an initiative of infoDev  and CRDF Global to propel expansion-ready mobile entrepreneurs into enticing international markets. The program runs from August to November 2013 and helps hundreds of entrepreneurs through hands-on training, virtual learning opportunities, mentorship, international exposure, and seed funding. For more information on ventureOut Challenge, visit their website www.ventureoutchallenge.org

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Phone review

Mobile Testing

September 3, 2013

Samsung is one of the partners of m:lab East Africa and has continued to support the developer communities through various partnerships, trainings, campaigns and offering devices to devs for testing their apps. m:lab East Africa ‘s  testing facility was privileged to receive the much awaited Samsung Galaxy S4 courtesy of Samsung Kenya.

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Below are some of the unique features that make this device stand out among the  android devices today in the market:

Screen – It comes with a 5.0 inch screen thats 1080 x 1920 pixels. The screen is Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen that comes with a Corning Gorilla Glass 3. This means that it integrates a capacitive touchscreen layer directly into the display instead of overlaying it on top of the display, resulting in a thinner design that uses less power and reflects less light, and as a result works better outdoors and give it scratch and impact-resistant qualities.

Memory -It also comes with a mem-card slot of upto 64GB and comes with 16/32/64 GB storage. To make it stand-out  more it has a RAM of 2GB to ensure a fast non-lagging  user experience.

Camera -In the social world that we live in, taking pictures and videos is extensively a great experience as the phone is packed with a 13MP(4128 x 3096 pixels) that takes crystal clear photos. It has integrated several features that make taking pictures and videos even more fun with autofocus, dual shot, HD video recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilisation just to name some.

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S-Health feature –  The S-Health helps track the users weight and exercise levels  to keep the Samsung Galaxy S4 customers healthy. Now you can keep track of almost any aspect of your health from how well and how much you’re eating to how often you exercise.

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TV remote –  This can either be done using the IR port of the phone or by getting the WatchOn app. To get started, input your location and what television provider you use.

 AirGesture – This feature is indeed one of the coolest of the Galaxy S4. The feature allows the user to flip through a photo album just by a wave of the hand. The AirView feature, just like the airgesture, allows the user to get a preview by just pointing at the file without actually touching it. The Smart scroll feature tracks the movement of the users eyes and automatically scrolls.DSC_0100

Battery Life saving techniques – One of the greatest hurdles with smart phones is short battery life, Samsung S4  tries to solve this by having an excellent sleep mode. When it’s inactive it can really drop the drain on the CPU, and achieve that in a much better manner than other devices.

It runs on the latest Android OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) and comes with a Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 Processor.
There is already news of Android 4.3 being launched in the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy S4 in October this year.

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Apply for VentureOut Internationalization Challenge

challenges

August 23, 2013

hlNGOaCT-7RHFkwUe4LjLsJ4YS6vbH4iDzojjl5Hq0UDo you want to propel your app to new geographies? VentureOut Challenge is giving an opportunity to developers to go global with their applications. VentureOut is an initiative to propel expansion-ready mobile entrepreneurs into international markets.

VentureOut Challenge which is sponsored by infoDev in partnership with CRDF Global will runs from August to November 2013. The program will help hundreds of entrepreneurs through hands-on training, virtual learning opportunities, mentorship, international exposure, and seed funding.

Entrepreneurs will prove themselves through sharing their apps’ current success and potential and plans for future growth into new markets. Top mobile app entrepreneurs from 31 countries will compete in the VentureOut Challenge to enter the Dragon’s Den in Chisinau, Moldova during an international mobile meeting organized by infoDev of the World Bank.

The top 12 entrepreneurs from the competition will meet in Moldova October 30-31, 2013 for the Dragon’s Den, a pitching exposition to compete for $10,000 in seed funding. One selected VentureOut entrepreneur will also get a chance to attend TechCrunch’s Disrupt Europe event in Berlin October 26-29 2013.

m:lab East Africa will provide mentorship and training to the selected startups from East Africa on topics listed as needs for startups.

Apply here!

In order to participate in the competition, eligible applicants must submit an application online that consists of a Mobile App Internationalization Summary here. The deadline for submission of applications is on 2nd September 2013.

For more information on VentureOut Challenge visit their website here

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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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