NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 24 – Three Startups have won the Sh1.1 million seed grant to kick-start their ideas into commercial projects during the South Rift Innovation Week Hackathon Challenge.
The startups that include Zajeni LTD, Vehicle Occupancy Detection (VOD), and shambaDAO (decentralized autonomous organization) will walk away with Sh366, 000 each as well as receive incubation and mentorship support for three months at Nakuru Box Incubation Hub to make their ideas come to life.
The South Rift Innovation Week was organized by The Association of Country-Wide Innovation Hubs in collaboration with Nakuru Box, CoELIB, Innovate UK, UNDP, and other partners.
Nakuru Box Managing Director George Wayne Murungi says over 200 submissions were received for the Hackathon challenge with one entry from Zambia.
Zejani LTD is a product of Judy Kananu, providing every household with grapes via green technology mainly hydroponic farming at a minimal cost with an aim of cubing food insecurity and climate change effects.
VOD (Vehicle Occupancy Detection) a product of Kelvin Mwago, offers an array of vehicle and fleet management reports to aid in the tracking and monitoring of the vehicles, and occupancy of the passengers by using GSM and satellite tracking technology.
A shambaDAO (decentralized autonomous organization) a product of Fabian Owuor allows for a more efficient way to run and manage farms. Investments from urban dwellers to grow and automate rural farms.
“At the incubation hub we will train them on business vision and opportunity, customers and competitors, marketing, business process, finances, legal aspects in business, funding your business, and business evaluation,” said Murungi.
The move is part of the countrywide innovation weeks initiative organized by the Association of Countrywide Innovation Hubs aimed at boosting the use of technology to create impactful businesses.
ACIH plans to incubate 150 Kenyan startups in ten regions across the country. The program will focus on supporting the innovators to turn their ideas into productive businesses through a series of training, mentorship, pitching events, and demo days.
Fifteen startups will be picked from ten countrywide innovation weeks that are running concurrently in a bid to catalyze conversation around innovation, entrepreneurship and technology at the grassroot level.
The innovation weeks are taking place in North Eastern, Eastern, Coastal, Mt. Kenya, North Rift, South Rift, Western, LakeBasin and Northern Region for the mainstream members and Nairobi for the Associate members.
Some of the major partners for the project include the United Nations Development Program, Innovate UK, Safaricom Kenya, Association of Startup and SMEs Enablers of Kenya (ASSSEK), GIZ, UK Kenya Tech Hub, Huawei, Foreign Commonwealth Development Office, Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA) Fund,Afrilabs, World Food Program and the Government of Kenya through various ministries among them the ministry of ICT and Konza Technopolis, the chamber of Commerce and Kenya National Innovation Agency, KeNIA among others.