25 exceptional mobile startups from across the region will compete to win market recognition and investor interest during the PIVOT East
2014 pitching conference which will be held on 24th – 25th June in Nairobi Kenya. The startups were unveiled today after an intense evaluation process by a panel involving over 20 investors. The 25 finalists, 5 from each category were selected from the 50 semifinalists announced three weeks ago
The startups that have made it to the finals are;
- Finance category; Valuraha, Chamasoft and Chura from Kenya and Beyonic and Ensibuuko from Uganda .
- Enterprise category; Thinvoid (Uganda), Online Hisab (Ethiopia), Buymore, ASim Mobile and Offers Africa from Kenya.
- Entertainment category; Safari Tales, Muva Studios, Momentum Core and MapJam from Kenya and Ubongo from Tanzanai .
- Utilities category; Maramoja Transport, Gari Sms, Mavazi, Sendy and Mafundi from Kenya.
- Society category; SokoNect, Totohealth, SokoText from Kenya and Zapmedic and Moquestions from Uganda. Here is the full list of the finalists with a brief description of their product.
Speaking on the list of finalists, Chase Bank Head of Brand and Corporate Affairs Magdalene Mulandi said: “Chase Bank is pleased be part of this innovative initiative. As the gold sponsors of the competition, we are happy to see the contestants present innovative and creative ideas that could transform the socio-economic development of the East African region. Chase Bank lauds the startups that made it to finals and we hope to walk with them as they pursue their dreams of being tech entrepreneurs.”
Out of the 25 startups that made it to the finalists, 18 are from Kenya. 5 of the startups are from Uganda. Tanzania and Ethiopia are represented in the list by one startup each. For each category a 6th best startup has been placed in a waiting list and may pitch at the conference if a finalist in the category drops out for any reason. Startups in the waiting list are; Somo (Society), ParcelSolution (Utilities), Epic (Entertainment), RTSOP
(Entreprise) and FarmDrive (Finance).
Investors that formed the finalist selection panels were from among venture capital firms, angel investors and impact investors. Some of the venture capital funds involved were Savannah Fund, TBL Mirror Fund, Beyond Capital Fund, TLcom Capital LLP, and Village Capital. Other venture capital funds involved were Gray Ghost Ventures, Grameen Foundation Pioneer Fund, ACCION’s venture labs, the Mara Ad-Venture Fund, and Invested Development.
The individual angel investors were from thriving startup ecosystems such as Silicon valley, Berlin, London and Singapore. Here is the full list of judges with brief descriptions about themselves.
The criteria used by the panelists startups helped to evaluate the startups’ purported customer pain, opportunity and customer segments, the solution and its fit to the problem, the revenue model, and analysis of the competitive landscape. Other selection criteria items helped to evaluate the calibre of the team and the startups’ focus to grow into sustainable enterprises. These included the team composition and commitment, current market traction, and projections for milestones and key metrics. Pitch videos and demo videos were also evaluated for seriousness and drive among the founders.
Finalists of the competition will receive training, coaching and mentorship in the weeks to come before the pitching conference. These pre-conference activities assist the finalists to improve key elements of their business models and the positioning of their startups to the rich audience at the conference. Startups in the waiting list and the other semifinalists who did not make it to the finalists will also benefit from the training, coaching and mentoring given to the finalists.
PIVOT East competition aims to facilitate discovery and nurturing of the next wave of high potential mobile innovations into sustainable business, ensuring that mobile innovations are high in the agenda of regional, governments, corporates and development agencies for amplified development impact and to raise the quality of mobile startups in the region.
In the previous editions, the competition has attracted support from different organizations across the region. Chase Bank is the gold sponsor for this year’s competition. The bank is commitment to support tech entrepreneurship in the region in an effort to spur the SME market to move with the new global market trends; that is digital and knowledge -based. Other sponsors of the competition include; InfoDev, Motorola Solutions, Intel, Samsung