Mara Launchpad Business Hackathon: It is not a code but business hackathon

Participants at the Hackathon

That’s exactly what one of the mentors, James Makumbi a reknown ICT veteran told a swam of Technology enthusiasts, business developers, marketing experts participating in what the Mara foundation/launchpad kampala has termed as the “Mara Business Hackathon”. According to the event organizers;

Mara Launchpad BizHack is an event that’s bringing a community of innovative individuals to develop products, services and business solutions to solve challenges and exploit opportunities in Uganda currently.As an entrepreneur, techie, branding guru, numbers person, or anything else, this is your chance to form your dream team and in 48 hours, out-compete the others teams and show how your idea or small business is the best!

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A panel of judges will include impartial representatives from developers, subject matter experts, industry experts, investors, and sponsors. The BizHack judges will be scoring the outcome of each team based on the following criteria.

1. Innovation / Ambition – Was the idea unique, or a different take on an existing/similar product? What was added to the product that made it special or more useful? Was the idea behind the product ambitious? How well did the product solve a particular problem?

2. Market Opportunity – Does a market exist? How big is the market that the product is addressing and how much of it can the team capture?

3. Go-to Market Strategy – How is the product going to be taken to the customer and how is the team going to capture the first few customers.

4. Product Market Fit, Usability – How well does the product solve a problem for a specific set of people / community? Does it match what the market needs?

5. Sustainability / USP (Unique Selling Point) / Barriers to Entry – How can the product be continued after the BizHack and turned into a profitable business? What is its Unique Selling Point? How can it survive among other competitors?

6. Business Model – How can revenue be generated from the product or service?

7. Financial Understanding – What is the cost structure? How much money can it make in what kind of time period? Can you prove that it will be profitable in some day?

8. Presentation – How well is the team covering and presenting the product, and do they have confidence in the idea?

9. Product Demo, User Interface / User Experience – Demonstration of the product. What is it going to look like and feel like to use. Does the UI of the product look professional/fun, or is it sloppy?  Is the product easy to use? Does the workflow of the product make sense, is it intuitive?

10. Fundability – How attractive is the team’s proposition to an investor?

Each judge will assign each team’s product a score between 1 and 10 inclusively for each of the ten criteria, with 1 being poor and 10 being exceptional.

Winning teams will be supported through Mara Foundation as follows:

  • 1st Prize: Desk at Mara Launchpad plus 5 spaces in innovation centre, one-on-one mentorship through Mara Mentor, and between 5 to 10 million shillings in investment capital from Mara Launch Uganda Fund (subject to Mara Launch Uganda Fund Terms and Conditions)

  • Two Runners-up: 5 spaces in innovation centre, one-on-one mentorship through Mara Mentor, and personal introductions to funders.

The TechPost team is competing with 8 other different teams with cutting edge ideas that may turn out be successful business ventures.  The winners will be announced tomorrow Sunday at about 5:00PM.

Update: TechPost came out 3rd place in the competition.

  • who won?

  • patricia kahill

    ERide won… this an application that enable travels to know whonis going where in with an empty car and is willing to transport people at a price…

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