HaltEbola wins AMPION West African Venture Bus competition

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Startup HaltEbola emerged the winner from the West African version of the AMPION Venture Bus competition for its app facilitating public education on ebola and other diseases.

Disrupt Africa reported last week the first AMPION Venture Bus made its trip from Lagos, Nigeria, to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, visiting a number of hubs and incubators along the way while founding a number of startups.

HaltEbola was declared the winner at the end of the trip, and was rewarded by AMPION and sponsor Microsoft with software and training worth EUR10,000 (US$12,500). The startup developed a mobile app which uses voice messages to connect people in rural areas to information on ebola in their local languages.

The founders of HaltEbola said they plan to further develop their business idea and implement it in the fight against ebola as soon as possible.

“The AMPION Venture Bus West Africa was a very unique experience for us. My team includes Martine Pandam (Togo), Luc Alapini (Benin) and I,” said Nigerian co-founder Michael Chu’no Ike.

“We were not contented with expecting others to lead the path in solving African challenges; we were determined to take the lead so that others can support. To this end, we modeled HaltEbola, a digital platform that uses mobile to connect rural communities to information, practices and expertise that would be helpful in the current Ebola crisis. With the outlook of extensive support through AMPION’s network, we hope to be able to launch the prototype in a few weeks. Recording translations for many West African languages will take some time, but we have started right away!”

Second and third place went to Travlr, for its solution connecting people who need short term housing with home owners, and FindR, an application that puts an individual’s budget into consideration when ordering meals from a restaurant.

Eight startups in total emerged on the bus, including three solutions to tackle healthcare issues and ebola. The teams included Health Ops, an information and fast response system about health and epidemics via an append sms, IHealth, an app connecting patients and doctors that bridges queues at hospitals and improves the quality of medical advice, and AfriEdu, a platform designed to gather and increase African online content.

Meanwhile, the AMPION Venture Bus Southern Africa departed today, with 40 high profile participants from Africa and all over the world on board the trip from Harare to Cape Town.

The bus is destined for AfricaCom, Africa’s biggest tech conference, which will take place in Cape Town from November 11-13, and will stop in Gaborone, Botswana, and Windhoek, Namibia, before reaching Cape Town.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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