Four startups have been named winners of the Challenge Cup 2015 Nairobi regional competition, and will progress to compete against global winners at the final in Washington D.C.
The Challenge Cup is a global competition run by US incubator 1776, with competition legs held in 16 cities in 11 countries. This year’s Nairobi-based competition – with took place yesterday, (January 27) – was the sole African stop on the competition’s global journey.
More than 30 startups participated in the Nairobi leg of the Challenge Cup – held at Kenya’s iHub – competing in four categories, namely, education, energy, health, and cities.
The startups took part in a day of networking and mentorship, prior to the competition which was divided into two rounds. The first round saw competitors give 60 second pitches to the audience; while in the second round finalists were given five minutes to expand on their pitch.
The winners of the Nairobi Cup emerged as East African online bookstore eKitabu; PowerGen Renewable Energy – which provides wind and solar power solutions as well as solar powered water pumping in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Somalia; Health-E-Net – a social enterprise connecting patients to medical experts for advice and second opinions on diagnoses; and project management and tracking platform tasKwetu.
The four East African winners will join the regional winners from all 16 competition locations in May in Washington D.C., for the week-long 1776 Challenge Festival where they will compete head-to-head.
Winners compete for up to $650,000 in prizes as well as the chance to meet with investors and industry experts.