Safaricom Appwiz Challenge final today

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The final of Safaricom’s Appwiz Challenge takes place today, with 11 startups pitching to a panel of judges to win a KES1.5 million (US$14,680) grant.

The third edition of the Appwiz Challenge initiative is hosted in partnership with the @iBizAfrica incubator at Strathmore University, and takes participants through a three-month training curriculum, offering mentorship and coaching from industry leaders and leading entrepreneurs, as well as training in entrepreneurship skills.

The three month programme culminated in a Demo Day held last week; although the decisive final of the competition takes place today, with participants to pitch their ideas to a panel of expert judges.

The first place winner will secure KES1.5 million (US$14,680); second prize is KES1 million (US$9,787); and the third prize winner receives KES500,000 (US$4,893).

“Through the Safaricom Appwiz Challenge we aim to build successful startups by helping the participants develop commercially viable solutions and ensuring that they identify the right target markets,” said Joseph Ogutu, Director of Strategy and Innovation at Safaricom.

“I am glad that we are now seeing more mobile-based solutions rather than a pure focus on apps, with each of the solutions presented by finalist teams showing great potential for success.”

The judging panel includes Ushahidi and BRCK co-founder Juliana Rotich, and Dr Joseph Sevilla, director @iLab Africa, among others.

The participants are Mkulima – an innovative solution for farmers that help them reduce the mass wastage of harvests which occur during collection; platform linking informal workers and customers Lynk; smartphone advertising solution AdspaceKe; content aggregator app One Kenya;  movie listings and booking app Kenya Max; online solutions startup Fort Innovations; IT company Design Lab Technologies; social networking app SpotMe; cashless payments solution for transport Ma3points; social media app Startag; stock market simulation game Hisa Play; and professional development platform Briglobe.

The winners will be announced at an award ceremony on December 1.

Disrupt Africa reported last year mobile university-campus news portal Magazine Reel was named winner of the Appwiz Challenge, receiving KES1.7 million (US$16,638) to continue developing their startup.

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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