PIVOT East competition postponed

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East African startup competition PIVOT East has been postponed until the start of next year, with organisers m:lab saying it was not currently able to provide enough value to competing startups.

PIVOT East, organised by m:lab East Africa, has been held annually since 2011. Disrupt Africa reported extensively from last year’s event, which saw the likes of SafeMotos, Duma Works and Shield Finance named category winners.

Twenty-five startups from across the region had been selected to pitch at the event in Nairobi, Kenya on November 15, but it has now been postponed until early next year. No date has been set for when PIVOT East will now take place.

m:lab East Africa communications lead Egra Ombati said in a blog post the training, coaching and mentorship programme provided to finalists was what set PIVOT East apart from other competitions in the market.

“This year, however, we have been going through a lot of changes and implementations towards our next phase and we have less time than we need to provide our finalists for the competition the experience and support they deserve,” she said.

“We don’t want to compromise the quality of organisation of what we think has become an institution in the ecosystem. We will continue working with the finalists to refine key elements of their business models and prepare the finalists for the conference next year.”

Ombati said finalists would be given the opportunity to gain more traction, compete effectively and position their startups to the pool of investors at the event.

“We will announce the new date for the competition soon. In the meantime we also are looking forward to continue engaging with sponsors, who are interested in helping us to get this programme restarted in 1Q2017 with full force and energy,” she said.

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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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