A host of startups have been named among the winners of the Google Impact Challenge Africa, which has given away a total of US$6 million in grant funding.
Kenyan, Nigerian and South African social innovators were invited to apply for the Google Impact Challenge, which received more than 5,000 submissions.
A total of 36 finalists pitched at events held in the three countries last week, with 12 selected as overall winners. The winners receive a US$250,000 grant from Google.org, while finalists will receive a US$125,000 grant. Grant funding totalled US$6 million.
In South Africa, the three winners as chosen by judges were Corruption Watch for its online policing platform Bua Mzansi, Gradesmatch for its career guide, and the RLabs Zlto Digital Platform, a mobile and blockchain platform that tracks and incentivises positive behaviour in youths.
The People’s Choice Award went to MeMeZa Shout Crime Prevention, a public community alarm system.
The three Nigerian winners were a toll-free child helpline established by the Cece Yara Foundation, e-health startup HelpMum for its clean birth kits, and Project Enable Africa, a digital inclusion project.
Winner of the People’s Choice Award was Vetsark, which plans to launch Alpha Prime Disease Surveillance Technology to predict, prevent, and control pests and disease outbreaks.
In Kenya, the judges’ winners were African Prisons Project, Startup Lions, and UjuziKilimo Solutions, the latter for its use of sensors and big data analytics for smallholder precision farming. The People’s Choice Award winner was Lewa Wildlife Conservancy for a digital literacy programme.
“We’re inspired by the passion and vision of all of our finalists – and the real work is just beginning. We are excited to partner with these organisations as they dig in to new and innovative projects to make our communities even better,” said Adepoju Abiodun, product marketing manager at Grow with Google.