Carpooling marketplace Jambo Car emerged victorious from the East African leg of the AMPION Venture Bus hackathon, following a four-day tour through the region by bus and plane.
The bus of 34 entrepreneurs and developers travelled from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to KIgali, Rwanda, visiting a number of hubs and incubators along the way while founding a number of startups.
West and Southern Africa legs of the AMPION series have already taken place, with HaltEbola declared the winner in West Africa for its app facilitating public education on ebola and other diseases, while in Southern Africa water contamination solution e-Maji came out on top.
Seven new startups presented their ideas around e-health, e-commerce, transport, mobile education and consumer empowerment at the kLab in Kigali to 12 judges that included high-level government representatives, head of the ICT Chamber, investors and leading Rwandan companies.
JamboCar was chosen as the winner for its a carpooling service, while medication information calendar service myDawa and solar energy consumption monitoring tool Smart Umeme came in second and third respectively.
Betty Ngugi, chief executive officer (CEO) of Jambo Car, said: “I am thrilled to have met such amazing people on the trip with AMPION through East Africa! Ideas turned into lean pitches and strangers became friends. We look forward to building our platform and rolling out our business as a joint African-European cooperation.”
The trip did however take a surprising turn when the bus meant to drive the group from Nairobi, Kenya to Kampala, Uganda did not arrive, with the team subsequently agreeing a sponsorship deal with RwandAir to fly the startups to Kigali.