Kenyan startup Strauss Energy has been named a “People’s Choice” winner in the US-based accelerator 1776’s public vote, winning a place to compete at the Challenge Festival for up to US$650,000 in prizes.
Disrupt Africa reported 1776’s 2015 Challenge Cup competition included a Kenyan leg for the first time, with 30 startups competing in the four categories of education, energy, health, and cities.
Four startups emerged winners of the pitching competition – one in each category -, these were 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 category winners of each regional leg of the Challenge Cup competition – which is held in 16 cities in 11 countries – progress to the global final, to be held at the Challenge Festival in Washington D.C. in May.
In addition to the regional winners, 1776 announced four startups would win extra places to compete at the finals, to be selected through an online public vote.
The four winners of the “People’s Choice” places include Kenyan startup Strauss Energy, which won in the energy category; and will now travel to Washington D.C. to compete in the May final.
In the education category Texas-based Learning List was the People’s Choice winner; Irish startup Medxnote won in the health category; and San Francisco-based PopUpsters was named winner of the cities category.
The finalists to appear at the Challenge Festival will compete for up to $650,000 in prizes as well as the chance to meet with investors and industry experts.