Eight Kenyan startups are set to pitch for US$100,000 in prize money at the Pitch for Impact competition to be held in Nairobi, Kenya today, in one of the many events leading up to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) taking place this weekend.
The Pitch for Impact competition is co-hosted by the Case Foundation, Village Capital, the DOEN Foundation and the Sorenson Global Impact Investing Center.
The eight selected startups will be asked to pitch their vision for building a great business with positive social impact to a panel of globally renowned investors, including Jean and Steve Case – the creators of AOL, now leading investors -; impact investor Jim Sorenson; chief executive officer (CEO) of the CocaCola Africa Foundation, Susan Mboya, and Nina Tellegen, CEO of the DOEN Foundation.
One startup will be named winner of the US$100,000 prize.
The eight startups to pitch span a range of sectors. Representing the tech innovation space in Kenya is Chamasoft, a simple to use web application that allows fundraising groups (Chamas) to manage all their affairs; Politik, an interactive platform where youth in Africa can engage with public officials; FarmDrive, which seeks to transform the way smallholder farmers get access to financial services through services including farmer record keeping, and data analytics; and FabFi, an open-source system using common building materials and off-the-shelf electronics to transmit wireless ethernet signals across distances of up to several miles.
Strauss Energy – recent winner of the 1776 “People’s Choice” award – will also pitch its cost effective renewable energy solution, which uses solar-powered roofing tiles designed and made in Kenya.
The other three startups to pitch will be EFK Group, which produces energy and agriculture products for industrial customers through a no-waste manufacturing process based entirely on the Croton nut; FuturePump, producers of The Sunflower irrigation pump, which offers smallholder farmers a cheaper, cleaner and more sustainable alternative to costly and polluting petrol or diesel pumps; and Ojay Greene, a startup empowering Kenyan smallholder fruit and vegetable farmers by linking them to profitable urban markets.
The iHub’s Erik Hersmann will be moderating the pitching competition.
The event is one of a range of entrepreneurship-oriented events being hosted by organisations in the lead up to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit which takes place this weekend. The Summit marks the first time the GES will be held in Sub-Saharan Africa, and has garnered significant attention as President Barack Obama will be in attendance – his first trip to Kenya, his paternal homeland, during his presidency.