Kenyan startups lead the way when it comes to finalists of the returning PIVOT East competition, which takes place in Nairobi tomorrow (June 27).
PIVOT East, organised by iHub, had been held annually since 2011 until it was abruptly postponed just days after selecting 25 startups from across the East African region to take part in its 2016 edition.
This unexplained cancellation then saw Pivot East disappear from the events calendar for 2017 and 2018, but it is now returning for a sixth edition, with iHub saying it had refined the programme to ensure maximum value for entrepreneurs, investors and partners.
Fifty semi-finalists were announced recently, with that list now whittled down to the 25 startups that will pitch at the event. Kenya dominates, with 16 finalists, while seven are from Tanzania and two from Uganda.
The Finance category is comprised of WorkPay (Kenya), SokoHela (Kenya), Engage & Prosper (Kenya), Mobishule (Kenya) and A-Trader (Tanzania), while FarmIT (Kenya), Kodisher (Kenya), Enfinite Solutions (Kenya), Mazimba (Tanzania) and Vipimo (Tanzania) make up the Enterprise category.
In Entertainment, Cloud9xp (Kenya), Klurdy Solutions (Kenya), UG Tickets (Uganda), Pingle (Kenya) and Smoke Advertising (Kenya) will pitch, while the Utilities category features Sheria Kiganjani (Tanzania), iCare (Tanzania), At Hause (Uganda), Coinbox (Kenya) and Calm Wildness (Kenya).
In the Social Impact category, the competing startups are Savanna Circuit (Kenya), Toolboksi (Tanzania), Eco Makaa (Kenya), Kilimofresh (Tanzania) and Afyakit (Kenya). For each category, a sixth best startup has been placed on a waiting list and may pitch at the conference if a finalist drops out for any reason. These startups are Denkim Insurance, FreshBox Rwanda, Tetch Astro Systems, Be Afrika Media, and WeDeliver.