Thirteen start-ups have been shortlisted to proceed to the incubation phase of the Safaricom Appwiz Challenge, following an interview session held at Strathmore University last week. During the session a preliminary judging panel reviewed 30 solutions across the four categories of the Challenge, narrowing down to those that showed the most promise to grow into sustainable technology start-ups.
The shortlisted start-ups presented solutions majorly within the Mobile Convenience and Customer Engagement Solutions categories. The start-ups will now proceed to the 3-month incubation phase that commenced on 7th September 2015, during which team members will be trained and mentored in business development and entrepreneurship by a diverse group of industry experts and coaches.
“We are happy with the quality of submissions we received this year and have subjected each to a thorough review before selecting the 13,” said Joe Ogutu, Safaricom’s Director of Strategy and Innovation.
“The amount of creativity we have seen is inspiring. This year’s candidates showcased unique and innovative solutions leveraging on Machine to Machine technology, mobile data, SMS and USSD for customer engagement, so we look forward to seeing the outcome of the incubation phase when we have the final judging session in November.”
The participants were shortlisted based on their ability to articulate issues to do with business opportunities, challenges and ways of addressing market needs through their solutions. The shortlist comes shortly after close to 320 participants submitted their entries during the one month submission period in the month of July to August.
The 2015 edition of the 3-month developer challenge was launched on 20th July, giving applicants a month to submit their ideas to any one of four categories including: Customer Engagement Solutions, Safaricom Product Excellence Solutions, Mobile Convenience and Out of the Box Solutions.
The Safaricom Appwiz Challenge Grand Winner will receive a cash grant of Ksh1.5 million, while the 1st Runner-up and 2nd Runner up will receive Kshs.1million and Kshs. 500,000 respectively.