25 startups made it as finalists at PIVOT East 2014 pitch competition
PIVOT East competition aims to facilitate discovery and nurturing of the next wave of high potential mobile innovations into sustainable business. It aims to ensure that mobile innovations are high in the agenda of governments, corporate, regional and development agencies for amplified impact and to raise the quality of mobile startups in the region.
PIVOT East competition has now announced 25 finalist startups from the shortlisted 50 semifinalists announced three weeks ago. YourStory is a media partner of the East Africa event.
Out of the 25 startups that made it to the finals, 18 are from Kenya, 5 are from Uganda; Tanzania and Ethiopia are represented in the list by one startup each.
For each category, a 6th best startup has been placed in a waiting list and may pitch at the conference if a finalist in the category drops out for any reason. Startups in the waiting list are: Somo (Society), ParcelSolution (Utilities), Epic (Entertainment), RTSOP (Enterprise) and FarmDrive (Finance).
The criteria used by the panelists helped to evaluate the startups’ purported customer pain, opportunity and customer segments, the solution and its fit to the problem, the revenue model, and analysis of the competitive landscape. These included the team composition and commitment, current market traction, and projections for milestones and key metrics. Pitch videos and demo videos were also evaluated for seriousness and drive among the founders.
25 exceptional mobile startups from across the region will compete to win market recognition and investor interest during the PIVOT East 2014 pitching conference which will be held on 24th – 25th June in Nairobi Kenya.
The startups which have made it to the finals are:
● Finance category: Valuraha, Chamasoft and Chura from Kenya and Beyonic and Ensibuuko from Uganda.
● Enterprise category: Thinvoid (Uganda), Online Hisab (Ethiopia), Buymore, ASim Mobile and Offers Africa from Kenya.
● Entertainment category: Safari Tales, Muva Studios, Momentum Core and MapJam from Kenya and Ubongo from Tanzanai
● Utilities category: Maramoja Transport, Gari Sms, Mavazi, Sendy and Mafundi from Kenya.
● Society category: SokoNect, Totohealth, SokoText from Kenya and Zapmedic and Moquestions from Uganda.
Speaking about the finalists, Chase Bank Head of Brand and Corporate Affairs
Magdalene Mulandi, said: “Chase Bank is pleased be part of this innovative initiative. As the gold sponsors of the competition, we are happy to see the contestants present innovative and creative ideas that could transform the socio-economic development of the East African region. Chase Bank lauds the startups that made it to finals and we hope to walk with them as they pursue their dreams of being tech entrepreneurs.”
Investors who formed the finalist selection panels were from among venture capital firms, angel investors and impact investors. Some of the venture capital funds involved include Savannah Fund, TBL Mirror Fund, Beyond Capital Fund, TLcom Capital LLP, and Village Capital. Other venture capital funds involved were Gray Ghost Ventures, Grameen Foundation Pioneer Fund, ACCION’s Venture Labs, the Mara Ad-Venture Fund, and Invested Development.
The individual angel investors were from thriving startup ecosystems such as Silicon Valley, Berlin, London and Singapore.
Finalists of the competition will receive training, coaching and mentorship in the weeks to come before the pitching conference. These pre-conference activities assist the finalists to improve key elements of their business models and the positioning of their startups to the rich audience at the conference.
Startups in the waiting list and the other semifinalists who did not make it to the finals will also benefit from the training, coaching and mentoring given to the finalists.