Think Rwanda, Millicom’s Tigo backed tech startup incubator in Kigali, was established in early 2014 to support tech startups that are poised to create digital solutions for Africa.
“Rwanda is a great place to do business. We know it has some extraordinary local talent whose skills and ingenuity we want to support. We are looking to driving the digital revolution with talented youth in all our Tigo operations in Africa,” said Hans-Holger Albrecht, CEO of Millicom Celular, at the launch of the Think Rwanda incubator.
10 startups were competing, and the below four made it to the final.
Beliaa is a mobile car mechanic platform based out of Cairo, Egypt. Founded in 2012 by Amgad Morgan, it got a patent from the IPR office. It aims to prevent the streets of Cairo from traffic jams that are caused when a car breaks down. The platform is integrated with General Department for Traffic in order to generate legitimate authentic traffic updates, and it sends the exact location of the incident to the nearest selected service and rescue centers.
When a car breaks down or is involved in an accident in the middle of the road, people often try to call their friends and family on their phone. Now, there is Beliaa app for that. The app can rescue people at the accident site by providing on-demand and on-time support. The application picks from the GPS users’ exact location and connects it to the nearest road assistant centers (automobile maintenance). It also assists drives to schedule their car maintenance easily in a minute’s time. Beliaa’s users will get discount rate that ranges from 10-15% with authorized car workshops.
Cribpark is an emerging real-estate marketplace based out of Lagos, Nigeria. Founded in 2014 by Dare O. Pius and Oaldapo Ayo, Clibpark aims to be one-stop shop for all housing needs.
Their quest was to provide an average person a platform for local housing content, and a community around that content where professionals in the space will give valuable tips and lessons. It finally brings the commerce of housing products and services around content & community; from products furniture, home appliances to services such as plumbers, painters and house movers.
Usually local content is a problem in most of the frontier markets. Cribpark seems to be solving the problem in their niche market.
PollAfrique is a research platform being built for Africa based out of Accra, Ghana. Founded in 2014 by Samuel Dzidzornu alma matter of Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (M.E.S.T.).
PollAfrique allows researchers to target the right audience for the intended research via SMS, Web interface, USSD and IVR. The platform offers a stress-free surveying experience for market researchers by streamlining the challenging processes involved while saving them time and money spent on traditional methods.
What make PollAfrique unique are the speedy response rate and an access to tap in to a wide pool of respondents conveniently. It allows researchers to reach ultra focused targets based on parameter filtering tool that helps to identify unique respondent group suitable for any survey. Respondents are incentivized via airtime or mobile money, thus enchaining participants’ pool in market surveys with minimized statistical noise.
TorQue is a channel management SaaS for telecos and FMCG distributors being built out of Kigali Rwanda. Founded by Jean Niyotwagira in November 2014, it has been incubated in kLab. The startup is experiencing traction with telecommunication and big beverage distributors and poised for hockey stick growth locally and eventually across East Africa.
For businesses it is vital not to hoard so much of unnecessary inventory that doesn’t meet a current demand. That is where TorQue comes in; it minimizes inventory investment while balancing it with having just-enough-inventories to meet the demand. The platform helps SMEs to run like well oiled engine by enabling them to track sales transaction in real time, thus reducing in fraud at various touch points. Another valuable advantage TorQue provides to SMEs is instant reports that help them forecast their sales. Distributors of Airtel Rwanda and MTN are among TorQue clients.
These four selected teams will be cohorts of Think.rw for a six-month accelerator program that is beginning in Kigali, Rwanda, in early November 2014. The trend is very encouraging for the local scene.