Safaricom yesterday announced the winners of the 3rd edition of the Safaricom Appwiz Challenge which kicked off in July and saw 13 finalists selected to join a three month incubation programme that began in September. The winners are as follows;
They emerged the overall winner of the challenge and walked away with the 1.5 million grant. Lynk is a mobile solution that provides a platform for people in the informal sector to meet potential employers and seek employment opportunities.
It is a creation of Adam Grunewald, Erick Obiero and Sharon Macharia. It aims to provide an easy, affordable and reliable solution that will connect thousands of informal sector workers to people in need of on demand services ranging from plumbing and electrical work to gardening, painting and car repair.
They took the 1st runners-up position and took home Kshs.1 million. Hisa Play is a solution that simulates trading in the stock exchange and equips users with skills to invest by using a system-generated virtual currency to mimic the workings of the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
They took the 3rd place and walked away with Kshs.500, 000. It is an innovative solution that helps farmers reduce wastage of their harvest and track their income.
According to Joseph Ogutu, Safaricom’s Director of Innovation and Strategy, the competition has grown significantly since the launch in 2013 and this year innovators presented an even more refined set of ideas to the panel of judges, coaches and mentors.
Victor Kyalo, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of ICT had this to say “This competition clearly demonstrates the fact that Kenya has a wealth of creativity and the ability to develop relevant, home grown technological solutions to our challenges and needs,” This initiative by Safaricom is proof that partnership and co-creation can spur Kenya’s growth in ICT by connecting young innovators to the business community and consumers, thereby supporting innovation and creating employment,” he added.
This year’s edition of the Safaricom Appwiz Challenge attracted over 320 applications in four categories including customer engagement solutions, Safaricom product excellence solutions, mobile convenience and out of the box solutions.
The 13 finalists benefitted from the guidance of coaches and mentors drawn from various ICT based backgrounds. Winners were selected based on the sustainability of their business, creativity and ability to scale up. The winners will receive the amounts in form of grants towards growing their start-ups with funds dispersed upon milestone agreements with their mentors and coaches.