Sniper Team: Priscilla Wambui, Laura Ayushi, Victoria Kanan, Gladys Wairimu and Harriet Karanja
Five students from Precious Blood High School in Nairobi have are finalists in the Technovation Challenge 2016, a global technology and entrepreneurship competition that will take place in San Francisco, California today.
The five students, Priscilla Wambui, Laura Ayushi, Victoria Kanan, Gladys Wairimu and Harriet Karanja, call themselves the Sniper team. They will present their innovation which is a bus booking app called M-Safiri. It seeks to offer a practical tech solution to the country’s mass transport sector.
The app was developed through the App Challenge, which is an initiative of Safaricom Women In Technology (WIT). WIT mentors students and also introduces them to the basics of coding, user-interface design, market research, and entrepreneurship and presentation skills. The girls taking part in the initiative work in teams to develop mobile apps, conduct market research, write business plans, and create a “pitch” for funding for these apps that are aimed at solving local community problems. Each team is supported by an advisor, often a computer instructor from their school and a female role model from the technology industry.
The Precious Blood students were coached by Daisy Ndung’u, a student at Multimedia University and mentored by Anne Cheboi, Josephine Kamanthe and Emily Jematia Bett from Safaricom.
Finalists of the Technovation Challenge stands a chance to win $10,000 for further development and marketing of the app.
Last year’s winners, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Secondary School from Mombasa, made it to the semi-finals in the global competition. Their mobile application – Gold in Garbage – teaches users how to recycle garbage, make money from recycling and links users to bodies interested in recycling.