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Strathmore hosts tech startup competition for programmers

About 150 programmers, software developers and techpreneurs are expected to participate in this year’s Startup Weekend Nairobi. Ilab Africa research centre and Ibiz Africa incubation centre have organised the event which will be held at Strathmore University this weekend.


In an interview with the Business Daily, Ms Evelyn Mwangi, one of the event’s organisers, said they were seeking to nurture new innovative ideas among both students and programming professionals.

“We are targeting a variety of people who not only have ideas but have the will to see their vision transform into a business opportunity with a little guidance and mentorship,” said Ms Mwangi.

The event is also expected to attract investors and venture capitalists seeking to partner with startups that will have emerged by the end of the week.


“Unlike last year’s event, we want to be in constant communication with not just winners but all the startups that will have come out of the 54-hour challenge. It is not a hackathon, where programmers and developers compete for prizes, it is wholesome mentorship all through,” she said.

The software programmer, who works with M-survey, said that the platform would provide an opportunity for improving the quality of products as well as enabling the young to form business partnerships.


Each participant will pay Sh1,500 registration fee while those seeking to attend the Sunday sessions will pay an entry fee of Sh500. Ibiz Africa manager John Matogo said that mentors will encourage the teams and validate their ideas and products.


“We will listen to the ideas, critic the sustainability of the business models and help to ensure that better quality products are able to reach the market,” he said. On Friday evening, the innovators will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas and form groups in order to make their startups more viable by the end of the weekend. Mentors will help teams with the technical aspects of their projects before final presentations are made to a panel of judges.


The two winning teams will participate in the global challenge. In addition, the winning team will receive Sh1.7 million ($20,000) to fund their startup, a trip to the Google headquarters and an opportunity to interact with global entrepreneurs. The second team will bag Sh864,500.

The top five teams will also be incubated at Ilab for a period of three months in order to firm their business models.


Startup Weekend is a US based NGO which has organised over 500 startup events in 120 cities around the world through local partnerships.

Google and Coca-Cola are among sponsors of the events.


Sandra Chao, schao@ke.nationmedia.com


Source, Business Daily