GIST Startup competition see Kenyan and Tanzanian APPs voted most innovative

Young, vibrant and brilliant men and women took part in the 7th Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Initiative’s Startup Boot Camp last week.The competition saw Apps developed by Kenyans and Tanzanias take the crown of app innovation in East Africa.  During the two-day Boot Camp in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, May 7-8, more than 150 entrepreneurs collaborated with peers, exchanged ideas with experts, and worked one-on-one with mentors to refine their business plans and develop investor presentations and elevator pitches. All participants are now a part of the international GIST Network.

Meet the winners

First Place: Arnold Minde

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Venture: Safari Yetu

Country: Tanzania

Most Tanzanians and other Africans travel long distances by bus, but booking bus travel is difficult, time-consuming, and inefficient. Safari Yetu has developed a web and mobile-based system for intercity bus ticketing that replaces an inaccurate, inefficient, paper-based booking process. The system uses cloud computing to allow bus operators to manage seat inventories accurately, track sales, and reduce loss. In 2012, Safari Yetu won the StartUp World competition and will be travelling to Silicon Valley with all expenses paid before July 2013 for an international pitch competition.


Second Place: Isaac Urio

Venture: AIM Vault

Country: Tanzania

AIM Vault backs up clients’ data, locally and allows for fast recovery and download of files and data, despite low Internet speeds in Africa.

Third Place: Stefano Carcoforo, Mohamed Gharib Mazrui

Venture: iProcure

Country: Kenya

iProcure is an e-procurement system for organizations of all sizes operating in East Africa to find, research, compare and procure goods and services from verified and trusted small and medium enterprise vendors operating in: agriculture, construction, office supplies, information technology and health/medical supplies. Businesses can quickly and effectively tender, request quotes, monitor supplier performance and, most importantly, source commodities from a database of vetted suppliers.

Best Female Entrepreneur

Best Female Entrepreneur: Catherine Kiguru

Venture: Ukall Limited

Country: Kenya

Ukall Limited is a boutique IT and communications startup which develops and delivers specialized products and services tailored to clients’ individual requirements. Ukall Limited’s flagship product is Upay – an integrated management information system with human resources, payroll, inventory, attendance, and client relations manager components. It has a mobile application for real time attendance confirmation complete with location mapping and facial recognition verification called Ukatte. Ukatte can be used for both local and remote sites and allows direct linkage into a payroll database to ensure accurate wage payments. Ukatte is available in two versions — Android and Mobile Web.

Unfortunately Uganda never managed to scope at the top three, but it was however  represented by tech companies like Code vision Limited , and company’s visionary Charles Muhindo show cased his educative app called Brain share. Brain Share is aimed at ensuring Uganda’s education questionnaires are availed to all students in candidate classes to ensure they excel in their exams.