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PIVOT East

PIVOT East is Africa’s biggest startups competition and conference held annually since 2011. The competition comprises of a series of activities that will culminate in the finalists conference which will be held on 15th November 2016. The conference is organized by m:lab East Africa an initiative of the iHub.

PIVOT East  aims to catalyse the growth of startups, so as to amplify and consolidate the gains of East Africa’s digital entrepreneurship ecosystem.  The key objective for this year’s event is “to facilitate discovery of the next wave of high potential startups in the region”.

Tech startups from across the region that meet the requirement can start applying for the competition

Applications to compete will be entered as detailed startup profiles which describe the customer pain, the startups solution, revenue streams, team composition and commitment, market traction, short-term projections and milestones among other aspects.  The overall startup profile will be used by the competition judges who will mostly be investors to score the potential of the startup to become a sustainable high growth enterprise.

The competition has five categories which are; Finance, Enterprise, Entertainment, Utilities and Society and Governance. Each category will feature five finalists who will pitch to an audience of Investors, Development Partners, Government Representatives, Telecom Operators and other key stakeholders from East Africa. The 25 finalists will receive training and coaching on how to pitch to investors.

Competition Categories for PIVOT East
Finance Category
Mobile innovations have changed the way we handle our money especially how enterprises and individuals access and consume financial services. Innovative ways of delivering services such as money transfer, banking, commercial transactions, insurance and payment systems are bound to improve the efficacy of our financial services. Applications and services submitted in this category should target to improve service accessibility, efficiency and effectiveness of the financial sector in East Africa and beyond.

Enterprise Category
Efficiency is essential in keeping large and small enterprises afloat. Management of human and capital resources, the value chain, marketing, production processes, customers and other aspects of the modern day business require constant innovation as an imperative to remain competitive. Such innovations will support achievement of objectives among businesses such as to maximize revenues and profits, and to remain relevant in the market place. Applications and services submitted in this category should ideally offer technological opportunities to large and small enterprises in process innovation that leads to efficient management of their resources.
Entertainment Category
Life can be hectic and everybody needs entertainment. It refreshes your mind and helps to change your moods and raise energy levels as personally desired. The value of entertainment in our lives cannot be understated. Technology has influenced our awareness and choice of entertainment methods. This is most profoundly illustrated by the many options for gaming, music and videos available in the mobile and online market place. Accessibility of entertainment has also improved in recent times with the ubiquity of mobile devices. Applications and services submitted in this category should provide innovative ways of delivering entertainment value to the increasingly sophisticated populations of East Africa and beyond.

Social Impact and Governance Category
People in East Africa continue to embrace the mobile phone as an essential tool for day-to-day chores. Indeed, possibilities for delivery of important services such as health-care, education, and governance increase with adoption of technology. The effect of this is amplified in geographical areas traditionally deprived of modern infrastructure. Moreover, activities such as farming, livestock rearing, and other economically productive activities among individuals can receive a boost with mobile technologies and solutions being the game changing enablers. Development of public data access platforms such as the open government data initiatives in various countries and the World Bank’s data portal further present opportunities for information service innovation. The society in general is thus bound to expect more services delivered seamlessly in the course of people’s mobility. Applications and services submitted in this category should therefore, present new socially and economically relevant ways of improving livelihoods and productivity for people in East Africa and beyond.

Utilities Category
With the mobile phone increasingly becoming the primary device for communication, computing and information storage, innovations are required to enrich and reinforce the device’s usefulness. Mobile software and hardware technologies present technology entrepreneurs with the opportunity to develop services such as mobile data backup services, energy saving and resource optimization. Other utility services such as interfacing mobile technologies with existing electronic equipment including televisions, vehicles and other utilities amplify the usability and versatility of mobile phone technology. Applications and services in this category should aim to reinforce the usability and versatility of mobile devices. This category may also be used as a “catch all” basket to submit applications and services that do not easily fit into the other four competition categories.

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