The annual initiative brought to us by m:lab for the fourth time, Pivot East, is a mobile startup pitching competition and conference focusing on East Africa’s mobile developer and entrepreneurship scene. The six month annual programme is hailed for its success of last year’s event held in Kampala, Uganda and has recently announced it will be taking place 24 to 25 June 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya.
As mentioned on the site, planning for Pivot East 2014 has already started and it will follow the same format as the previous year. This includes applicants from throughout East Africa going through a selection process culminating in 25 finalists pitching at the competition held in Nairobi Kenya.
Apart from the keynote speeches, the most exciting part of Pivot East is the startup pitches of course. Last year five startups were chosen for each of the five mobile categories which included Finance, Enterprise, Society, Entertainment, and Utilities.
The winning startups of Pivot East 2013 each walked away with a US$10 000 grant and they include:
SleepOut is a Kenya-based accommodation marketplace and pitched an SMS-driven booking process that connects both commercial and peer-to-peer hosts with guests and agents. SleepOut is part of m:lab’s 2013 incubation programme.
Kytabu demonstrated it’s textbook subscription app for android tablets for students that’s meant to drastically reduce the cost of buying textbooks.
Also part of the m:lab incubation progreamme, Ma3Route is a mobile platform that helps people find their destinations easily and quickly. By using crowdsourced information, Ma3Route helps citizens share/access info about transport and current traffic conditions for a city.
Developer and publisher of Social Mobile games for the web, smartphone and tablet devices Kola Studios won the mobile entertainment category. The startup pitched the popular Ugandan game played with cards on Android and Facebook.
Go Finance works to bring a range of financial solutions closer to underserved small businesses and people at the base of the pyramid by using technology by leveraging business value chains and technology.