Six mobile app innovators are eyeing over US$12000 in start-up capital after making it to the top of the Hive Accelerator Uganda competition.
Initiated by Hive Colab in partnership with Village Capital and Argudius Foundation in addition to local partners namely Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Opportunity Bank, Airtel Uganda among others, the competition saw participants; The Lesson, Echolink, Ibabaza Ltd, Global Health Rescue, Garage Yo! and Izere Education outcompete 96 contestants.
The competition started in October 2021 with a call for applications and 100 companies responded. This was followed by Paper-based vetting during which 50 qualified for the next stage of the competition which was still paper-based and then the second-last stage which was held on March 30th, 2022.
“This program seeks to support Startup companies through custom-made, bespoke approach for each of the businesses selected into the program, particularly those in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. We help them shape their business models and value proposition to gain market traction, find unique solutions that address Ugandan challenges, become profitable and grow their business,” Jeffrey Luboga, Programs Manager Hive Colab told journalists at the sidelines of the event at Kanjokya House in Kamwokya – Kampala.
He said the six companies which made it to the finals were subjected to physical and online peach assessment by external judges from Uganda Corporates, Village Capital, and angel network.
During the two-hour presentation, each representative of the six companies was given an opportunity to present to a panel of eight judges the uniqueness in his/her innovation, sustainability and the resource needed to fully develop it.
Two of the six finalists; the Lesson and Izere Education are offering innovation in the education sector while others like; Garage Yo! were into finding solutions to problems like finding effective car garage/spare parts, Global health rescue is into helping patients and caregivers access medical personnel in real time, echolink aims to ease access to casual laborers and Ibabaza Ltd offers IT solutions to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to enable them eliminate costs.
Hive Colab Executive Director Barbara Birungi Mutabazi (L) critiquing one of the contestants.
Shamim Nirere (Izerere Education), a teacher by profession, said she co-shares the profits of her innovation with the teachers who interact with her platform to provide materials to learners.
The Lesson representative revealed how they have recorded lessons from experienced teachers breaking down the content from Primary three to senior six.
He said his app follows topics/lessons as provided by the National Curriculum Development Center (NCDC).
“If a student has been in class and has not understood, he/she can pay Shs1000/=, log into the app and listen to the entire lesson online,” he said.
Tyrel M. Wanono of Garage Yo! said his app offers a whole range of garage services with accompanying prices from which one can pick once their car gets a mechanical fault.
Cholink’s C.E.O Alawi Mutebi who also trained in mechanics said they have a good range of service providers from plumbers, electricians, welders, carpenters, tailors, Phone, radio and TV mechanics whom a client can get access through their app.
Hive Colab Executive Director Barbara Birungi Mutabazi, who was also a co-judge, noted that only two of the best companies will win the grand prize.
The other judges were; Joseph Nsibambi from Opportunity Bank, Innocent Kawooya from Hipipo, Amanya Atuhaire from Roke Telkom, Mark Mutaahi from Bid Capital and Barry Wojega, an SME Consultant.
There were special guests from Airtel Uganda and Uganda Investment Authority.
The contestants will take on each other in the next two weeks and the winners will be announced thereafter.