AfricArena Tour: Nairobi Highlights
The Tour is off to an awesome start!
Nairobi was the first destination (out of 12) of the AfricArena Tour 2019. The Kenyan capital has established itself as a major ecosystem for startups and a cradle of technological innovation in the region – standing alongside major cities in South Africa and Nigeria. Just like California’s Silicon Valley, much of Kenya’s homegrown innovations are taking place inside small tech communities and social groups – collectively known as “Silicon Savannah”.
The event, which took place on April 30th, brought together an enthusiastic crowd of 80+ people at Mettā Nairobi. Preceding the main event, the startup pitches, was a panel discussion on the ecosystem in Kenya and how it fits into the broader African tech ecosystem.
The insightful and engaging discussion included the following panelists:
Niraj Varia. Investor. Partner at Novastar Ventures.
Benjamin Singh. Investor. Partner at Push Ventures.
Richard Okenya. Entrepreneur. Co-founder of MedBit.
Fiona Kiruja. Ecosystem expert. Community Associate at MEST.
Brenda Wangari (Moderator). Program Associate at Village Capital.
The Nairobi startup pitch event attracted the top 7 tech-based Kenyan startups that are breaking ground in their own unique ways.
Afya-Plan is on a mission to “finance tomorrow’s health”. It is an e-health startup that provides a platform to help micro-savings groups pool resources to be able to afford health care services. This is a savings platform that helps you prepare for future health care expenses by collectively saving to a dedicated health account.
Ainves is the next generation online marketplace solution that creates a collaborative economy by enabling financial benefits to all the users. They assert that their solution is the first blockchain based peer-to-peer online marketplace that enables users to sell, buy or invest in products on the same platform, providing financial returns in real time.
CloudpXP is on a mission to help create more happy moments by linking up people with the experiences they want and need on the go. It is a platform that gathers the best activities across Africa, all in one place.
Eco Makaa (www.ecomakaa.weebly.com)
With a mission to reduce heavy reliance on wood fuel, Eco Makaa provides an e-commerce platform that connects local fuel briquette producers to a client base. Eco Makka recruits producers who then make uniform briquettes under its brand name. The briquettes are collected and supplied as per e-commerce orders, and the producers earn 55% of all sales. Eco Makaa briquettes are a sustainable, carbon-neutral alternative to charcoal. 120kg of Eco Makaa sold saves 1 tree.
Elikham Systems (www.elikhamsystems.co.ke)
Elikham Systems is on a mission to utilize modern technology for a safer and cleaner environment. They offer reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly biological onsite domestic wastewater treatment and recycling systems. As a result of the work they do, their clients are able to safely gain from wastewater to meet their water needs, enjoy and responsibly contribute to a safe and clean environment.
FarmIT looks to improve livelihoods through agri-tech services. FarmIT provides agronomic support, market linkages and e-commerce to farmers using ICT led solutions to enhance productivity and improve livelihoods.
About 1.5 billion people worldwide do not have an official proof of identity. For this reason, they lack access to basic services like insurance, loans or mobile communication. Gravity’s mission is to allow anyone to create a secure, self-sovereign digital ID based on personal data. On the fly, using any mobile phone on the market, no matter the telecom operator or type of phone.
The 2 founders (from Nairobi) were frustrated that they couldn’t find fun activities in their area. Not that there wasn’t anything to do, but rather, no online platforms that aggregates “fun activities” in the area. Cloud9XP is steadily building Africa’s largest curated marketplace for leisure experiences, and AfricArena looks forward to welcoming Cloud9XP to Cape Town in November at the grand stage of the AfricArena Summit.