Over 300 startups, 48 Jury members and 93 presenters grouped in 11 sub-cluster pitches running simultaneously: this was the Entrepreneurship for Impact Challenge (e4i Challenge), one of the greatest events for entrepreneurs in East Africa.
It was organized on the 5th of June 2015 by Tangaza University College (E4impact partner in Nairobi) at iHub center and was a great opportunity to discover and award the best impact start-ups of Kenya.
After the first selection, the 100 final round candidates were clustered in 5 main categories (Agribusiness, ICT & Mobile Tech, Green Economy & Renewable Energy, Health & Business Services) and pitched their business ideas in front of the jury, composed of investors, banks, incubators, business advisory providers, lead entrepreneurs and members of the academia.
Tension, adrenaline, but also vibrant passion for social transformation, viability and innovativeness: this was the atmosphere in the rooms that hosted 4 hours of stimulating un-interrupted pitching.
With great excitement, the jury finally announced the winners:
- The overall winner, and winner of green economy cluster, was Joshua Aghan of Continental Renewable Energy Co, an enterprise that recycles plastic waste into affordable green building materials. He won the Kshs 420,000 full scholarship.
- The 1st runners up, and winner of the ICT cluster, was Jacob Maina with his Africa Track International-Gari Mkononi, a solution for car owners and company fleet vehicle management system. He won the Kshs 210,000 partial scholarship.
- The 2nd runners up, and winner of the health cluster, was Gladys Kalema from Uganda, who has developed a profitable fee based academic accredited study and educational tourism program for Conservation Through Public Health. She won the Kshs 105,000 partial scholarship.
- The winner for the Agribusiness cluster was Martin Kariongi, founder of Orkonenei Maasai Dairy, who has established five milk processing plants in Maasailand of Northern Tanzania.
- The winner for the Business services cluster was Wilson Kibara, from Midrow, who has developed ‘Freefol’, a cold water starch that is now retailing in all Uchumi supermarkets.
- The International Labour Organization (ILO) prize of Kshs 250,000 went to Tony Nyagah founder of Straus Energy, a green energy solutions company established to provide solar solutions to meet the gaping energy deficiency in Africa by their integrated photovoltaics solution.
All five cluster winners received also the Kenic prize composed of free domain registration, free website design, as well as 3 year free hosting.
To commend and give prizes to the winners was H. E Nadav Peldman, the Israeli acting ambassador to Kenya, together with Madam Eunice Kariuki, the Director Partnerships, Innovation and Capacity Development at ICT Authority Kenya and Dr. Beatrice Edel Churu, Tangaza Deputy Principal Academics.
A special thanks goes also to the Standard Group for championing social entrepreneurship in East Africa through its kshs 2 Million plus media to sponsor the e4i Challenge.