From the blog

5th E4Impact Innovation Challenge in Kenya

E4Impact Foundation, Tangaza University College, ALTIS – Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and The Standard Newspaper run the 5th Edition of the Innovation Challenge of the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship on the 24th of September 2016 at Tangaza University College (Nairobi).

The 59 entrepreneurs of the 5th edition of the MBA, after an intense Final Boot Camp refined a full-fledged business plan and prepared their pitches for investors, with the aim to rise investments and start or scale up their businesses. The students were divided according to their business cluster: Agri-business, ICT & Mobile Tech, Education & Training, Green Economy & Renewable Energy and Business Services.

The Innovation Challenge this year has been supported by Leonardo-Finmeccanica, a global high-tech company and one of the key players in the Aerospace, Defence and Security sectors. In line with its business, Leonardo contributes to the development of a scientific, innovative and technological culture, providing grants for those studying science to support the training of the technicians and engineers of the future. Leonardo invests in communities with a focus on the needs of future generations, in the belief that investing in culture is key to creating corporate citizenship and contributing to the development of society.

The overall winner of the Challenge was Tony Nyagah, Co-Founder and CEO of Strauss Energy, a Kenyan enterprise that sells electricity to homeowners and organizations at more than 25% cheaper than the national grid. The power is generated from the innovative BIPV Stima solar roofing tiles that the company produces and sells at 25% cheaper than what the market is offering traditionally. Furthermore, Strauss Energy uses Compressed Air Technology to store the energy for usage during intermittence and at night as composed to traditional batteries. Strauss has signed deal of more than 667 houses this year and on track to deliver 11,500 more houses in 2017.

Tony was the winner also of the Green Economy and Renewable energy cluster.

Other winners of the E4Impact Challenge are:

  • Jacob Rugano, winner of the ICT & mobile cluster. He is the founder of The AfricarTrack Company, which produce a user friendly vehicle location system. The system has been fitted with interesting features that include a drug sensor, which can send notifications to the car owner, police and other administrative personnel in case the driver is under influence of drugs. AfricarTrack has been in operation for over a year now. It has so far gained a lot of traction and recognition across East Africa. It is the winner of COMESA Innovation Award, 2014/2015, African Achievers Awards 2015, African Brightest Young Minds Summit, Entrepreneurship for Impact East Africa and the next Big Thing Award.
  • Sally Kimotho – Sawaya, winner of the Agribusiness Cluster with her Meru Herbs Kenya. It grows, processes and exports high quality organically certified Herbal teas & Jams through Fair Trade channels. The products have no additives, colorants or preservatives. Meru Herbs has moved from providing subsistence to providing a cash crop to processing and producing quality gourmet products for export around the world. The aim is to improve the quality of life for the farmers and their families. Since the year 1991 when it was founded, Meru herbs has expanded its markets both locally and internationally. Currently 90 per cent of its produce is exported to Europe and Japan and 10 per cent is sold to the local market.
  • Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, winner of the Education & Training cluster with the Gorilla Conservation Camp. It is a for profit social enterprise of Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) based in Uganda, a 13 year old award winning NGO that improves the quality of life of people and animals in and around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. CTPH established the Gorilla Conservation Camp in 2008 and is currently in the process of converting it to a for profit social business to create a hybrid. The ecofriendly lodge with stunning panoramic views of the forest provides a base for tourists and students wishing to travel and study with a cause, where they can track critically endangered mountain gorillas while gaining knowledge and skills in One Health and sustainable development. This in turn enables global awareness, research, and sustainable financing for CTPH’s community health and wildlife conservation programs.
  • Emmah Ngigi, winner of the Business Service cluster thanks to Linic Enterprises Ltd, a hospitality and housekeeping service provider that specializes in hospitality consultancy and cleaning services. Founded in 2004 and incorporated in 2011, Linic Enterprise Limited has grown in leaps and bounds. Some of the clientele they serve include The Serena group of hotels, Equity Bank, Gertrude children Hospital (satellite clinics), Savannah Cements and Laborex among others.

E4Impact Innovation Challenge was graced by Archbishop Charles Daniel Balvo, Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan accompanied by Fr Celestino Bundi, Pontifical Missionary Societies (PMS) National Director.

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