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PIVOT East 2015 Semi-finalists Announced - Two of our Resident Startups Qualify

Cross posted from Pivot East Blog post

PIVOT East, a startups competition geared towards nurturing the growing ICT talent in East Africa, has unveiled semifinalist for this year’s competition.

Two of our resident startups at Outbox Zaala and TrendingshoW applied and have all qualified in the Entertainment category as officially announced. These two are among our latest addition to the startups at Outbox benefiting from our mentorship.

Zaala is a mobile game that allows users to pick a number from 1-3 inclusive for a chance to win money and lots of prizes at any time.

TrendingshoW is a mobile app for individuals to directly connect to their TV shows by giving users program lineups of any local TV station. It has features such as making favorites, commenting on the episodes watched, setting reminders, rating programs based on content and quality of the shows as well as getting real time feedback from the TV stations. 

The competition opened the call for applications in April 2015 with startups from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia applying through an online portal (startups.pivoteast.com. This year also saw startups from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Burundi and Israel applying to join the competition.

The criteria used by the judges helped to evaluate the startups’ purported customer pain, opportunity and customer segments, the solution and its fit to the problem, the revenue model, and analysis of the competitive landscape. Other selection criteria items helped to evaluate the calibre of the team and the startups’ focus to grow into sustainable enterprises. These included the team composition and commitment, current market traction, and projections for milestones and key metrics.

PIVOT East aims at facilitate discovery and nurturing of the next wave of high potential mobile innovations into sustainable businesses. It is more than a competition – its a holistic platform for mobile startups organizational development and business model refinement. The competition is organised by m:lab East Africa – a consortium comprising iHub, eMobilis and University of Nairobi. This year’s finalists conference will be held on the 22nd July in Nairobi, Kenya. The venue will be communicated at a later date.

The competition, in it’s fifth edition this year, will have some significant changes in the structure and the focus of the event. When PIVOT started in 2011, it was an app developer competition. It has since grown to a startups pitching event, with an aim of exposing East Africa startups to Investors, corporates, researcher, development agency and the public. The event also provides startups with a platform to meet, share and network with fellow East Africa entrepreneurs.

The event’s prize money structure has evolved over the years from grants, to grant and investment. This year the competition will emphasize for competitors to persuade active investors to provide funding.

A big thank you to our judges who took time out of their busy schedule to evaluate the startups. Now without further ado, HERE are the semifinalists of PIVOT East 2015. Congratulations to all the semifinalist.


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