Outbox alumni M-SCAN has emerged winner of the 2018 TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa, a just concluded tight race of 15 startups held in Lagos, Nigeria. The team walked away with a equity free cash prize of $25,000, a trip or for two to TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco and the title of “Africa’s Favorite Startup.” Mscan is a recent graduate of Up Accelerate, a social innovation incubator initiative of UNFPA supporting innovations in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and Gender Based Violence.
M-Scan, (short for Mobile Scan Solutions) is a low-cost portable mobile ultrasound device compatible to laptops, tablets and mobile phones; seeking to bring ultrasound services closer to hard to reach areas in Uganda.
Phyllis Kyomuhendo, a member of M-Scan says this prize will go along way in helping M-Scan speed up their go-to market stage and enable them reach more women in hard to reach areas in Uganda.
“Come February 2019, M-Scan will be able to reach all mothers regardless of their geographical location,” she says.
According to Innocent Menyo of M-Scan who delivered the winning pitch, he first heard about TechCrunch Startup Battlefield last year (2017), which was the first edition of the Startup Battlefield. However, the application was not successful and M-Scan Was not invited to participate in the pitch.
“For me and the entire team at M-Scan, we were very excited to know that we had qualified to participate at Tech Crunch StartUp Battlefield in Lagos, Nigeria. Being on the Tech Crunch stage in itself is humbling because TC attracts the best Tech based innovations around,” he says.
Innocent says this victory means more partners, more funding opportunities with affiliates of Tech Crunch and more technical support from Tech Crunch.
“Our next plans from our strategic plan is to hit the market. We already have established a distributorship model in Kenya where we shall be selling our devices through an already identified distributor,” Says Innocent.
This is a series of victories for Mscan after emerging winner of the first edition of Up Accelerate, a programme run by Outbox in partnership with the United Nations Population und (UNFPA) seeking to support young people with breakthrough innovations addressing challenges of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. M-Scan was also overall winner of the Young Achievers Awards 2018; awards by Reach A Hand Uganda which recognize young entrepreneurs in Uganda.
The other startups which took part in the 2018 TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa include;
Bettr (runners up); a startup offering a virtual banking experience powered by a smartphone and data to make banking services more accessible for people currently unbanked in Southern Africa.
Apollo Agriculture: a startup which leverages advances in machine learning, remote imaging via satellite and mobile money to deliver input finance and agronomic advice to smallholder farmers with radical efficiency and scalability.
Sudpay; an integrated, multi-support, multi-service and multi-operator digital tax collection platform that connects merchants to financial institutions.
LabTech; a urine testing hardware and software solution designed to speed up the diagnosis of Uterine Tract Infections (UTIs).
Complete Farmer; a “crowdfarming” platform that enables users to invest in sustainable farms and monitor farming activities without discarding their daily routine using data-driven cultivation protocols and IoT-enabled precision farming.
FoodHubs; a startup using mobile solar-powered cold carts and cold rooms to help smallholder farmers store their produce, so as to avoid post-harvest losses.
Honey Flow Africa; a company optimizing beekeeping operations by digitizing and bringing the power of IoT to the beekeeping process to improve honey production, processing and predictability.
Agripredict; a startup providing farmers with tools that equip them with information that will improve predicting disease, pest infestations and extreme weather conditions.
MAX; a company transforms moto-taxi mobility in Africa using mobile apps, inclusive data-driven asset-finance and a comprehensive driver on-boarding program that uses machine learning and psychometric tests to profile drivers and create credit scores for them. MAX enables financial inclusion for drivers, prioritizes safety and uses IoT technology to track all drivers in real time.
CodeLn; An end-to-end technical recruitment platform that automates the entire recruitment process, making it fast and easy for companies to find and test Software Developers and reduce the risk of bad hires.
Bankly; A financial product focused on reaching the unbanked in Africa, in a “Recharge to Save” model. Bankly developed a cash-digitization payment and savings products, in which users pay using Bankly vouchers.
Powerstove Energy; a clean cookstove with built-in self-powered IoT System for real-time monitoring. Its 100 percent smokeless biomass cookstove cooks food faster and burns 70 times less fuel using processed proprietary water-resistant Goodlife Biomass Pellets produced from forest and agricultural waste.
Pineapple; a fully decentralized insurer. With Pineapple, members pay premiums into their own wallets rather than a central pot. When claims occur, they are distributed to all wallets in the community, which collectively help pay for the claim.
Trend Solar; a company that assimilated a 4G Android Smartphone and Solar Home System to provide affordable access to energy, internet and mobile in an all-in-one solution that seeks to address the needs of 640 million+ people currently living off-grid in Sub-Saharan Africa.