Ezinne Uko (Nigeria) and Peter Wachira (Kenya) are the two winners of the $200,000 Kwesé Inc #GoGettaz entrepreneurship competition held today at Strathmore University.
Both walked away with a $100,000 USD investment, a similar amount in credit facility from Equity Bank Kenya, and a two week mentorship at Kwesé‘s headquarters in South Africa with Strive Masiyiwa, founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Global. The 10 runners up each receive $10,000 USD investment in their ventures.
Following two days of intense training sessions at the Nairobi Garage with experienced mentors in business, innovation and entrepreneurship including Sebastian Wafula (The Wafula Corporation Limited), Patricia Jumi (Growth Africa), Grant Brooke (Twiga Foods), Peter Park (Connect Health) and Jussi Hinkkanen (Fuzu) Ezinne and Peter have taken the grand prize from a group of 12 finalists from DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Finalists also had pre-finale pitches and received feedback on how to better present their businesses/ventures from Esther Ndeti (Executive Director East Africa Private Equity & Venture Capital Association), Julian Kyula (Founder MODE) and Kevin Mulei (Founder and CEO Mo Sound Events) in the lead up to the grand finale.
At the finals, each of the finalists (six men and six women) had three minutes to pitch their ventures to a live panel of judges comprising Ndidi Nwuneli (Founder at LEAPAfrica), Clive Msipha (CEO, Untu Capital Limited) and Juliana Rotich (co-founder of Ushahidi, and Tech Partner, Africa Tech Ventures).
Judged on their business/non-profits’ sustainability, originality, social benefit, and scalability as well as votes garnered from the general public in a month-long social media voting phase which closed on 30 November 2017, Contrail Stores and A Remote Youth Venture impressed the judges and will walk away with a $100 000 injection into their business/venture from Mr Masiyiwa.
The competition saw 4800 competition entries submitted from all over the continent.
Kwesé Inc and Liquid Telecom (sister companies of Econet Global) sponsored Friday’s #GoGettaz entrepreneurship competition grand finale at Strathmore and then took part as partners at a discussion hosted by the Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Growth, founded and managed by Oxford University’s Blavatnik School and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Moderated by Lorna Irungu-Macharia (CEO Gina Din Group) Friday’s Tech & Entrepreneurship Town Hall addressed a wide range of topics including how emerging technologies can best be harnessed by entrepreneurs, the private sector and governments both to create jobs and wealth, and to tackle long-standing economic and social development problems, particularly in developing countries.
Panelists included the pioneer behind the #GoGettaz competition, Strive Masiyiwa (co-Chair of the Pathways for Prosperity Commission) and special guest James Mwangi (CEO, Equity Bank Kenya) along with Fellow Pathways for Prosperity Commissioners, Shivani Siroya (founder and CEO of Tala), Kamal Bhattacharya (Chief Innovation Officer of Safaricom).