Pivot East, east Africa’s premier mobile apps & developer competition, ended last week on June 6 in Nairobi with the announcement of the competition’s winners. An initiative of mlab East Africa, a mobile entrepreneurship lab developed in partnership with the Web Foundation, this year’s competition focused on two core themes – Innovation and Enterprise – and convened mobile application and service developers across east Africa alongside investors, telecoms operators, development partners, and business mentors.
Attendees gathered to discuss the role of corporations in stimulating innovation in the region and innovation’s role in driving the regional economy and to assess the level of social impact that social enterprises are having on the region. The agenda also provided for several days of intense business coaching including building and delivering pitches for funding, management and marketing workshops.
Wining the Financial Services Category, SchoolBursar by Fomobi Solutions streamlines the process of receiving and managing payments through M-Pesa by performing real-time analysis, generating student reports, sending reminders to parents and guardians who have fee deficits, and alerting administrators of the same.
Winner of the Business and Resource Management Category, EasyOrder by Afro Cyber Inc Solutions, a Ugandan team, is an SMS-based mobile ordering and supply chain management application developed to simplify the way customers order for goods from manufacturers and distributors.
Ma3racer by Planet Rackus, a racing game set on the busy Nairobi Highways, took home the Entertainment Category prize.
Winners of the Mobile Society Category were Mprep, an sms-based educational solution for students, teachers and schools delivering content, feedback, and analysis to both rural and urban school children and teachers.
Winner of the Utilities Category was MafutaGo, a mobile and web application that helps users find the petrol station that best their needs by displaying location, the services the station offers, any special offers the station may have for its clients.
Last year’s Pivot 25 winner of both the Mobile Health and the Overall Winner categories, MedAfrica, was recently awarded first prize in the Company Category of 2012 Ericsson Application Awards, an annual, global competition for application developers on the Android platform.
Other startups incubated within mlab East Africa have been making great strides toward sustainability, including Kopo Kopo, a mobile payment service whose team has quickly outgrown the iHub incubation space, and mFarm, who recently launched its new mobile application for agricultural commodity price information along with including a new SMS short code for market transparency in agricultural commodity trading.