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Local Apps Win Ksh 3.7 Million in the Safaricom AppWiz Developers’ Challenge

110613useTichaa’, an app that teaches kids Kiswahili in a fun and engaging way emerged winner in the just concluded Safaricom AppWiz took home KES 1.7 Million for winning the education category and emerging tops overall.

Tichaa app was developed ‘Thirst Interactive’, and has attracted local and international interest and is currently on the Safaricom Appstore and Google Playstore.

M-Ledger, an application that enables customers to manage their M-PESA transactions; placed second in the challenge and took home KES1.2 Million. Other winners wereBud Doctor-which won in the health category,the Maasai Moran App which addresses the challenges faced by the Maasaiboy, My Taxi App which won in the games category and SOKONECT-an agricultural app.

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The six six early stage mobile technology companies took home a cumulative cash prize of KES 3.7 million in the just concluded AppWiz Developers Challenge designed to help them start-up and partner with industry players in offering enterprise solutions. The challenge was anchored on entrepreneurship and capacity building within the mobile apps space.

The contest has been running for the last six months and attracted 1,569 applications and 274 mobile based ideas. 48 of this were shortlisted to attend a hack-a- thon session from which the top 18 teams were selected to participate in a 3 month incubation process.

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“The search for sustainable growth is what has brought us here today.  Innovation and growth are strongly connected and talking about one without mentioning the other is difficult,”said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.

“We can’t cut, spend or tax our way to better days.We need to learn how to quickly swim in these waves of transformation and speedily adapt our businesses, products and services to this change.  At Safaricom we have chosen to remove all barriers that might keep anyone out of the information age. Ours is to develop a ‘digital nervous system’ that is quick to respond to these fast-changing demands of a digital age,” Collymore further noted.

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So far, 10 of the participating teams have registered companies and some apps like Sokonect-an app that connects farmers to export companies and Smart County-a revenue collection app are already at the pilot stage.

The Appwiz Challenge was designed to help identify and develop successful early stage mobile technology companies. The goal of the competition was to help local developers form start-ups and partner with industry in offering enterprise solutions.

The competition received 1596 registrations and 274 mobile based ideas of which 48 were shortlisted to attend a Hack-a-thon session. Following the hack-a-thon, 18 teams were selected to participate in a 3 month incubation that involved providing the developers with a platform to nurture their talent further through mentorship.

Categories of the applications include; Health, Agriculture, Financial Inclusion, Productivity & Utilities, Games & Entertainment and Education.

Mentorship included support from experts within the industry as well as training on mobile application development, business opportunities within Mobile application development and ways of managing start-ups.

Participants were expected to develop applications in Agriculture, Health, Financial Inclusion, Education and Entertainmentas well as productivity and utilities. The Applications developed during the incubation stage will be uploaded onto the Safaricom App-store for commercialization by the developers.

The programme was open to university students and post university students with knowledge in IT, mobile application development and business management skills. It was also targeted at small and upcoming businesses with an interest in mobile apps development.

Winning Apps

Team Name Application Name Short Description Category Winner/ Category
Dynamic Data Systems  M-Ledger  M-Ledger is an application that transforms your phone into a financial journal from your MPESA transactions. Financial Inclusion Runner Up / Winner Finance Category
 Thirst Interactive  Tichaa  This is an application that allows children learn Swahili in a fun and engaging way. The application contains puzzles that are interactive with sounds and pictures designed to help young children learn Swahili. Education Grand Prize Winner / Winner Education Category
 Bud Code  Bud Doctor  This application helps you find medical specialists from the comfort of your smartphone. Designed to help out in the tedious task of finding specialists, the app links to a database providing information on medical specialists who are normally difficult to locate. Health Winner – Health Category
 Kikosi Limited  Smart County  This is an application system containing tools that allow revenue collection through the use of SMS and USSD. The application is hosted over cloud, and users are able to access reports on various devices. Target market is county governments. Financial Inclusion
 GAME 254  The Maasai Moran  The Maasai Moran is a casual game for mobile and web platform that depicts the challenges and customs that a Maasai boy has to go through to become a Moran warrior. Games and Entertainment Winner – Games Category
M-Safiri Experience LTD My Taxi MyTaxi is an App that allows you to book the nearest Taxi.   Winner – Utilities Category
AppBees Africa SOKONECT SOKONECT is a mobile application designed for use in the horticultural sector to promote production; marketing and consumption of fresh produce especially vegetables. The application acts as a link between exporting companies, small-holder farmers and consumers of fresh produce. Agriculture Winner – Agriculture Category




Sam Wakoba
Sam Wakoba
Taking you on tour through Africa's tech and business ecosystem, one story at a time since 2010! Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Sam is the founder and managing director of Moran Media, which runs, various other digital platforms and a startup incubation hub for Kenya's youthful entrepreneurs. Drop me a mail at [email protected]

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