This years winner of the International second Vodafone-Safaricom Appstar challenge, Bernard Mukangu of Automs.gs, an SMS scheduler app for sending automatic personalized text messages on pre-scheduled dates says his girlfriend inspired him to develop the app after he forgot her birthday.
“The idea to come up with Automs.gs was born when I forgot to send my girlfriend a message to wish her a happy birthday and as a result she was very cross with me. From that day I purposed to develop an application that would ensure that I would never forget important events in the lives of those I care about both at a personal and professional level,” said Mukangu after being named the grand winner of the 2013 Appstar Challenge.
Mukangu started his career at Nairobits incubation hub in South B, where youth from informal settlements are given a chance to study mobile Apps development for free.
India’s Kunal Mahajan’s Matchbox puzzle game app was the runner up, while South Africa’s Lynette Huundermark took third place with the GoMetro commuter information app.
“The best innovators are not people who create things because they are smart. Truly innovative people are those who try to find a way of addressing current unsolved problems, unmet needs and unresolved inadequacies in the societies they live in. They understand that every problem or challenge in the society is in fact an opportunity,” said Bob Collymore, CEO Safaricom Limited.
“We came up with the Appstar Challenge because we wanted to create a platform for innovative people like you. We wanted you to show case your talents by coming up with innovative solutions through mobile application development. When I heard that we had over one thousand applicants from four countries, I was filled with hope and extraordinary optimism. I knew we are doing something right and that we are all on the right track,” said Bernard Pratapa, Vodafone’s Vice President and Head of Business Solutions for Emerging Markets.
Last year’s winners were Kenya’s Gerald Kibugi and Gilbert Ron and the third slot being taken by South African developer Rudolph Joubert.