The time has now come for the 50 semi-finalist of the PIVOT East to be slashed done to the 23 finalist start-ups, who will go through a vetting process at the finalists conference on 24th – 25th June.
Panels of judges consisting of more than 20 active investors among them venture capital firms, angel investors and impact investors; The judges include locally based investors as well as those from thriving start-up ecosystems such as Silicon valley, Berlin, London and Singapore.
The criteria used by the panelists to vet the start-ups helps to evaluate the strength of the products. This includes the problem, opportunity and customer segments, the solution and its fit to the problem, the revenue model, and analysis of the competitive landscape. Other criteria items help to evaluate the calibre of the team and the start-ups’ focus to grow into sustainable enterprises. These include the team composition and commitment, current market traction, and projections for milestones and key metrics. Demo videos are also checked for. The finalists of the competition will be announced on 27th May.
Getting active investors to select finalists of PIVOT East in 2014 is a move by organizers to increase the quality of start-ups that get to the final pitching stage on 24th and 25th June. This participation by investors as a sacrifice and contribution to East Africa’s start-up ecosystem is much appreciated by PIVOT East organizers.
John Kieti, Lead at m:lab East Africa said: “It is a demonstration of how committed investors are to help build a thriving start-up ecosystem in East Africa. It also means that a start-up in the semi-finals has access to reviews and feedback from at least three investors”.