“HaltEbola” wins AMPIONs West African Venture Bus Competition


ampion venture bus logoWest Africa’s HaltEbola, a mobile application using voice messages to connect people in rural areas to share information on Ebola in their local languages has won the West African Venture Bus Competition and will be rewarded by Microsoft and AMPION with free software and training.

Developed by Martine Pandam (Togo), Luc Alapini (Benin) and Michael Chu’no Ike (Nigeria), the team was not contented with expecting others to lead the path in solving African challenges and wanted to do something.

“We were determined to take the lead so that others can support,” said the team. “To this end, we modeled HaltEbola, a digital platform that uses mobile to connect rural communities to information, practices and expertise that would be helpful in the current Ebola crisis. With the outlook of extensive support through AMPIONs network, we hope to be able to launch the prototype in a few weeks. Recording translations for many West African languages will take some time, but we have started right away!”

The second went to Travlr, a startup connecting people who need short term housing with home owners within West Africa and third place went to FindR, an application that puts your budget into consideration when ordering meals from a restaurant.

Because of Ebola, the Venture Bus West Africa was nearly called off or postponed but instead of instead of cancelling or delaying the event, the Ampioneers decided to come up with solutions.

Such as Health Ops (information and fast response system about health and epidemics via an append sms; local Health Ops volunteer to answer questions and provide first assistance), IHealth (app connecting patients and doctors that bridges long queues at hospitals & improves the quality of medical advice), AfriEdu (platform designed to gather and increase African content online), Teledidiact (one-year practical digital skills course accessible to rural people) and Launche (web portal for entrepreneurs to arrange meetings).

Meanwhile the AMPION Venture Bus in Southern Africa is ready to go and will welcome 40 high profile participants from Africa and all over the world. The hack trip from Harare to Cape Town departs on Friday, November 7 for a final pitch at AfricaCom.

Participants on the Southern Venture Bus will include entrepreneurs like Trevor Sibanda, a 19year old Zimbabwean who has developed an Anti-Malware Software and Swiss Cédric Waldburger or Gideon Moyo, a Yale graduate in software engineering and experienced Android developer.

Southern Africa’s AMPION Venture Bus will be held at AfricaCom, Africa’s biggest tech conferences to be held in Cape Town from November 11-13. On November 7, the bus will depart Harare (Zimbabwe) to Gaborone (Botswana) and Windhoek (Namibia) before reaching Cape Town (South Africa) on November 12. On the Bus the participants will form teams to conceive, build and launch a start-up.