New blue collar jobs platform Lynk, has been declared the winner of 3rd Edition of Safaricom AppWiz Challenge, taking home Ksh 1.5 million in cash.
The 1st runnersup, Hisa Play, a stock exchage simulation game took home Ksh 1m while the 2nd Runners-up Mkulima, a harvest and income tracking app for farmers took home Ksh 500,000.
Lynk allows customers to find, screen and book skilled and reliable workers on the site. When a user requests a service through Lynk, the system queries its database of vetted professionals who provide quotes based background and experience of the worker. When the job is finished, we share an invoice with you that can be settled comfortably using a number of payment options. On the other side of the spectrum we offer skill building and career progression opportunities to the service workers in our system.
The 3rd Edition of the Safaricom Appwiz Challenge kicked off in July and saw 13 finalists selected to join a three-month incubation programme that began in September.
“Given that the issue of unemployment remains a source of concern for Kenya’s economy we have seen Lynk provide an innovative solution to the hundreds of thousands of young people looking for jobs in the informal sector,” added Mr. Ogutu.
Founded by Adam Grunewald, Erick Obiero and Sharon Macharia, Lynk aims to be the go to marketplace for blue-collar jobs on-demand ranging from plumbing and electrical work to gardening, painting and car repair.
Lynk beat over 320 applications that applied into the competition’s four categories including Customer Engagement solutions, Safaricom Product Excellence solutions, Mobile Convenience and Out of the Box solutions.
The 320 were screened into thirteen finalists who were coached and mentored drawn from various ICT-based backgrounds, with the winners being selected based on the sustainability of their businesses, creativity and ability to scale up.
Speaking to TechMoran, Adam said, “We’ll use the cash to develop an app, grow our team and reach out to the market about our services. This is just the moonshot. We aim to go all out to the market and sign up more users.”
Before founding Lynk, Adam worked at Google for five years in San Francisco and Kenya as both a Product and a Project manager on a number of different products. While at Google, Adam became obsessed with the informal sector and thinks up creative ways to make it more efficient before going to sleep at night. Lynk co-founder and CTO Johannes Degn is a data scientist at heart and an engineer. Recently he developed data heavy products for EnBW, -one of Germanys largest energy providers.
The team is excited by the enormous potential for disruption in the massive informal sector of Kenya and other African countries.
“This competition clearly demonstrates the fact that Kenya has a wealth of creativity and the ability to develop relevant, homegrown technological solutions to our challenges and needs,” said Victor Kyalo, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of ICT.
“This initiative by Safaricom is proof that partnership and co-creation can spur Kenya’s growth in ICT by connecting young innovators to the business community and consumers, thereby supporting innovation and creating employment,” he added.