If you didn’t know, +254 Rising is a startup pitch competition in Nairobi designed to support the next generation of innovative Kenyan startups. Today, five teams of talented young Kenyan entrepreneurs will compete in an intense pitch competition to imagine new mobile products, tools and services that could form the basis of a brand new startup. These teams have been developing concepts; working with mentors from places like Silicon Valley; building prototypes; and testing their ideas in preparation for the big event: pitching their business ideas to a judging panel, live audience, and online crowd. The winning team will receive US$5K for seed funding and six months of mentorship and training at the iHub startup incubator in Nairobi.
However, an eventual business needs to be able to capture the hearts and minds of normal everyday people like you and I in order to succeed, right? So how would these startup ideas fair in the eyes of a regular citizen. Here are three of the five ideas and my take on each of them;
- By Deliverus: Deliverus is an app that deals with delivering common household items used on a day to day basis. It involves buying and delivery of goods from normal kiosks and grocers with in a 5km radius of the user, then the goods are delivered by cyclers for a small fee.
Opinion; this is personally perfect for me considering how lazy I can be; forget leaving the house to get a few food essentials, now there’s an app to do that while I relax in the comfort of my own home. However, paying for the delivery hhhmmm…what if I just needed a few greens, some bread and eggs. Does the bill go from Kshs 150 to a possible Kshs 250? I’m not sure that’s an amount of money I’d be happy to top up for such simplicities.
- Mechlynk is an Android-based mobile application connects both the towing trucks and mechanics to a driver whose car is broken-down in different locations and needs to be towed away. There is a fleet of towing trucks that offer the service. The challenge is to determine which truck should be assigned to the broken-down vehicle.
Opinion; You never know when your car may just break down, and you may not always have a number sitting on your contact list. However, several people who experience such breakdowns tend to call AA Kenya, among other companies that provide similar towing services. AA Kenya’s contacts or social media pages are just a google search away. So would people actually download a whole App, use some of that precious phone storage, for the sake of a few bad moments?
- By Tupate; This is a mobile USSD application aimed at registering items and capturing lost and found goods using a simple short code. Additionally, the app can help one check the status of their items, whether they have been found or not. Found items are deposited at central locations like Police Posts, shopping points, and other central locations, and registered by sending a code to the database, where the other end user can check for the item’s availability using a code.
Opinion; this sounds rather helpful. How nice would it be to find something I lost through an application? This makes it fairly simple to keep track of your lost item, relieving you from the stress of constantly contacting the police for updates. However, what stops me from uninstalling this application once my item is found?
If you have a different opinion about any of these ideas, then go cast your vote here for the pitch you find most impressive and useful, and you may just see it come to life.