Africa is a hotbed full of opportunities. We are no longer waiting for the government to create solutions for our problems, instead we are creating startups and implementing plans and structures that work. We have been given different platforms that are willing to fund solutions that are sure to be useful. One of the most popular platforms that have been helping startups and particularly engineers is the Royal Academy of Engineering. The academy facilitates startups that need to push their businesses and have the right technology and team on board.
One of the most impressive engineers that presented his startup was a 27-year-old Nigerian systems engineer that won the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering innovation. His presentation was simple yet very powerful at the same. He designed Tuteria, an online platform that links students to qualified tutors in their area and within their budget. Users can learn anything from a language to Mathematics. He stated that all the tutors are rated by the clients and before the tutors teach they are usually analyzed and go through a thorough evaluation.
At the award ceremony which was held in Nairobi, Kenya on 23rd May 2017, the four finalists delivered presentations and were then judged by a live audience and four Africa Prize judges. The three runners up were from Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa. Mr. Benson said he was inspired to build this startup after one of his friends son had issues with his classes in schools and getting a tutor was a tedious process. Tutors are paid once the lessons have been confirmed while Tuteria takes 15 to 30% commission for each paid lesson.
For a period of 6 months sixteen shortlisted Africa Prize entrants from different African countries received training and mentoring which they learned to develop business plans and market their innovations. Although Godwin’s Tuteria was probably the best because it is a startup that can penetrate through the African market and change the way Nigerian and Africans share knowledge. As his first prize win, he got £25,000. While the runners up got £10,000.
The three runners up were:
- Andre Nel from South Africa for the GreenTower Microgrid system, which reduces the energy used to heat water by 90%. A single unit can service 15 homes and reduce electricity demand from a community by 65%.
- Hindu Nabulumba from Uganda for the Yaaka Digital Learning Network, which teachers and students can use to share academic knowledge and materials.
- Kelvin Gacheru from Kenya for the Mobi-Water system, which allows water tank users to monitor and control the water in their tanks remotely using a mobile phone. Users will be able to save more than 30% of their water.