Uganda’s Matibabu, Ghana’s Science Set & Kenya’s Sign.io will share $500,000 from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers with other finalists from India and the USA among other non-cash prizes expected to help them bring these socially innovative hardware-led solutions to market.
Founded by Brian Gitta, Matibabu, is a noninvasive device used to test for Malaria. It uses custom-made hardware connected to a smartphone to aid easy diagnosis within households. Ghana’s Science Set was founded by Charles Antipem and is an affordable, portable, practical and highly scalable science lab that can fit in the bag and on the desk of students while Kenya’s Sign.io was founded by Roy Allela and is a sign language to speech translation glove developed to address language barriers between sign language users and the general public.
The three were declared winner and 1st and 2nd runners-up respectively of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Innovation Showcase (ISHOW), the first international competition of hardware-led social innovations held in Nairobi, Kenya. The three design prototypes are among the nine set to share $500,000 in cash and in-kind prizes with six other startups from India and the US.
“ASME originally created ISHOW three years ago after our research showed a tremendous lack of support for hardware innovators seeking to enter global markets and make a societal impact,” said K. Keith Roe, president of ASME. “With this year’s entries among the most promising we’ve seen since ISHOW first launched, we’re confident they all have the potential to address some of the most vexing issues faced by mankind.”
The three winners selected in Nairobi and those from Bangalore, India, and Washington, D.C. will share $500,000 in seed grants, technical assistance, design and engineering reviews and access to ISHOW’s partnership network. The 9 innovators will also receive extensive design and engineering review by a panel of experts and join the ISHOW alumni network, a global community of hardware innovators with exclusive access to experts and resources.
The 2017 ASME ISHOW feature da range of devices aimed at bringing transformational economic, environmental, and social impact in underserved communities around the world.
“ASME congratulates all finalists,” noted Roe. “We celebrate their new ideas and innovations, which are pushing our collective knowledge frontier outward and solving problems to improve the lives of all people.”