Pregmum is a start-up based in Nairobi Kenya that aims to reduce maternal and infant mortality in Africa using their pocket-friendly devices for women to use in monitoring their pregnancies at home.
We spoke with them to learn more about how they intend to do this and this is what they said.
Tell me about yourselves, who you are, your educational backgrounds.
Pregmum is company founded by three Kenyan youths from diverse background namely Sato Bonface Kariuki –Engineering (UoN), Timothy Kimemia –IT(Zetec University), John Kiragu-Nursing
officer(UoN) and Linus Wambugu-Public health officer(KMTC)
What does your company pregmum do?
Pregmum, a startup company wishes to address the current maternal mortality problems in Kenya and generally in Africa through use of technology developed in Kenya to suit the needs at hand inclusive of the local conditions.
What was your motivation to innovate in the maternity space
Maternal and infant mortality are way in critical levels in sub Saharan Africa. Narrowing down to Kenya, maternal mortality accounts for 14% of all women deaths according to a joint study by Aga khan and the ministry of health in 2015. Narrowing further, a 2014 report by UNFPA Kenya ranked Mandera as the worst county in Kenya to give birth. According to the report, the maternal mortality
rate was 3,795 per 100,000 live births. This means that at least 10 women die every day in that county due to birth related complications. Hence the rise of Pregmum. A team of 4 passionate young
men who are determined to provide a solution to the above problems for Kenya and eventually scale up to east Africa and Africa at large by ensuring our pregnancies are efficiently monitored
throughout and complications dealt with early enough. Hence reducing the problem by approximately 3-6% in the first 2 yrs after inception of pregmum into the market
You were runners up at the AMREF hackerthon, earlier this year. How has this propelled you foward with your innovation?
The experience at AMREF was captivating! we got a lot of mentorship through the hackathon and more so through Nailab (the incubation partners) we’ve been able to solve majority of our problems
especially regarding business. The relationship has also been important by acquiring contacts that may be potential customers later when we hit the market and mentors among others.
Are you in market yet? If not what are your plans moving into market?
We are not yet in market. Currently we are undertaking a market survey which will aid in final iterations of our product, then a pilot and standardization procedures will follow. We decided to take this path so as to come up with a product that solves people’s problem at their preferred
budget and would not hesitate to purchase once it is in the market.
What has been your greatest challenge since the inception of your company.
Funds and lack of business brains in our team has been our greatest challenge. Though on funds villgroKenya has been quite supportive over the last year or so, we still work on squeezed budget to
enable us attain our milestones. This has derailed our efficiency in terms of time. Though we boast of a diverse team, we lack a member who has studied at least any business related course. This has been our major weakness since we’ve been relying on our mentors for business advice and one of our members who is business oriented but studied public health at school.
Who is your competition in this space, and what do you do differently to stand out from them?
We have a couple of people working around this space however our approach is different from theirs. Some of these companies are Philips.
You are currently under Ibiz incubation in Strathmore, how would you describe their input into your company?
Ibiz has been very resourceful to us, particularly with business and marketing skills training.