PIVOT East Refuses to Die, Calls for Investor & Corporate Support

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PIVOT East, once East Africa’s tech startup conference is coming back to give local startups a chance to meet, network and pitch to angel investors and VCs from around the globe.

The application portal for entries was opened on March 12th 2019 and will continue to accept applications until midnight EAT on April 13th 2019. Pivot East says it has refined the program to ensure maximum value for entrepreneurs, investors and partners after it took a break from 2016.

“We’re excited to bring back Pivot East having incorporated invaluable learning on content and structure. Moving forward, learning will be a key component of Pivot East to ensure that the program remains relevant, exciting and impactful for the ecosystem” Nekesa Were, iHub Managing Director.

“Over the past 2 years, we have researched, refined, asked, listened and learned a lot from our alumni, partners and the community. We are ready for the next phase of the PIVOT EAST. We are ready to support and provided a much-needed launchpad and platform for East Africa Startups,” Were added.

PIVOT East 2019 will be held on 27th June, 2019. After not holding in 2017 and 2018, iHub is calling for companies locally and internationally to come in as sponsors and partners.

“We are looking for individuals or firms of angel investors, venture capitalists, private equity and banks to participate as judges, panellists or attendees. If you would like to participate as an investor sign uphere,”announced iHub.

Since 2011, m:lab East Africa which was in charge then, organized annual editions of PIVOT East where 15 startups have raised close to US$120,000.

The 2015 edition, saw startups get a $5,000 grant and a $5,000 seed investment which may be topped up by other investors depending on the startups funding requirements and their ability to convince other investors.

But in 2016, Pivot East ran out of energy in what m:lab East Africa said was a lack of time while some voices from the corporate sector claimed the returns on their investments were too low. iHub was also going through a transition which saw the m:lab lead quit his gig at the then Bishop Magua based organization. Thereafter the loss making organization was sold and revamped into a for-profit private limited entity.

PIVOT East has attracted more than 200 investors from across the world. Pivot Alumni have gone ahead to raise over $200K from iHub and $40M from external investors in the past 5 years.

With a new iHub, and new energy the m:lab core team seems ready to go all in for the conference this year. PIVOT EAST is looking for startups in five categories in both software and hardware including Finance,enterprise, entertainment, social Impact and Utilities.

Over 150 startups across East Africa ahve worked with PIVOT EAST. Some Pivot alumni include Eneza EducationTotohealth, and MfarmKopokopoMa3RouteMa3Racer, Lipisha, SleepOut.comHehe LtdEnsibuukoUbongo Kids among others.

Some of the notable sponsors of Pivot East conferences and startup pitch competitions include Samsung, Omidyar Network, NESC, Co-op Bank, InMobi, Mercy Corps, Kenya ICT Board, Safaricom, Qualcomm, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Nokia, CGAP, Accion, BlackBerry, OLX, Eskimi, Uganda Communications Commission, MTN Uganda, NITA-UG, World Bank( infoDev), Chase Bank, Motorola Solutions , Intel, Facebook, Making All Voices Count, Chase Bank, Homeboyz Entertainment among others.

PIVOT East has officially opened the call for applications for its 2019 edition and startups from across the region that meet the requirements can start applying for the competition. To join, startups must be domiciled in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somalia.

Startups that reached final 25 lists of previous PIVOT East competition cannot compete with products/services previously submitted for the competition.

You can sign up as an investor hereor as a partner here.