Kenya’s Flare, Egypt’s CUP MENA, Jordan’s Carers App & SA’s 3DIMO have been announced winners of $250,000 Sheraa UCAN Startup Awards
The inaugural edition of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa)’s $250,000 equity-free prize purse ‘UCAN’ or the Ubuntu Care And Nurture Startup Awards was launched in September to empower entrepreneurs in the region invested in creating high-impact tangible solutions for the post-COVID world.
Jordan’s Carers App – a technology platform that connects households with the best caregivers including in-home nurses, physiotherapists, and childcare specialists by matching patient needs with the caregiver’s expertise, emerged the winner in the health-tech track, taking home the $100,000 top prize.
Carers App was founded by Raad Al Kalha.
Kenya’s Flare, a next-generation mobile-based 911 emergency response infrastructure that combines all users within the emergency ecosystem on a real-time platform to create an integrated response network, was named runner up. Taking home $25,000. Flare was represented by Kenya-based Caitlin Dolkart.
Egypt’s CUP MENA, an aِgri-tech and waste management startup from Egypt, won the Agri-Foodtech track for its waste collection system to collect spent coffee grounds (SCG) and maximise its value by reusing it to grow natural produces. CUP MENA took home $100,000.
It was represented by co-founder Abdulrhman Elhalafawy.
South Africa’s 3DIMO, was named runner-up for pioneering the use of novel connected technology and data driven approaches to enable early detection of health risks among farm livestock. 3DIMO was represented by founder Nneile Nkholise. 3DIMO was awarded $25,000.
Part of Sheraa’s wider response to the Covid-19 crisis, UCAN reinforces the organisation’s commitment to the #UbuntuLoveChallenge – a global movement founded by Sheraa Chairperson Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi and Africa 2.0 Foundation founder Mamadou Kwidjim Toure, to inspire changemakers worldwide to actively help their communities during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
“Purpose trumps profit,” said Raad Al Kalha, who transformed the “personal and unpleasant experience of finding the right professional homecare expert for a family member” to create a new value proposition for the homecare industry with the launch of the Carers App in Amman in 2018.
“Many people faced the same struggle – how do you trust a stranger or ascertain the right quality of care and experience?” said Al Kalha who started with 35 caregivers and only two services. “Today, we have expanded our services to include nursing visits, physiotherapy services, and blood tests and have a network of 300 caregivers who have provided more than 28,000 hours of care, created 5,000 job opportunities, and achieved 300 percent year on year growth from 2019-20.”
Flare, which links callers in Kenya to a nationwide network of ambulance operators and the traditional three-hour wait has now been reduced to just 15 minutes. A US citizen, Caitlin Dolkart, revealed how the 911 was a system she took for granted until she arrived in East Africa.
CUP, which stands for Coffee Utilisation Products, stemmed from the idea of converting a waste material into a product of value by reusing it to grow natural products.
3DIMO, which offers biometric identification of livestock, empowers farmers globally with data insights to trace animal movements and monitor their health and welfare.
The 4th annual edition of the region’s fastest growing festival celebrating changemakers is the first fully virtual edition of SEF and is organised by Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) under the theme #BeTheHero.
The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF) 2020, held every year since 2017, aims to to cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset and inspire the next generation of changemakers. Over the years, SEF has seen 200+ showcasing startups, 240+ local and international speakers, and 8,000+ attendees.