Yesterday, we managed to join the large crowd that turned out for the Innovation Baraza, a local fair held in Harare, which was aimed at showcasing local innovation that has the potential to solve some problems while creating a positive impact through entrepreneurship.
Out of 40 teams that spent the whole day showcasing their work to the judges and the rest of the crowd, 5 teams, from a shortlist of 10 were selected. These teams will undergo mentorship and an incubation process for the next two months as they prepare to present their ideas at the Simba Savannah Investors Forum in Kenya this coming October.
The five selected from Innovation Baraza 2015 were:
A startup that provides agricultural information to farmers and agricultural traders including specifics on market prices. This is shared through SMS, social media and through a web platform. So far eMkambo has 150,000 subscribers
These guys have developed a solution that automates the feeding process for poultry. Their solution is energy efficient and draws on power from a standard 12 Volt battery.
Road Rules App
This is the Android based learners’ licence app that helps a user study for the provisional licence test. It has gotten a lot of attention over the past few months as it has also secured a place at this year’s upcoming DEMO Africa tech startup conference in Nigeria.
The team, which is part of Afrosoft’s new Afrolab, has an app also called maRound which automates the payment of money in a community savings clubs or maRound which are also known as Mukando or Stokvel in South Africa. The app works for all mobile money solutions, a characteristic it has touted as a point of differentiation and advantage over Econet’s EcoCash Savings Club.
Their solution is a mobile app that acts as an on-demand service for car washing services. Users can locate the closest mobile car cleaning service (provided by the Vigil team) within a specific radius, and request for their services. In an effort to be conscious of the environment, Vigil also provides this car cleaning service using a solution that uses only 2 litres of water.
The people’s choice team which, unfortunately, didn’t make the top 5, was the crew from Queen Elizabeth Girls High. The girls were showcasing the bottle lamp that uses water, chlorine bleach and recycled 2-litre plastic bottles to create a low-cost lamp that reflects the sun’s rays into a room during the day.