With startup culture really accelerating, I think we have to take a closer look at developments that are taking place on the startup scene, especially when things are happening down here in Africa.
In line with this focus let’s talk about Datahack for Financial Inclusion (Datahack 4FI). Datahack 4FI is an innovation competition that promotes evidence-based decision-making for improved financial service provision to low-income individuals. The competition brings together data enthusiasts and financial service providers (FSPs) to crowdsource data-driven solutions to real-world challenges.
Datahack 4FI’s first season took place last year and Kenyan startup MobiTicket walked away with top honours. Their service allows users to book, pay and get bus tickets to their phone. The platform also enables payments through M-Pesa(‘The’ Kenyan mobile-money platform).
What’s on offer besides $25k?
Datahack 4FI offers participants webinars and mentorship from experts including Safaricom Data Scientist Chris Orwa and Google Senior Industry Analyst Nanjala Misiko. Datahack is also partnering with Liquid Telecoms which provides free ‘high-speed internet access’ to startups at the event. They will also be offering cloud-based services. The list of big name supporters goes on with Microsoft offering data science and cloud experts who are coaching entrants in the competition as well.
This year’s competition will be held in 6 countries – Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana and Zambia – before a group of finalists head to Kigali for a final showdown in May 2018. The startup that is deemed most innovative, will walk away with a lucrative $25 000 in prize money.
Zimbabwe is not part of the countries that can apply but is being considered for entry. Fingers crossed, our startups will be able to participate in Datahack 4FI Season 3 next year.