mLab East Africa h...

mLab East Africa hosts its first graduation

Training was ?life-changing?, valedictorian says
Earlier this month, mLab East Africa?an infoDev-designed mobile startup incubator in Nairobi, Kenya?awarded certificates in Mobile Application Development and Entrepreneurship to 23 trainees in its first-ever graduation ceremony.

In addition, two startups birthed during the training—Jacob Mwema’s Fomobi Solutions Limited and Patrick Mutahi’s Mobilab Limited—claimed trophies for commendable traction beyond the mLab.

Two applications by Fomobi Solutions (MTracker and SchoolBursar) reached the finals of Pivot East, the region’s premier annual mobile entrepreneurship competition. SchoolBursar, which streamlines receiving and managing payments through M-Pesa, subsequently won in the Financial Services Category.

Meanwhile, Mobilab’s MVerified—a mobile banking authentication platform—reached the Pivot East finals in the Utility Category.

The mLab graduates received not just technical training, but also coaching in “soft skills” such as management, business strategy, and network building.

For valedictorian Victor Karanja, it was these components that made the training experience “life-changing”. He pointed to the encouragement to be his own boss as the greatest lesson from the training.

The graduates also listened to a speech by Mobile Planet CEO Karanja Macharia, who shared his journey of innovation with the graduates and stressed the value in learning how to push products and keep clients.

The ceremony took place at the iHub, a regional innovation center for developers, entrepreneurs, VCs, and incubation specialists.

It featured such guests as Dr. Bitange Ndemo (Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication), Erik Hersman (iHub Founder), Ken Mwenda (Managing Director of Emobilis) and Dr. Moses Rugutt (Deputy Council Secretary of the National Council of Science and Technology).

The fourth wave of incubatees will start training in September 2012. Applications are open through Sunday, August 12 on the mLab’s website.


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