MedAfrica is a Kenyan start-up that seeks to offer 200 million people accessible healthcare through mobile phones - whether the simplest models or more sophisticated ones. As the winners of Pivot25, MedAfrica recently traveled to Silicon Valley to take part in DEMO, a leading event where start-ups pitch investors on their businesses.
New Scientist points to stories such as MedAfrica as an example of a growing trend of African start-ups. The article notes that
"Innovation labs called mobile development labs, or "mlabs", have opened in Kenya and South Africa as a way to bring burgeoning numbers of developers together. Funded by Nokia, the Finnish government and the World Bank-backed business development organisation infoDev, the goal of mlabs is to teach programming and business skills, as well as connect young developers with mentors. They help entrepreneurs identify community needs, craft a product and a business plan, and allow for product testing."
infoDev is in the process of launching three more mLabs - in Armenia, Pakistan, and Vietnam - with hopes of replicating stories like MedAfrica in a variety of locales. Additional mechanisms for supporting entrepreneurs in the mobile sector are also being developed in close collaboration with partners in new regions.
The full article is available on New Scientist's website after free registration.