Mentoring and other buisness development opportunities are underway for the 7 incubation clients that took up residence at mLab East Africa in July 2011. All 7 were selected through a competitive process and are either finalists or winners in the recently held Pivot25 competition. Currently, the Lab Manager is evaluating the individual business needs of each client but most will benefit from various interventions aimed at assisting them with accessing markets and finacing, and from a formal mentorship program.
The 7 Companies are:
Zege Technologies: integrates mobile money platforms for enterprise level customers. (Pivot25 Finalist)
Kopokopo Inc: faciliates the collection of mobile payments for SMEs through a "cloud based" solution and with a "pay as you go" model. (Pivot25 Finalist)
M-Farm Limited: created a market transparency tool for agricultural inputs and produce which assists farmers with automated group buying and selling. (Pivot25 Finalist)
MTL Systems Limited: created a mobile shopping platform for consumers and vendors called M-Shop. They also have a mobile survey system for use by researchers, media, and online pollsters. (Pivot25 Winner in the Mobile Payments and Commerce category)
MedKenya Limited: created a mobile application that provides symptom checkers, first-aid information, doctor & hospital directories, as well as revelant alert services. (Pivot25 Winner in the Health category and overall competition winner)
PlusPeople Kenya Limited: created a cloud based accounting system for SMEs accessible by phone and on mobile web called "Uhasibu." (Pivot25 Winner in the Business and Enterprise category)
Whive.com: created a socal media platform with social marketing tools for enterprise clients which integrates SMS messaging, Facebook, Twitter, and others. (Pivot25 Winner in the Gaming and Entertainment category)
In addition, mLab East Africa has increased its networking activities and is starting to plan for its next training course in September. For example, the Lab's Wireless Wednesday program is meant to bring together incubation clients, students, and industry experts for a lecture and discussion on relevant industry topics. Two have been held so far- one on mobile money and the other on mobile marketing and "reaching the next billion."
At the end of the summer, the first students will graduate from the mobile application training program. Several of these current students have already formed productive companies. In the Fall, the next class is expected to start and the mLab hopes to once again raise the bar.
mLab East Africa is hosted by the mLab Consortium which is comprised of *iHub_ Nairobi, eMobilis, the University of Nairobi School of Computing and Informatics, and the World Wide Web Foundation. For more information, check out *iHub_ Nairobi's mLab blog.