Seven Uasin Gishu tech start-ups have received funding from Mozilla to improve their products and ideas.
Combined, they have been awarded Sh1 million through the Mozilla Mashinani tech-innovation challenge launched by Mozilla Africa Mradi and the Gladys Boss Foundation (GBF).
It was issued during a workshop for tech startups and students held in Eldoret over the weekend.
They include Tindo, a video-on-demand platform for filmmakers; My Shule, an app that monitors school buses; and Mche, which offers a comprehensive solution to smallholder farmers.
Others are Mama Fua, a mobile application that links households to trained and vetted housekeepers; Lifeline, which provides quick access to critical medical information during emergencies; and M-Rafiki, a platform for people to connect and interact while also being able to access services and businesses that they may need.
Gavo Foods, which manufactures gluten-free, keto organic flours, is also a beneficiary.Read More: Rural Kenyan Tech Startups to receive funding through Mozilla Mashinani Tech Innovation Challenge
“Mozilla is expanding efforts to build with and not for African communities while promoting models of innovation that empowering, inclusive and grounded in the unique needs of users in the African continent,” Mozilla Corporation Senior Director Alice Munyua said.
“Critical to this global majority programme, is working with local partners to better understand the landscape, local needs, expertise, context, and capabilities, to co-create, while building a community with a critical mass of local partners that see Mozilla as a trusted partner and guide to a healthy and joyful internet,” she added.
The Mashinani Initiative aims to democratize Kenya’s technology and innovation ecosystem and level the playing field for startups, particularly for youth outside metropolitan cities.
This will ensure that youth innovators across Kenya also have access to the information and knowledge needed to establish and run profitable startups.
The initiative is anchored on the Mozilla Africa Mradi, which seeks to catalyze innovation through developing new and deeper relationships with in-region partners to learn more about the intersection of African product needs and capacity gaps.
“The Gladys Boss Foundation (GBF) is working with Mozilla’s Africa Mradi to ensure that tech innovators outside Nairobi and metropolitan counties have equal opportunities and platforms to showcase their innovations, are exposed to how venture capital investments work and are trained on startup accelerator opportunities available to them in the continent and globally,” Kenya National Assembly Deputy Speaker and GBF Founder Gladys Boss said.
The Mashinani Initiative will culminate in the first-of-its-kind Mozilla Africa Mradi Innovation Challenge, which will be held in Nairobi in June 2023.
The innovation challenge will identify and support tech entrepreneurs, startups, and tech students through an acceleration programme that will provide technical support, access to grants, and ultimately, market access for their products.
Kenya is the regional ICT hub of East Africa, with the country being a leader in broadband connectivity and general ICT infrastructure and home to more than 300 tech start-ups.
With the rise of digital technology and the internet, many entrepreneurs have leveraged investment opportunities from venture capital institutions that have set up shop in Nairobi.
Source: Capital FM