NIW.Startups has been at the heart of the innovation week 2018. The NIW.Startups program was launched late last year. The program targeted startups from the region that would be selected to form part of the NIW2018 100 pitches. 15 of the most promising startups were feted on 9th Friday March during the closing ceremony. They also got the chance to pitch in front of investors during the event that was also attended by the Cabinet Secretary, MoICT; Joe Mucheru.

Melissa from ConnectMed winner of the health track category with Dr. Karanja from Villgro Kenya.

African Development Bank was not left behind in the startups agenda. AFDB created a startup competition dubbed ‘The African Development Bank and the Nairobi Innovation Week High 5s
Startup Challenge’. The competition attracted over 270 startups with the top 5 being feted at the closing ceremony of NIW2018. The top 50 startups were also recognized.
NIW.Startups is a new spin off under the NIW umbrella and was relatively successful considering it was the inaugural program during the event. Over 350 startups applied for admission to the program. A set of judges led by John Kieti would later go through all the startups that had applied for admission. Ideation stage startups up to mature stage startups were considered for admission. There were 5 thematic areas tabulated below;

Category Winner
1. Manufacturing and Processing Mhogo Foods
2. Cleantech and Renewable Energy Mudhiero Self Help Group
Agriculture Capture Solutions
4. Education and Employability Yusudi
5. Health and Life Sciences ConnectMed
6. Fintech SaveKubwa
7. Entertainment Track TurnApp
8. E-commerce Custometrix

Out of the 100 startups that pitched at NIW2018, 15 were identified as the most promising startups in Kenya. These startups scored highest points that were awarded by the judges. Below is a list of the startups that made the ’15 Most Promising Startups’.

1. Alternative Circle (Microlending App) 9. Lipa Solutions (Fintech)
2. Capture Solutions Limited (Agriculture) 10. Majik Water (Health)
3. Casemo Food (Manufacturing) 11. Medbit (Health)
4. ConnectMed (Health) 12. Mshule (Education)
5. Dial a Pad (Health) 13. Ours Africa (Health)
6. Gig (Entertainment) 14. Sauti Africa (Agriculture)
7. Gwiji Link (Education) 15. Yusudi Limited (Education)
8. Icoseed (Agriculture)  

Additionally, winning startups of The African Development Bank and the Nairobi Innovation Week High 5s Startup Challenge were also feted at the event. AFDB has been a champion of innovation within the region. Below is the tabulation of the winning startups from the region.

Category Winner per category based on
independent evaluation by experts
Light up Africa Solargent Technologies
Integrate Africa Flare
Industrialize Africa Eco-act
Feed Africa Sweet and Dried
Improve Life Quality Bento Energy

Please visit the AFDB website and NIW.Startups website to see the profiles of the winning startups. Congratulations to the winning startups, wishing you all the best in your business ventures.

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