The Nairobi Innovation Week was a first of its kind event hosted by the C4D Lab, an innovation hub in University of Nairobi, that brought together partners from government, private sector, development partners and research centers. The objective of such an event was to provide a platform for policy development, capacity building, showcasing and recognizing innovation.
Safaricom, a supporter of innovation and entrepreneurship, took this opportunity to showcase examples of innovative partnerships between them and start-ups Kenya.
Here is a run down of what they showcased;
Safaricom M-Ledger is a free Android application that transforms your M-PESA data into meaningful financial information on your smartphone. As a partnership between Dynamic Data Systems and Safaricom Ltd, M-Ledger works by scanning M-PESA texts on your phone and creates reports out of them. Currently, M-Ledger can download up to 6 months of your M-PESA transactions from the current date and process them to produce reports. In addition to this, it gives you instant access to your account balance, calculation of M-PESA transaction costs, the amount you sent and received over time, transactions per person, total amount sent and received over time, among others.
M-Ledger provides an easily accessible and convenient accounting tool for users, especially with the rapid growth of M-PESA as a payment service. The app will allow users to view and manage all their past transactions on a single view from their mobile phone.
Launched in 2010, iCow is a mobile application that provides dairy farmers with information and professional advice on rearing of their cows using a cow calendar. Created by Su Kahumbu of Green Dreams Ltd, iCow partnered with Safaricom in June 2013 in order to access more farmers. According to Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore, iCow is expected to bridge the gap existing between farmers and agriculture extension officers.
It is an SMS based application where a farmer can either subscribe to products where he the receives SMS prompts or search the content of the iCow platform using a simple USSD menu. Since the partnership, iCow has grown to accommodate more information for farmers other than cattle rearing. Through products such as Mashauri Tips, farmers who have subscribed receive 3 SMS’s a week on Mashauri Cow, Mashauri Kienyeji, Mashauri Broiler, Mashauri Layer and Mashauri Mix. Other than this, farmers can access the comprehensive database for agricultural content on iCow platform using a simple USSD menu on Smart Farm Tips. No subscription is needed for this and it has 24/7 access.
3. Magazine Reel
Created by a team of Egerton University graduates, Magazine reel is a Kenyan campus news site that compiles news stories and notices from university administration in campuses and presents it in an easy-to-read format that suits university students. Magazine reel emerged as the finalists in the 2014 Safaricom Appwiz Challenge and aims to be the trusted and reliable source of new and information between the university administrations and their students. It also gives advice to students in campus, offer entertainment and also shines a spotlight on students who have excelled in various fields.
It is currently web based but with plans of being available on Android and Windows app stores. View site here
Eneza is a mobile platform that unites students, teachers and parents. Using Eneza, students can access quizzes, mini-lessons, access to textbook material and ask teachers questions, search Wikipedia via web, mobile web or a USSD/SMS-based system. It also displays reports to teachers and parents on students performance.
Having been ranked as among the top 10 innovative companies in Africa, Eneza Education had over 350,000 unique student users by the end of 2014 and plans are underway to introduce Eneza in Ghana and Tanzania.
Guiderig is a geo-social integration app that allows people to navigate the environment by mapping out places and events. Created by three JKUAT students, James Muindi, Tracy Mwangi and Timothy Wambua, Guiderig is an app that allows you to map out buildings or halls that, for example, conferences are taking place. Born out of the idea of enabling new students at the campus find their way around, Guiderig has evolved into a strong marketing and communication solution in the business world.
Guiderig were finalists in the 2014 Safaricom Appwiz Challenge in the Smart Business and Cloud Solutions category. Furthermore, they emerged as winners of Vodafone Group’s Appstar Challenge (Upcoming Developer Category) in January 2015, in Bangalore, India beating 1200 apps from all over the world.