Kenya – the next startup frontier?2012-03-02 0
Wilken Bruns, COO of the Entrepreneurs Club Berlin, has returned from a trip to Nairobi after mentoring some of Kenya’s most promising entrepreneurs. Bruns was part of a team of Danish startup ambassadors – taking part in Kenya’s first Startup Weekend.
“To be honest, despite having lived in Africa for 12 years, I was a little embarrassed about my initial expectations as soon as I arrived at the scene. I expected a small community, maybe 40 participants at best and a rudimentary support system,” explained the Kenyan-born Bruns. Instead, the team of European experts found more than 100 “highly motivated” entrepreneurs and incubators from various backgrounds and ages.
Not surprisingly for Bruns, mobile solutions led the ideas-chart despite only five percent of Kenyans owning smartphones. The winner of the event went to Inuka; a platform which offers information to entrepreneurs on how to startup, with anything from advice and contacts to resources and services.
iMedic: A mobile app that lets paramedics communicate patient data on route to the hospital.
Pesa Rhisi: An online payment platform that lets users send money abroad for a small fee
“Kenyans love Twitter, a little more than Facebook… During the last drought, a major executive sent out a call-to-action to crowdfund aid for the northern regions inside the country instead of waiting for aid to arrive from the outside – within in days more than a billion Kenyan Schilling were donated,” said Bruns.
About Startup Weekend
Startup Weekends are 54-hour events which take place around the world. It’s a place where entrepreneurs, developers, designers, marketers and product managers can meet to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch a startup. The event starts with open mic pitches, progresses into product developments, and ends with teams giving a demo of their prototypes with expert feedback.