Selection & Pitching Event
We had the Selection and Pitching event on Monday, 25th March 2019 at Metta Nairobi, Kenya. From the cohort, 15 businesses received the green light, after a pre-selection process, to pitch before a panel of judges and an audience consisting of different stakeholders including local and international investors. The early stage and growth stage businesses were pitching for a chance to be selected as the finalists in the program. The finalists in the program would be unlocking a major milestone of having direct access to meet, interact and begin conversations with investors. The criteria for selection was not only based on the pitches but also on the scalability and the viability of the businesses.
The day saw 8 of these businesses meeting the threshold. Three of the selected businesses began their journey with our first and second hackathon. The finalists are: Africredit, Casa Ltd., Ejenzi, Gjenge Makers Ltd., Mycotile, ManPro CMS, Orkid Studio and The Vlage. Notably, the remaining unselected businesses will still remain in the program as they work to further improve and validate their business.
Panel Discussion on Investor readiness
Apart from the selection, the audience and businesses had a chance to chime in and gain insights from a panel discussion on how businesses can be investor ready.Certain elements such as team synergy and diversity were highlighted by investors as a factor when selecting companies to invest in.
Additionally, sentiments on an existing vibrant community of investors and investment opportunity within Kenya’s startup ecosystem were raised. Joram Mwinamo, Founder of WYLDE International and a Board Member of Amnesty International Kenya, remarked that ideas are overrated and the success of an idea is based on grit and your ability to adapt with new technology. He added from his experience, that startups need to understand that where they are at now will not be the same business model ten years from now.