“HaltEbola” Winners To Be Rewarded By Microsoft, AMPION

Ebola textingAMPION, the leading pan-African entrepreneurship initiative to enable young Africans to start ICT companies has announced that winners of its maiden West African Venture Bus competition will be awarded by it and Microsoft with free software and training.

Behind the eventual winners of HaltEbola, second and third place went to the startups Travlr and FindR respectively. Travlr is connecting people who need short term housing with home owners within West Africa whilst FindR is an application that puts your budget into consideration when ordering meals from a restaurant.

As a reward for their innovative business model, Halt Ebola will be supported by AMPION and its sponsor Microsoft with free software and mentoring. The founders have already expressed their desire to develop their business idea further and to implement it in the fight against Ebola as soon as possible.

“The AMPION Venture Bus West Africa was a very unique experience for us. My team includes Martine Pandam (Togo), Luc Alapini (Benin) and I, Michael Chu’no Ike (Nigeria). We were not contented with expecting others to lead the path in solving African challenges; we were determined to take the lead so that others can support. To this end, we modelled HaltEbola, a digital platform that uses mobile to connect rural communities to information, practices and expertise that would be helpful in the current Ebola crisis.

With the outlook of extensive support through AMPIONs network, we hope to be able to launch the prototype in a few weeks. Recording translations for many West African languages will take some time, but we have started right away!”   The Co-Founder of AMPION, Jan Schafft used the Berlin, Germany occasion to thank the sponsors of the awards namely, MTN, SAP and Microsoft who helped to make this event possible. Having received over 900 applications for this year’s 160 seats on the AMPION Venture Buses, the events feature Africa’s most promising IT and entrepreneurial talents.

Participants on the Southern Venture Bus will include entrepreneurs like Trevor Sibanda, a spirited youngster from Zimbabwe who, at the age of 19, has already developed an Anti-Malware Software and who has been coding since the age of 14. He will be joined by more experienced entrepreneurs like swiss mentor Cédric Waldburger or Gideon Moyo, a Yale graduate in software engineering and experienced Android developer.

The first winning startup of the African Venture Buses 2014: HaltEbola is a mobile application using voice messages to connect people in rural areas to share information on Ebola in their local languages.

Faced with severe obstacles due to the on-going Ebola disease, AMPION decided to face the problem head on. Instead of cancelling or delaying the West African event, the Ampioneers were encouraged to become a part of the solution instead. As a result, seven great startups emerged on the first Venture Bus 2014 including three solutions to tackle healthcare issues and Ebola.

Teams on the West African Venture Bus included Health Ops, an information and fast response system about health and epidemics via an append sms; local Health Ops volunteer to answer questions and provide first assistance, IHealth, an app connecting patients and doctors that bridges long queues at hospitals & improves the quality of medical advice, AfriEdu, a platform designed to gather and increase African content online, Teledidiact, a one-year practical digital skills course accessible to rural people, and Launche, a web portal for entrepreneurs to arrange meetings.

Meanwhile the AMPION Venture Bus in Southern Africa is ready to go and will welcome 40 high profile participants from Africa and all over the world. The hack trip from Harare to Cape Town departs on Friday, November 7 for a final pitch at AfricaCom.

Southern Africa’s AMPION Venture Bus is destined for AfricaCom, Africa’s biggest tech conferences to be held in Cape Town from November 11-13.

On November 7 (today), the bus will depart Harare (Zimbabwe) to Gaborone (Botswana) and Windhoek (Namibia) before reaching Cape Town (South Africa) on November 12. On the Bus the participants will form teams to conceive, build and launch a start-up.   The Ampioneers will pitch their startups on stage at AfricaCom. The tech conference welcomes over 9000 decision makers and over 350 key eminent speakers from more than 140 countries.

Julie Rey, Programme Director at AfricaCom, highly anticipates the pitches of the Southern African Ampioneers. Rey stated: “The AfricaCom team is pleased to partner with AMPION for this year’s event. AMPION’s participation enables us to expand our reach to even more local entrepreneurs and to showcase their innovation to our high-level audience.” An AMPION press conference is scheduled to take place in Cape Town on November 13, 8 am and will be hosted by local accelerator StartUp 90 (Buchanan Square, Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock).

African Eye News.com