For the second edition, five (5) local entrepreneurs whose tech startups have outstanding contribution to the country’s vision to use technology in delivering services have been awarded cash prizes to support their projects.
The first start-up walked away with $50,000 while the first runner-up and second runner-up took $20,000 and $15000 respectively. The fourth and fifth entrepreneurs saw their business awarded $12,500 each.
The first award went to Lifesten health by Iraguha Peace Ndoli which promotes health through incentives-based health and wellness programs to help people adopt health behaviors and lifestyle.
On the second position was PayingNote by Brenda Munezero which targets to develop and offer financial products to unlock more retail access across Africa while the third position was SchoolNest by Jean Marie Vianney Karegeya. It is a technology which automates school processes and offers flexible learning to students.
Coming fourth was Mulika farms, a kind of online market that will allow farmers to post information about their production aims at increasing price transparency for agriculture products. Huuza Quest by Iradukunda Marie Grace came on fifth position.
“Every one of you has the possibility and potential to succeed to grow beyond what anyone has ever imagined,” Paula Ingabire, Minister of Information and Communications Technology and Innovation said at the event which took place at Kigali Arena.
“The purpose of this event is to create an ecosystem for Rwanda as the startup nation of Africa. By cultivating a startup mentality and helping entrepreneurs, Rwanda will become innovative in many areas like health, IT, retail and food,” Itzhak Fisher, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Chairman said.
The prizes are expected to further develop their prototypes, support go-to-market strategies and increase capacity to scale.
The Hanga Pitchfest, which is sponsored by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, aims to give tech entrepreneurs and creative talent from all over Rwanda a unique platform to showcase their work while advancing the use of innovation and technology in the larger Rwandan market.
“Technology is the way to go, in everything. It affects our daily lives every day. I want change the way farmers work; find market easily, understand prices on the market and connect them to the buyers without mediators,” Leo Karekezi, founder of Mulika farm solutions said.
The second edition comes after a successful first one, which took place in December 2021 and saw Afruduino Ltd., Second Life Storage, Afri-Farmers Market, BAG innovation, and Karisimbi Tech Solution emerge as the top 5 businesses out of more than 200 applicants.