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Uncategorized By John Kieti / December 15, 2011

Pivot East – The Regional Mobile Apps. Developer Competition in 2012


The second edition of East Africa’s regional mobile apps. developer competition and conference will be held on June 5th and 6th in Nairobi. The progression of events dubbed Pivot East will begin in January 2012 with a call for entries to the mobile applications  competition. The competition which culminate in 25 of the best mobile mobile applications competing at the June 2012 pitching conference. Eligible contestants for the competition will be individuals and companies domiciled in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan. The pitching conference will have a rich audience of investors, development partners, telecoms operators and other industry players from East Africa and across the globe.

Building a mobile innovation powerhouse

East Africa is increasingly being known globally as a breeding ground for mobile innovation. Deliberate efforts are required to sustain the favourable attention and momentum for the region to retain its position as a mobile innovations hub. Pivot East is an incremental effort to consolidate and showcase the region’s progress towards becoming a global powerhouse for mobile innovation. By leading the world with mobile money innovations such as M-pesa, the region is well placed to churn out more mobile innovations. This is more so with the launch of m:lab East Africa, the regions facility for mobile entrepreneurship training, incubation and applications testing in Nairobi. Other tech hubs and incubation centers have also been established recently in East Africa as part of a growing ecosystem to develop and nurture innovation alongside entrepreneurship.

Pivot East also builds on the successes and lessons learned from Pivot 25 – the region’s first mobile apps. developer competition and conference held in 2011. Pivot 25 was organised by m:lab East Africa and its consortium partners led by iHub and eMobilis. The m:lab East Africa consortium which also includes The World Wide Web foundation and the University of Nairobi aims to identify, nurture and help build sustainable enterprises in the region’s knowledge economy. The mobile apps. competition and conference is therefore one of the Lab’s ways of improving chances for the most talented and promising mobile entrepreneurs “bubble up” and are showcased so as to receive support requisite through various access to markets, and access to finance initiatives.

Pivot Name Tweaked

With the successes of Pivot 25 in 2011, m:lab East Africa was approached by various players across Africa to share the “Pivot” brand for similar events in other regions. In the African spirit of community building and sharing, m:lab East Africa and its partners are pleased to tweak the name for its East Africa event to Pivot East.
This slight adjustment in the name will allow for other regions to host similar events such as Pivot South, Pivot West and Pivot North. While dropping the number 25 in the conference name, the competition will in 2012 maintain as a tradition to have twenty five (25) finalists at the pitching conference. The 25 finalists will comprise 5 finalists each from five competition categories.
More information about m:lab East Africa can be found at  - Information about the m:lab Consortium partners can be found as follows :-

Further queries regarding the competition, the conference and sponsorship may be directed through email to pivot<at>

Author : John Kieti

John Kieti is the Lead at m:lab East Africa. He is an exponent for mobile entrepreneurship and an experienced m4d professional. John is passionate about the growth of East Africa's knowledge economy. He holds an MBA and BSc in Computer Science. He also occasionally shares his thoughts about East Africa's knowledge economy on his blog -

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