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iHub By John Kieti / January 19, 2012

Pivot East Competition Categories Explained

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Pivot East is this year’s edition of the region’s premier mobile apps / developer competition held successfully in 2011 under the name Pivot 25. It will culminate in a pitching conference on 5th and 6th June 2012. The competition has five categories, each with five finalists pitching to a rich audience of investors, development partners, telecoms operators and other industry players from East Africa and across the globe. The online registration process for developers and mobile entrepreneurs who would wish to take part as contestants will open on Monday 23rd January 2012 through the website www.pivoteast.com

Applications will be submitted in one of the following competition categories :-
Financial Services Category
Mobile innovations have changed the way we handle our money especially how enterprises and individuals access and consume financial services. Innovative ways of delivering services such as money transfer, banking, commercial transactions, insurance and payment systems are bound to improve the efficacy of our financial services.
Applications and services submitted in this category should target to improve service accessibility, efficiency and effectiveness of the financial sector in East Africa and beyond.
Business and Resource Management Category
Efficiency is essential in keeping large and small enterprises afloat. Management of human and capital resources, the value chain, marketing, production processes, customers and other aspects of the modern day business require constant innovation as an imperative to remain competitive. Such innovations will support achievement of objectives among businesses such as to maximize revenues and profits, and to remain relevant in the market place.
Applications and services submitted in this category should ideally offer technological opportunities to large and small enterprises in process innovation that leads to efficient management of their resources.
Entertainment Category
Life can be hectic and everybody needs entertainment. It refreshes your mind and helps to change your moods and raise energy levels as personally desired. The value of entertainment in our lives cannot be understated. Technology has influenced our awareness and choice of entertainment methods. This is most profoundly illustrated by the many options for gaming, music and videos available in the mobile and online market place. Accessibility of entertainment has also improved in recent times with the ubiquity of mobile devices.
Applications and services submitted in this category should provide innovative ways of delivering entertainment value to the increasingly sophisticated populations of East Africa and beyond.
Mobile Society Category

People in East Africa continue to embrace the mobile phone as an essential tool for day-to-day chores. Indeed, possibilities for delivery of important services such as health-care, education, and governance increase with adoption of mobile technologies. The effect of this is amplified in geographical areas traditionally deprived of modern infrastructure. Moreover, activities such as farming, livestock rearing, and other economically productive activities among individuals can receive a boost with mobile technologies and solutions being the game changing enablers. Development of public data access platforms such as the open government data initiatives in various countries and the World Bank’s data portal further present opportunities for information service innovation. The society in general is thus bound to expect more services delivered seamlessly in the course of people’s mobility.
Applications and services submitted in this category should therefore, present new socially and economically relevant ways of improving livelihoods and productivity for people in East Africa and beyond.
Utilities Category
With the mobile phone increasingly becoming the primary device for communication, computing and information storage, innovations are required to enrich and reinforce the device’s usefulness. Mobile software and hardware technologies present technology entrepreneurs with the opportunity to develop services such as mobile data backup services, energy saving and resource optimization. Other utility services such as interfacing mobile technologies with existing electronic equipment including televisions, vehicles and other utilities amplify the usability and versatility of mobile phone technology.
Applications and services in this category should aim to reinforce the usability and versatility of mobile devices. This category may also be used as a “catch all” basket to submit applications and services that do not easily fit into the other four competition categories.
Additional Information
Pivot East is an initiative of m:lab East Africa to showcase the region’s mobile applications development talent and mobile entrepreneurship. m:lab East Africa is a consortium comprising iHub, eMobilis, the World Wide Web foundation and the University of Nairobi’s School of Computing and Informatics. The consortium aspires to lead the way in identifying, nurturing and helping to build sustainable enterprises in East Africa’s knowledge economy.

Pivot East Sponsor

Samsung has joined m:lab East Africa and iHub  to advance goals of  the Pivot East competition and conference by being the first sponsor on board. Other organizations interested in sponsoring Pivot East may send inquiries to pivot@mlab.co.ke.

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 - gmeltdown.com


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