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m:lab By John Kieti / November 25, 2012

Pivot East 2012 Finalist Wins Kshs 1m in Safaricom Challenge


Elan Telemedia’s Tough Jungle was this week declared winner of the Safaricom Appstar Developer Competition in Kenya. The company founded by Gerald Kibugi wins Kshs 1,000,000. The company’s application goes ahead to compete at finals of the competition organized in partnership with the Vodafone Group. The finals of the competition will be held in December 2012 in South Africa where finalists from Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt, Ghana and Qatar will pitch against each other.

Tough Jungle is an action game application with an African jungle setting. The application tries to show the diverse nature of the jungle with wild animals, rocky terrain, landmines and some extinct creatures claimed to exist in the past. The strategy of the game is to move the warrior across the jungle killing wild animals that attack the warrior.

Elan Telemedia was a finalist in Pivot East’s category of entertainment and gaming in 2012. Pivot East is East Africa’s premier mobile startups pitching competition and conference. Finalist of Pivot East drawn from startups across East Africa go through intense training workshops and coaching sessions for one month to enhance their entrepreneurial skills with mobile solutions before the final pitching conference.


In 2011, the company’s shopper’s delight application won $25,000 at the android developer challenge for Sub Saharan Africa.

Other category winners at the Safaricom AppStar Challenge included Thomas Kioko, an alumni of m:lab East Africa’s mobile entrepreneurship program with his Nduru Application in the hotly contested utilities category. The application also won 2nd place in the East Africa competition of the Ericsson Application Awards in 2012 through his startup – Kommunity Bora. Thomas Kioko is also the developer behind the FarmPal application.

MTL Systems, a company incubated at m:lab East Africa also partnered with a medical doctor to create the Mimba Bora app which won the Health category of  the competition. Through the app, pregnant mothers and care givers can access information and relevant material between conception and delivery. app provides baby safety tips and first aid care and gives pregnant mothers and care givers the opportunity to consult doctors through Q&A sections and even through calls.

Other category winners of the AppStar challenge were  Gordon Owiti with ‘M-Shamba’ in the agriculture category, Gilbert Rono with ‘Eureka‘ in the eduation category, and Vincent Maraba with ‘Pesa tracker’ in the Finance Category. The Eureka app was also the first runners up overall with the developer winning Ksh 500,000. Category winners in the Safaricom challenge other than the overall winner and the first runners up won Kshs 100,000.

A fledgling mobile entertainment scene

The Tough Jungle application wins amidst an emerging trend where entertainment applications are becoming popular among local mobile entrepreneurs. Other mobile entertainment applications developed in the local scene include Ma3Racer by Planet Rackus who were the overall winners of  the 2012 edition of Pivot East. Leti Games, a company co-founded by a Kenyan and a Ghanaian is another company making headways in the East African gaming scene. Other notable applications in the local gaming and entertainment scene include Tubet, Angry Kenyans and Run for Africa.

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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