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the participants and audience at the event

iHub Research By Anne / September 20, 2013

Education SharkTank Session at the iHub


Similar to the popular TV Show SharkTank, iHub and the A Factor hosted an education shark tank event on Thursday afternoon. The event  showcased 5 early stage  projects in edtech pitching to a group of investors for the opportunity to secure 5000USD in funding and mentorship.

This event was  part of A Factor’s  innovation tour to test for the first time in Nairobi the concept of Shark’s tank, focusing on Education sector. Participants were presented with the opportunity to pitch their project by explaining how it works and its ROI to a group on investors who would then decide on the spot to either fund ,mentor the projects or not invest at all.

The panel of investors at the sharktank

The panel of investors at the sharktank

The projects featured included:

  Skoobox: – Frank - Providing students with the platform to Connect & Collaborate to make  the learning process more connected and open.

Smart Blackboard - Mukeli - A mobile phone application accessible by basic mobile phones and smart phones alike. It allows students to post questions like while doing their homework or preparing for tests and receive answers from qualified teachers. These interactions are called “micro-tutorials”. Given the accessibility of the mobile platform, Smart-blackboard will democratize school performance by allowing students access to affordable tutoring while providing educators with an additional income stream.

The Open Academy- Will Mutua - The Open Academy Nairobi is an attempt at tackling the education & unemployment problems in Kenya by creating an open, innovative, supplementary, community-based, online & offline autodidactic education model.

Shakili- Muthuri Kinyamu- A content distribution and a knowledge sharing platform that provides an easier way for teachers to publish, organize and share multimedia educational content online across devices.” Janet Ngugi - A web portal that allows users to Search, Find and Apply for courses offered in Universities and colleges in Kenya.

The pitches were quite lively with both the sharks and members of the audience asking the presenters tough questions on the viability and execution of their projects. Majority of the ideas were very good however they failed to get funding as they did not clearly explain their revenue models which resulted in the investors being reluctant to invest.  One presenter however managed to secure a mentor for her project and was requested to draw up a proper revenue model before getting the funding.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is a brief pictorial on the event

Aurelie and Anne introducing the event

Aurelie and Anne introducing the event



Janet pitching study in Kenya project

Janet pitching study in Kenya project

Audience at the education SharkTank

Audience at the education SharkTank

Frank of Skoobox

Frank of Skoobox


Through the education sharktank -like events, iHub Research would like to showcase more on what is happening in the Kenyan Education and tech sector as we gear up for huge investments by the government in this area.

Stay tuned!

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Author : Anne

Anne Salim studies the growth of African mobile-based education with a focus on the sustainable use of technologies in schools. Anne is currently a researcher at iHub, where she leads the program on M-Governance. The study has focused on the role of mobile devices for enhancing transparency in governance of the water sector. Anne studied Business Information Technology from Strathmore University and her interests include applying Design Thinking processes to Kenya, as well as facilitating Hackathon events.

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