Kejahunt, a mobile and web application that helps young professionals in the low and middle income bracket find houses without engaging agents, was declared the overall winner of the 2015 Pivot East.
Uber and Pivot East teamed up in the run-up to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015 to present budding business people with an opportunity pitch their ideas.
Using the mobile platform, the participants called taxis on the hailing app, Uber and had 15 minutes to present their ideas in the hope of winning a sponsorship from Pivot East.
“Their idea was innovative, their execution was excellent and their pitch was polished,” said the judging panel which included Mikul Shah, Founder and CEO of EatOut.
During the ride the entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to regional start-up heroes and Alastair Curtis, the General Manager of Uber Nairobi in the back of an Uber.
This year, the finalists selected by a panel were 25, five from each category which were finance, enterprise, entertainment, society and governance and utilities.
Kenya was represented by 16 start-ups with neighbouring Tanzania having six, while Uganda and Rwanda have one each.
The winning start-up will be sponsored by Pivot East to participate in high-impact workshops to grow its business. These workshops will include business coaching, mentorship sessions and investor relations discussions targeted at promising new ventures.
The winners will also receive Sh15,000 in Uber credits so that they can arrive at future pitches, meetings and deals in style.
“Uber is about empowering people — the heart of our business is a fusion of technology and entrepreneurship. UberPitch is a new and exciting way for us to help showcase the entrepreneurship spirit and talent in Nairobi. Together Uber and PivotEast are giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to take their business ideas to the next level,” Mr Curtis said.
Participants were required to download the app on to their phones and request a ride during the pitch time (noon to four) in the Kilimani, Kileleshwa and Lavington areas and on Ngong Road, which is known to be the hub for tech companies and incubation hubs.
The sessions involved a seven-minute pitch with seven minutes for feedback during the free rides, after which a winner was selected based on creativity, ingenuity, execution and pitch quality.
Since 2011, Pivot East has identified and supported 100 mobile start-ups as finalists, with the m:lab having funded 20 of these start-ups to the tune of $200,000 so far. This year, competitors will have to persuade investors to back them
Among the ideas pitched were Bantu Shoes, an e-retailer that can deliver stylish men’s shoes in just 24-hours, Ujirani, an app that brings neighbours together and ENT Mobile, software that turns human conversation on social media and mobile platforms into actionable and quantifiable data.
Corrected 1pm, July 24: An earlier version of this story had incorrectly referred to e-retailer Bantu Shoes as Banta Shoes.