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Botswana innovate start-ups at the BIH-SAIS Boost Up competition

Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) announced the start-up winners of the BOOST UP Programme Competition. BOOST UP is a programme aimed at supporting early stage start-ups that use technology to solve societal challenges in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

The Programme is supported by the Southern Africa Innovation Support (SAIS 2) and administered by the member organisations network in the five SADC countries of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. In Botswana, the Programme is administered by BIH.

This year, the Annual competition attracted 83 applications from Botswana and 30 submissions were shortlisted to attend the Business Model Canvas and Pitch Deck training. Furthermore, 11 finalists were selected to attend the national pitching competition held on Thursday 20th, 2020.

Following an intensive training on the Art of Pitching, the 11 finalists took to the stage to compete for a spot in the next leg of the competition; the regional competition.

In a 3 minutes pitch to a team of experienced judges in the field of entrepreneurship, the following secured a spot in the Regional Competition to compete against other participating SADC countries.

Also read: Botswana private sector anticipate an economic revival

  1. First-Aid Counselling represented by Kesego Mosime
    First Aid Counselling is an App that allows users to get professional mental health help within minutes. Under normal circumstances, access to a counsellor or psychologist can take up to 2 weeks. First Aid Counselling enables one to receive help from anywhere, anytime, by simply logging into the App. First-Aid Counselling is also a recipient of the Botswana Innovation Fund Third Call for Proposals that sought solutions addressing some of the challenges posed by the COVID 19 pandemic.
  2. Doctors E-Consult represented by Loatile Nkala
    Doctors E-Consult is a mobile application, which is a doctor- patient consulting room on a phone or device. The application houses doctors around the country and patients can book virtual appointments with their preferred doctor. Consultation is done by way of text or video call through the application. Online Doctor Consultation will reduce congestion in medical facilities and allow for effective social distancing during the era of COVID 19. The App reduces the burden of travelling to access a doctor. Doctors E-Consult takes convenience and confidentially to a whole new level as it is easily accessed within the comfort of one’s home. Doctors E Consult App is the recipient of the Botswana Innovation Fund Third Call for Proposals that sought solutions addressing some of the challenges posed by the COVID 19 pandemic.
  3. Business Point represented by Kenneth Setimela
    Business Point is a comprehensive system geared towards SMMEs and allows for full automation of business processes which enables ease monitoring, reporting and compliance to the statutory reporting requirements and taxation. This is Botswana’s first locally developed enterprise resource planning and accounting solution specific to SMMEs. Business Point is an affordable solution that does not require huge cost of ownership and is designed using software as a service architect.
  4. Scoot Logistics represented by Sam Sono
    Scoot Logistics utilizes an online delivery services platform for all parcel delivery needs around Gaborone. The company has put in place a business model that empowers the value chain through business to business, business to customers and customer to customer services. Scoot Transport and Logistics App utilizes its technology platforms to carry out its functions and is supported by two factors, Scoot Logsitics resources (Scooters and a Panel Van) and independent contractors (Trucks, Cabs, Combis) and seeks to empower and create revenue streams for informal services providers, by connecting them to private & commercial logistics contracts.

The four winners will be enrolled in an online incubation programme from September to November 2020. This will be followed by a training bootcamp and pitching competition between the different countries’ winners, which will be organized virtually from Helsinki, Finland in November 2020 virtual.

In 2019, the Hub sponsored 4 Boost Up winners; Kalahari Honey, Mohiri, Sakab Holdings and Cyber Kajumo Rigs to the Global Slush Competition in Helsinki, Finland. Two of the start-ups; Mohiri & Kalahari Honey were awarded with mentorship from Troy Woodson and Futurice respectively. Each of the 4 participating start-ups also received 2 years’ worth of Amazon Web Services hosting. Amazon Web Services provides start-ups with low cost, easy to use infrastructure needed to scale and grow any size business.

“The coaching that the innovators receive on their journey to the international stage pitching helps them gain practical tools to develop a pitch that is attractive to investors. BIH continues to deliver on one of its functions of creating opportunities for start-ups to present their innovative solutions to potential investors. Today, the growth and ability to penetrate the market of the 2019 Boost Up Competition winners is attributable to the exposure they received through the Boost Up Programme” said Kemiso Ben, Brand & Communications Manager.

Original article on Botswana Unplugged

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