6 African startups win $500,000 from Facebook’s Internet.org Innovation Challenge

by | Oct 3, 2016

Internet.org has announced the winners of the Innovation Challenge in Africa awards in the categories of education and economic empowerment. The six winners all present solutions that will help create a more connected world to bring more people in Africa online.

Internet.org will be presenting $150,000 Innovation Challenge award prizes to two solutions that best meets the needs of the designated population categories – Education and Economic Empowerment. There will be four additional $50,000 Impact awards within each category.

The challenge was judged by Ike Eze of eTranzact, Ime Archibong of Facebook, Rob LeBlanc of The Amethu Project and Terryanne Chebet of Keyara Organics.

Meet the winners:

Education

Innovation Challenge Award Winner
Esoko – Esoko started in Ghana to make it easier for businesses, governments, NGOs and others to connect with farmers. Through its web and mobile apps, Esoko enables two-way data flows that allow smallholder farmers to access vital agricultural information and markets, and businesses to gain better visibility into their supply chains.

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Impact Award Winner
mPedigree Goldkeys – mPedigree Goldkeys is also from Ghana. Their solution is an anti-counterfeiting, tracking and tracing tool that uses consumers’ mobile phones as a verification tool. In Uganda and Kenya, this service is being used to help farmers determine whether they are buying original counterfeit seeds.

Impact Award Winner
SaferMom – Nigeria’s SaferMom provides pregnant and new mothers with simple tools to help make informed health decisions via sms, voice services and its mobile app. SaferMom uses a chain of community health partners and mobile technology to track the health of pregnant moms and newborn babies, immunization schedules for babies, nutrition and behavioral routines based on their fetal development stages and antenatal care. This service is available in the English, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and Pidgin languages.

Economic Empowerment

Innovation Challenge Award Winner
Hyperion Development – Founded in South Africa, Hyperion Development is a social enterprise that has built the first online course platform for computer science education supported by the largest online community of software developers in Africa. Hyperion Development allows anyone to take online courses in coding with a personal computer or mobile phone; even without a broadband connection.

Impact Award Winner
Mutti – Launched in Ghana, Mutti by mPharma is a drug affordability service that enables patients to access high quality medicine at lower prices with flexible payment terms through micro-payments. Mutti means medicine in Bemba, a Zambian language.

Impact Award Winner
Tuteria – Nigeria’s Tuteria connects people seeking to learn with people around them who can teach. Tuteria provides an online platform which allows users to find, evaluate, book and pay for lessons with competent local tutors, coaches, instructors and mentors.

Emmanuel Ogunsola
Emmanuel Ogunsola

I love telling stories using text, pictures and videos. It’s all about the little details.

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