Kenya’s Kytabu and Eneza Education have emerged winners at the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) initiative 2013 at first place and second place respectively.
Kytabu, founded by Tonee Ndungu, is a subscription application allowing Kenyan students to access curriculum textbooks via mobile payment gateway while Eneza, developed by Toni Maraviglia, provides mobile access to quality educational materials aligned with local content.
The two Kenyan startup were followed by Lebanon’s, Votek, co-founded by CEO Dr. Lojain Jibawi. Votek is an intelligent Arabic voice-enabled virtual assistant platform, the software recognizes, analyzes and understands standard and dialectical Arabic speech with 95 percent accuracy. The three were winners in the GIST initiative startup stage category.
The GIST Initiative finalists of the third annual Tech-I Competition were announced at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on October 12.
The second category Idea Stage, was won by Algeria’s GuideMe, founded by CEO Badreddine Zebbiche.
GuideMe is designed to provide audio guidance to visually-impaired individuals and is integrated within shoes to signal the user via smart phone app. The second place in the Idea Stage category was was NANO-TECH, founded by Anum Imtiaz and Faisal Afridi from Pakistan. NANO-TECH specializes in design and manufacturing of high-quality water filtration and treatment products that provide pure and safe drinking water while the third place was taken by Jordan’s Presto Wireless which enables wireless data users to experience faster speeds, higher coverage, and better reliability by combining separate internet signals.
All category winners took home $15,000 while the second place winners received $10,000 and both third place companies received $5,000.
Jordan’s Handasiyat took home the award for Best Female Entrepreneur and $4,000.
The winners were chosen from 30 semi-finalists, following rigorous judging by global business leaders. They join a global GIST community of more than 180,000 innovators.
Honorable Mentions are TaxiBUL, Turkey; Farmspace Africa, Kenya; and AdvanTag, UAE. Each received $2,000.