Three JKUAT Engineering students emerged winners of Imagine Cup 2018 Kenya with their Soko Smart innovation. The team dubbed Team Kaizen is comprised of; Emmanuel Kinyanjui, 5th year Mechatronic Engineering student; Henry Karanja, 3rd year Electrical and Electronic Engineering student; and Anthony Brown, 3rd year Mechatronic Engineering student.
Under the mentorship of Deputy Director JKUAT Industrial Park, Calvin Kebati, Team Kaizen used Microsoft Azure to create Soko Smart, a product that aims to bridge the gap in the foodstuff supply chain amongst local foodstuff vendors.
“Many are times we walk up to the Mama Mboga to buy vegetables or fruits only to find the items are not in stock. This is major because our local vendors lack any means to predict supply and demand estimation and overstocking which leads to major financial losses considering that most of the products are perishable, hence the birth of the Soko Smart,” elucidates Emmanuel.
With mobile penetration in Kenya being at 87%, the innovation leverages on the use of mobile money to facilitate its effectiveness and efficiency while the Azure App provides a robust scalable environment allowing Team Kaizen to conduct data analytics which will be instrumental in building predictive models for the foodstuff supply chain.
Team Kaizen with their innovation will be representing Kenya at Imagine Cup 2018, Middle East and Africa region for a chance to compete in the World final. Emmanuel attests that the competition gave him and his team an opportunity to use their creativity, passion, and knowledge of technology to create applications that are beneficial to the ordinary man. “I look forward to the challenge ahead and hopefully Team Kaizen will represent Kenya in the World final,” said Emmanuel.
Microsoft has hosted the Imagine Cup every year for the past 15 years. Since 2003, Microsoft has provided a global platform for students to turn their dreams into reality. Students from across the globe build amazing teams to bring their biggest, boldest ideas to life. Working with mentors and industry leaders, they get feedback to further hone and develop their projects.
All World Finalist teams win an all-expense paid trip to the World Finals, where they compete with the best and brightest teams from across the globe for the title of World Champion, for up to $100,000 cash prize, and the chance to take home the Imagine Cup.
This article was first published on the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology website.