5 Cheers to the Season 4 Troop

Nailab today announced the increase of funding for the SN4 and SN3 enterprises from a previous Ksh 300,000 per enterprise to a total of over Ksh 5 million. The announcement was made during the Demo day held at the incubator for its 4th demo of technology start-ups. The fourth batch, which is made up of four start-ups, is currently undergoing incubation and they unveiled fresh solutions aimed at addressing local challenges. They include Stock simulation, Designer fashion hub, E-Task management and an E- shoe designer store.

The Season 4 group was selected from hundreds of applications received by the incubator. They include Mode Mara, Young Freddie, TasKwetu and Hisa Play. The group has spent the last 90 days in the Nailab incubation program where they received high level mentoring, product development and professional training on different professional facets that help in the formation of a startup.

This is the second batch of ICT start-ups incubated under the ICT Authority contract granted to the incubator in June 2013 to help lower entry barriers for ICT entrepreneurs who want to implement and scale their business in Kenya. The SN3 team, had a similar event held earlier on in the year where they launched their solutions and have to date built a steady customer base.

The Government of Kenya is in a contract with the incubator for three years at a cost of approximately $1.6million.

Since its founding in 2010, Nailab has seen over 30 startups go through its incubation program and has 14 start ups making part of the existing alumni with an average revenue of slightly over Ksh. 500,000 per month each.

At the event, the 5 start-ups pitched their products to an audience made up of ICT industry experts with a view to building interest and gathering feedback on their solutions.

The season 4 groups are:

Ninja Prep

A fun and engaging mobile quiz game that gives kids access to hundreds of revision questions. The game helps to put to test their knowledge and understanding in different subject matters while keeping them entertained for hours. With the value of earning virtual coins for correctly answered questions, players also get to compete in different levels and grade themselves against other players on the leaderboard thus unlocking their drive for performance excellence.

Hisa Play

A 24/7 entertaining and captivating mobile stock simulation game that mirrors NSE real time stock trading while helping to equip and familiarize players with practical financial literacy skills required to trade on the Securities Exchange using system generated currency, making it risk free

TasKwetu

An online errand running and tracking platform targeted at Kenyans living in the diaspora. The platform does this by allowing users to order their tasks for a fee, and follow the progress of the same. Some of the tasks include bill payment, passport renewals and tax remittances.

Mode Mara

An online fashion hub for designers created to provide a platform for them to meet, discuss and interact through sharing of ideas relevant to their field. The platform also offers a market place for them to showcase and sell their creations to fashion lovers locally and across the continent.

Young Freddie Collections

A fashion design company incubated to develop an ecommerce platform for its already existing physical store. Young Freddie Collections designs and makes custom items using African based fabric prints such as Ankara, Kitenge, Maasai prints and Kente. Products range from shoes, handbags, coats and shorts.

“Nailab’s entrepreneurial innovations are becoming valuable pacesetters in ICT in this country. With the likes of Eneza Education, Cladlight and many others that have gone through the program, we are proud to say that we can see the results and as ICTA, we will continue to explore and support entrepreneurs through programs such as this,” said the ICT Authority, Acting CEO, Mr. Victor Kyalo.

“It is important that we who make up the hub and tech ecosystem of ICT in Kenya continue to work with and support start-ups,” said Sam Gichuru, CEO and Co-Founder, Nailab. “The ideas and solutions showcased by this young people are not only addressing real customer needs and issues, but are also helping in the creation of local jobs and serving our young people in realizing financial independence.”

Mr. Gichuru went on to say, “In light of our previous experience on the funding of the start-ups, we sought more capital injection into this businesses through our investor networks to ensure that we give entrepreneurs a greater chance of survival through the capital base. We are glad that this is now coming to light and we hope to keep raising funds for all the enterprises that we have the privilege of incubating”

The group will continue in the program for another 3 months, in which they will work on refining their products and increasing customer acquisition.