Now in it’s second year, Washington DC based Startup Factory 1776’s “Challenge Cup” contest is one of the most prestigious contests in the world of startups. You won’t see hundreds of Silicon Valley startups sporting plaid, flannel and those hipster glasses, clamoring for facetime with a VC too busy to say anything worthwhile in between flights.
No, the contest, spearheaded by Evan Burfield and Donna Harris looks for truly the best of the best of startups from “everywhere else” and it doesn’t get much more “everywhere else” as Nairobi Kenya.
“Twiga Fruits” competed in one of 16 global challenge events. After winning that event in Nairobi they were in the nation’s capital last week for a week long Challenge festival which included the semi finals of this intense competition, after which, winners were crowned in the categories of education, energy and sustainability, health and cities and transportation.
Twiga Fruits, which helps village produce vendors set up kiosks to sell their produce by helping keep uniform pricing, and complete inventory, via technology, won overall. Twiga Fruits “fer farmers a formal guaranteed price on their products, handle the produce with care to eliminate loss and deliver directly to thousands of independent kiosks across Nairobi. The kiosk owners work with Twiga on a credit system, paying only at the end of the day based on what they sold. Twiga Fruits also provides all kiosk owners with smart phones so that they can keep track of inventory, and offer an easy payment option.” Tech Cocktail reported.
Nairobi was the only African stop on this year’s Challenge Cup tour however, through a partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network, the Challenge Cup will rollout to 157 countries worldwide with 30 in Africa.
Cognotion, Radiator Labs, and Reliefwatch were named as the winners in the education, energy and health categories, respectively, winning US$100,000 each.