8 pitches from StartupBus Africa, ‘Workforce’ announced as winner


Following a long four-day road trip, eight startups from StartupBus Africa pitched their ideas to a group of investors at eKasi, Khayelitsha, South Africa yesterday. From an app that can help determine the cost of bribes to an initiative that wants to help solve Southern Afria’s unemployment issues, all initiatives aimed at solving local issues.

As you should know by now, StartupBus is an entrepreneurial road trip, during which the “buspreneurs” conceive, build, and launch their startups. Kicking-off in Harare, Zimbabwe, experts from fields such as engineering, design and business with both local and international backgrounds had to come up with a startup pitch to present in front of investors at eKasi as part of Entrepreneurship Week.

The winner is an innovative initiative called “Workforce” which could simply be described as being a mobile-powered planning app for connecting workers and employers. Runner-ups were funeral management app Funeral.ly and Bribed, which has a really interesting way of tackling bribery issues across Africa. Take a look at all eight startup pitches below:

Startupbus Africa pitches at eKasi
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Workforce Trophy

The winning team behind Workforce -- a platform to help solve unemployment.

Workforce Pitch

Workforce is a mobile-powered planning app for connecting workers and employers. The platform is meant to link unskilled worker teams with potential employers through an SMS-based communication system. This application wants to innovate the unskilled labour force and both bridge and identify the gap between employee and employer in Africa.

Steriome Pitch

Sterio.me is committed to revolutionizing the mobile education for young Africans in remote locations through reinforced learning via a simple phone call from a teacher. Teachers can pre-record lessons, give students a unique SMS code which gives them unique access to learning material or a quiz.

Pitch This Startup Pitch

Pitch Me If You Can is a mobile matchmaking app for startups to pitch their ideas to potential investors or co-workers. Similar to a dating site, the app aims to serve as a platform to match investors with entrepreneurs good ideas in a quick and easy manner.

Humaid Pitch

HumAid wants to make aid delivery efficient. The app aims to use the data of different organizations such as on-the-ground NGOs so that aid delivery and organization decision-making could be more focused, efficient and not overlap.

Pesa24 Pitch

Pela24 wants to help people from rural areas to diagnose symptoms and better identify disease. This would be done by providing information via free hotlines as well as doctors in the region. It also aims to prevent disease by educating people.

Greenback Pitch

GreenBack is an app-powered points scheme that let’s people raise funds and pay for clean, solar energy for families across Africa. This eco-friendly initiative wants to reward carbon savers in the developed world by providing credit to Africans to help access clean energy.

Funeraly Pitch

One of the runner-ups, Funeral.ly is described as wanting to be the Everbrite for funeral management. The app focuses on providing and simplifying streamlined event management for families.

Bribed Pitch

The other runner-up,Bribed is a crime-solving app with a twist. The aim is to crowdsource the price of bribes to provide realtime market prices. By doing this, the team not only hopes to help victims of bribes pay a "fair amount" but to capture and provide data that should help authorities prevent corruption.

The first StartupBus toured the USA in 2009. Since then, more than a dozen buses a year have visited a variety of cities all over the world. In the aftermath of StartupBus tours participants not only founded successful companies but also find new employers, employees, co-founders and business partners every year.

With this exciting initiative coming to an end, it’s yet to be determined what the exact future of these startups and their participants hold. The proceedings raised from the event will help fund the StartupHouse in Africa which is another first for the continent which offers space for entrepreneurs and their teams.

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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