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After starting its accelerator-on-wheels 13 November in Windhoek, Namibia, the Ampion Venture Bus finally has crowned elearning platform e.Mkuyu as the winner of the tour. The final pitching session took place at the Ericsson AHUB event at AfricaCom 2015 at the CTICC this week.
e.Mkuyu was recognised for its platform, which is based on elearning farming courses for those looking for professions in agriculture and then pairing students with farmers. The team won an acceptance into Ampion’s Fellowship Program, which includes six months of online courses and several days in Berlin, Germany.
Second and third places were awarded to Agri2go, which is described as eBay for cattle, and SheFarms — a platform empowering women farmers.
Special recognition was given to skEyeFarms, Bullprotector (formally Bullsurance) and inVenture.
The 10 teams pitched in front of a panel of judges, which included Dillon Mann, head of communication at Web Foundation; Sandheep Ramluckan of Startup 90; and Frank McCosker; general manager affordable access at Microsoft, among others.
Each team was given two minutes and 30 seconds to pitch, followed by an additional two minutes of questioning from the judges. Teams were primarily asked about how the businesses work, finances, and other questions pertaining to their specific business models.
Several groups received additional business connections from some judges and audience members, which some audience members agreed may be more beneficial than the grand prize at this stage.
Mann gave a small presentation on the creation of the internet, innovation, and privacy before the pitches started. He rounded off, paraphrasing Edward Snowden: “Saying I don’t care about privacy because I have nothing to hide, that’s like saying you don’t believe in free speech because you have nothing interesting to say.”