Zoho, Indian High Commission Award Pamoja Hackathon Winners

Zoho, a global technology company, today announced the winners of the Pamoja Hackathon and Innovation Challenge, an initiative conducted in collaboration with The High Commission of India, Nairobi, Kenya and Hindsight Ventures, an Africa-focused startup accelerator.

The initiative, aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and innovation among the youth of Kenya, is a step towards establishing a bilateral startup and innovation corridor between India and Kenya.

By encouraging young entrepreneurs to come forward with their ideas, the program intends to identify original solutions for ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), Sustainability, and Net-Zero problems.

The overall winner of the Innovation challenge will be rewarded an all-inclusive, fully funded mentorship trip to India for a week-long tour of the innovation ecosystem and engage in networking activities.

Furthermore, the top two winners from each track will be bestowed with monetary rewards: KES 75,000 for the first prize and KES 50,000 for the second prize.

“The Pamoja Hackathon and Innovation Challenge aligns with Zoho’s commitment to enabling local tech ecosystems, nurturing entrepreneurship, and creating a positive impact in the community. The initiative is a great way to discover entrepreneurs and young talents who can build a sustainable future with their ideas, and we are excited to work with Hindsight Ventures and The High Commission of India, Kenya for this. Besides, we are glad that the challenge participants were able to quickly build and submit working prototypes of their solution ideas with the help of Zoho Creator, our low-code development platform,” said Veerakumar Natarajan, Country Head – Kenya, Zoho Corp.

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“This hackathon and innovation challenge provides a much-needed platform for the Kenyan entrepreneurs to present their ideas and connect with tech leaders, industry experts, and investors. The initiative has also allowed us to collaborate with like-minded organisations like Zoho in supporting the local youth build for the future. With the help of Zoho Creator, we have been able to see various ideas live in action as functional applications,” said Her Excellency Ms. Namgya C. Khampa High Commissioner & PR to UNEP & UN-Habitat.

The challenge received 85 entries for the hackathon track and 54 entries for the innovation track.

After a meticulous selection process, 32 hackathon entries and 10 innovation entries were shortlisted.

The submissions were evaluated by a distinguished panel of six jury members, including industry leaders from Godrej Consumer Products Limited, Bank of India, BDO East Africa, Zoho Africa, Duhqa, and Hindsight Ventures.

The jury selected 10 ideas (5 from each track) that were nurtured during a week-long boot-camp where participants received guidance and support to refine their solutions that were built on Zoho Creator.

Today, the participants presented the functional prototypes to industry experts, investors, and collaborators.

Zoho Creator is a cloud-based low-code platform that allows users to easily create custom web and mobile applications with minimal coding expertise. It offers a drag-and-drop interface and pre-built templates to simplify app development.

The winners of the hackathon are as follows:

In the Hackathon track:

1. Wesley Kijedi – Zero Carbon

2. Mary Njoki – Ustawi

In the Startup Track:

1. Kennedy Kariuki – Thorium Organic Foods (overall winner)

2. Rosaly Akinyi – ROAK Swahili Wear

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Meet Jacktone Lawi, a seasoned technology journalist with years of experience in the industry. I have developed my passion for technology during my formative years, which has been instrumental in shaping my career trajectory. My expertise lies in reporting on emerging technologies and their impact on businesses and consumers worldwide. Through my experience I’m well-versed in covering topics such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and digital transformation, among others. Throughout my career, I have has demonstrated an exceptional ability to distill complex technical information into accessible and engaging content that resonates with my readers. My writing style is clear, concise, and informative, allowing me to communicate even the most technical concepts to a broad audience. Beyond my writing skills, I have also become known for extensive network of industry contacts and ability to secure exclusive interviews with high-profile figures in the technology world. These connections have enabled me to gain unique insights into the latest trends and developments in the field, giving me a competitive edge in my reporting. In addition to my work as a journalist, I’m also actively engaged in the broader technology community. Where I regularly attend conferences and events, share insights and stays up-to-date on the latest innovations in the industry. Overall, my wealth of experience as a technology journalist have given me a deep understanding of the industry and its impact on society.

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