Three Kenyan firms among top 12 finalists in the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge

Three Kenyan organisations are are among the 12 finalists, shortlisted for the Regional Finale of the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC).

The shortlisted Kenyan firms are Tiny Totos that transforms service standards across Nairobi’s informal childcare market through innovative technology to benefit underserved preschool children and working mothers in slums, Shortlist, which empowers jobseekers in Africa and India to apply for jobs online by demonstrating their skills and abilities in real time, regardless of their background and Flare that is helping EMTs do the important work of saving lives every day.

Liquid Telecom has announced that the Regional Finale will be held on 20 September 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The finalists were chosen from more than 400 applicants from 35 African countries that entered the competition. Following a rigorous evaluation process these 12 selected finalists now have a chance to win part of a $1 million Global Grand Prize that will be awarded at MIT (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) in November. There will be 4 winners from Africa – 1 in each challenge category.

The 2019 MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge has four categories focused on creating solutions to help people prosper in the era of automation. These are financial inclusion, skills development and opportunity matching, income growth and job creation and technology access. Through its Innovation Partnership initiative, Liquid Telecom encouraged African based start-ups, innovators and technology companies to take part in the various challenges.

With the arrival of the 4th Industrial Revolution, there has never been a better time to showcase some of the latest technologies and explore how they can be used as a force for good in Africa. Liquid Telecom is proud and excited to help lead the debate and discussion. It is indeed exciting to see Kenyan firms having maximum number of finalists though it’s not surprising. Kenya has always been at the forefront of innovation and has provided a conducive ecosystem for start-ups to grow.

To mark the finale of the 2019 Challenge, Liquid Telecom is also hosting the African Inclusive Innovation Summit in Ethiopia, a one day event highlighting how technology is creating economic opportunity for low-and middle-income earners across Africa. The Summit will be held in partnership with the African Union Commission, the Ethiopian Jobs Creation Commission (JCC), and the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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