The five winners of the 4th edition of Nairobi Tech Week (NTW2019) Awards, were announced at a gala dinner at Crowne Plaza in Upper Hill, organised by The Moringa School.
AI Kenya, AkiraChix, iHub, Sackey Freshia, and Techno Brain, were recognised as the best in the categories of developer community, enabler, co-working space, innovator, and employer.
The evaluation process included an online nomination by their peers and scrutiny by a panel of judges, using criteria that included:
- Most nominations by their peers;
- Engagement with the community;
- The market relevance of their products or services; and
- The founders living and spending over 90% of their time in Kenya.
Stacey Ondimu, Kenya Country Director, Moringa School, said, “The Awards shine a light on those of our peers using technology developed in Kenya to make a positive difference.” She added, “They are an inspiration to the tech community about what tech should be about, empowering individuals and communities to achieve their full potential.”
AI Kenya were recognised for being amongst the first in Kenya to create awareness about artificial intelligence (AI) and for creating a space for AI specialists and aspiring AI specialists to connect with each other and advance their careers.
Akirachix is a not for profit organisation that has helped over 1,000 marginalized women between age 18 -25 years in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). These are women who would not have been able to receive a post-secondary education. They are now working in big corporates and tech start-ups, and some are entrepreneurs.
iHub were recognised for their ability over the years to facilitate collaborations between entrepreneurs and tech experts across a broad range of disciplines, and for creating more opportunities for women in Kenya’s tech sector.
Sackey Freshia is an engineering student who won at the annual JKUAT Tech Expo with her Walking Buddy project, an automated walking stick for the blind that comes with obstacle detection and navigation capability and gives appropriate audio, and tactile feedback. It also adds an SOS feature for emergency contact. Sackey was also the winner of the first Techfugees Hackathon held by the iHUB, Kenya Red Cross, Samuel Hall, Oracle and Google, to seek solutions for health and communication problems facing refugees in Kakuma Refugee Camp.
Techno Brain has employed over 1,000 people in tech, across the African continent. Their work environment empowers and nurtures innovation within their teams. Techno Brain were also recognised for using partnerships, and training to recruit and retain talented youth and women from low income backgrounds.
The awards were presented by the main NTW2019 Sponsors – GIZ Make IT Africa, Microsoft, JUMO and Moringa School.