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When a Doctor, an Advocate, a CEO, and a Strategist pour insights into your business idea

The AMUA accelerator, an accelerator designed to bring out solutions faced by people with disabilities concerning Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) was at the third phase of its implementation -The Bootcamp. A 10 day series of training held from the 4th to the 13th of November at Sahara Ventures.

This phase of the project designed to bring out the best from the already submitted ideas by turning them into prototypes.

Each team with up to 3 participants represented different regions from across the country. There were teams from Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Iringa, Zanzibar, Singida and Dodoma. During the Bootcamp, the 10 shortlisted teams were able to nourish their ideas by learning from industry experts.

In this read, we will go through highlights of what happened during the Bootcamp, the learnings and a brief description of the best 8 teams.

Bootcamp highlights

  1. Pitching was a daily ritual. Every morning after the recap of the previous day, the teams were required to stand in front of the crowd and pitch their ideas. The mode was; Practice. Refine. Repeat! In the end, delivering a top-notch presentation takes work and a whole lot of practice. This allowed the mentees to learn the triggers to wow an audience and particularly the judges!
  2. What is business training without Canvases? The Canvases used were the: Lean Model Canvas, Design thinking Canvas, and the Empathy Map Canvas. Different mentors focused on different canvases with respect to the areas they were teaching. The teams were able to immensely learn about how to design products that are centered on the customer. They had to deep dive and refine value prepositions of their ideas and further understand the impact they will leave to the community. This ultimately allowed the teams to make the most out of their Unfair Advantage after identifying it. It is without questionable doubt that the canvas tools are effective in numerous ways; Inconsistencies can easily be visible, the overview of the important criteria is clarified, and it allows users to think in a structured way.
  3. The diversity of mentors. The mentors that were directly involved with the teams were diverse individuals with different professionals in relation to the business industry. It was a sincere pleasure for UNFPA and Sahara Ventures to have these mentors and watch them as they shaped the ideas of the 10 teams;
    • Dk. Elizabeth Mapella, Who shared about the aspect of sexual reproductive health to the mentees
    • Adv. Usaje Mwambene. A learned brother who shared the legal requirements concerning registering and opening a business
    • Mr. Paul Mandele, an expert, and trainer who shared about design thinking and prototyping
    • Mudhakir Abubakar. An experienced CFO who shared the basics of corporate finances.
    • Musa Kamata, a founder, and entrepreneur who shared with the mentees about the Lean model canvas
    • Jumanne Mtambalike, the CEO who shared about the empathy map canvas. How ideas can be customer-centric!
    • Adam Mbyallu, who was the overview facilitator, major focused on shaping the mentor’s pitches, presentations and messages. all was to align the mentees to see from an investors’ ears.
  4. Yes. There was a retreat. This session was embedded in the schedule to ensure that the atmosphere is at ease and the individuals relate with one another in a setting other than the training. Each team was there to win. The pressure and the tension of sleepless nights, a lot of hard work, practice and reading would have been a minus to the participants without a retreat. During the retreat, the teams were able to play team-building games, with a brief scavenger hunt. It was a healthy retreat.
  5. Day 10 was the pitch day. On this day, the teams pitched before the judges with polished ideas and waited for the final verdict. Only 8 teams were able to move to the next phase of the project.

    There was a beautiful representation of judges from different diverse industries. The SRH bit was represented by Dk Mapella and Mr. Robert Ngalomba from UNFPA, The innovation ecosystem was represented by Adrian Nzamba a fellow who has worked in the innovation ecosystem for some time and Isaack Shayo from Smart codes. There was a person with disability who represented the SHIVYAWATA association in Tanzania, Mr. Joseph Migila. It was a tough panel

    The selected 8 teams that were selected after the pitch wars, now stand a chance to win seed fund that totals to 6000USD to create a viable product for testing to the market. Only 4 out of the 8 teams will be able to receive this fund.

Meet the 8 best teams

  • Kitaa konekt - A team from Dodoma with the concept of designing a trending information sharing platform to the community with a special focus on sexual reproductive health knowledge and information to people with disabilities. Siri for SRH
  • Frendlicom - The only team representing the southern highlands, all the way from Iringa is determined to create a virtual translator that interprets sign language to a hearing-impaired patient. It will be installed in health care facilities.
  • Afya kazi - This was a one team with the presentation of a person with a disability, and beautifully designed a one-stop center for providing extensive SRH education, Communication training the local health expert, Special SRH program for ongoing student and employability program
  • eafya - A dar es Salaam team that participated in the first phase of the accelerator which has now secured the opportunity to be among the 8 best teams and participate during the accelerator and the demo day. eAfya Provides a Mobile App which is embedded into a mobile phone with SRH content that is in the form of audio so as to help illiterate people with visual impairment to access it into a friendly way
  • Nulaif - Nulaif is a social-economic living HUB aiming at providing Access to Friendly SRH services, info and education to the community specifically targeting PWDs. IMPACT: Reduce the burden of PWDs begging in the street through Income generating activities. Representing Kilimanjaro
  • Smart care - a female-led team that is keen about designing a tracking device linked to a mobile application that retails Strong GPS, location, geofencing, body changes like the menstrual cycle, temperature and cares instructions, accredited SRH information
  • Kili safe - The Kilisafe package will contain center-based & outreach for children with disabilities and caretakers, Peer support groups for people with disabilities, Safe passports, Consultations & Referrals. This is a physiotherapy center that is already running in Kilimanjaro region
  • Afyatel - Also, a female-led team that is objective about easing the access to correct information, education, and friendly services to the women with disabilities and their families via USSD mobile services.

Insightful lessons

  1. As reported by the Global Partnership for Education estimates that 90% of children with disabilities in low and lower-middle-income countries do not go to school; this was evidenced in the little representation of the participants of the mentees during the Bootcamp. There was only one person with a disability who was, in fact, from an educational institution. This is a challenge to all of us as a country as a citizen to ensure that Persons with disability are encouraged and supported to go to school
  2. To all Organizations and programs that are running PWD inclusive accelerators, it is crucial to design such initiatives that meet the beneficiaries where they are. Most PWDs are either struggling with self-esteem or out of educational systems and the majority hardly participate in general community activities. The best approach could be working with their relevant organizations or using other existing infrastructure like vocational educations institutions.