Seedstars Nairobi Winners
In 2005, the Ministry of Local Authorities through the Nairobi City council and the Nairobi Central Business Association embarked on a plan of developing a physical address system for commercial buildings in the city. The plan involved giving specific numbers to buildings on every street in the central business district. The project was accomplished. Unfortunately, this was never extended beyond the city centre. This left the nightmare of trying to trace your route in a city with no physical addresses intact.
It is this problem that the winner of Seedstars Nairobi 2014 seeks to address. OkHi, which I assume is a mash up of the abbreviated okay, and the greeting hi is wading into difficult waters. In their own words, they are not trying to address a problem in Nairobi’s physical address system, because it does not exist. Thus, they are trying to create a physical address system.
OkHi, allows users to create their own OkHi physical addresses via mobile phones. They can then share the addresses through WhatsApp, SMS or email with friends and family on the OkHi platform to enable them access their residencies, shared spaces like markets and even landmark buildings.
Timbo Dryson, a co-founder of OkHi said he was was motivated to develop the platform because there is a massive need for on location services. Aspects like emergencies and e-commerce require a more specific address system.
OkHi plans to address the problem for more than half of the half population that do not have a physical address system.
As the winner of Seedstars Nairobi, Timbo Dryson will be able to take a fully catered trip to Geneva Switzerland for Seedstars World . He will compete with winners form 19 other Seedstars regional competions around the world for a chance to win $ 500,000 in funding.
Judges said they chose OkHi because it was addressing a real problem and could be scaled all over the world.
The event saw 20 startups pitching for the chance to travel to Geneva. However, there were few new startups seen as most of those competing have taken part in several other competitions.
“It’s the same teams I am always seeing in every startup competition,” one of the judges told this writer.
BiGx.com and Studysearch,which are Ghanaian and Nigerian respectively, emerged runners-up. BiGxGh is a music streaming platform while Studysearch is a service that matches Nigerians seeking education abroad with universities and international universities recruiting in Nigeria with applicants.