During the global technology and entrepreneurship competition, Technovation Challenge 2016, that took place yesterday in San Francisco, California, five students from Precious Blood, Riruta in Nairobi emerge as winners from their mobile App, a booking and payment transport solution.
The five students from safaricom’s initiative of Women in Technology (WIT) namely; Priscilla Wambui, Laura Ayushi, Victoria Kanan, Gladys Wairimu and Harriet Karanja are known as the ‘Sniper Team’ developed a mobile app dubbed M-safiri, a bus booking app solution.
The M-safiri app which was developed as an App challenge has won Sh1 million (US$10,000) for funding its launch.
“The M-Safiri app was developed out of a strong urge to solve community problem using modern technology. It is the answer to the difficulties that come with booking a bus or matatu during peak seasons such as the festive seasons, back-to-school or when one is unable to physically go to a bus station to have a seat reserved for them,” the students explain in a brief about the app.
“We plan to provide a reliable and convenient way for citizens to book vehicles and channel transport payments so that the long queues that are usually in booking offices can come to an end,” they said.
The students hope that the solution that can also be adopted by providers of rental vehicles and limos is set to raise the standards of travel and transport in Kenya.
Through the Safaricom WIT initiative, students are not only mentored but also introduced to the basics of coding, user-interface design, market research, and entrepreneurship and presentation skills.
“We are proud of the success that the Sniper Team has achieved through this opportunity to take part in this global platform. The aim of Safaricom WIT is to inspire girls to see themselves not just as users of technology, but as inventors, designers, builders and entrepreneurs who can solve real-world problems through technology,” said Ann Cheboi, a Safaricom WIT member.
Ms Cheboi added that through Safaricom WIT, the girls will work in teams to develop mobile apps, conduct market research, write business plans, and create a “pitch” for funding for these apps that are aimed at solving local community problems.