TOP UR STUDENTS WIN 200,000 RWF TO WORK ON START-UP IDEAS
The African Innovation Prize, on 19th March 2016, awarded 10 University of Rwanda students 200,000 Rwf each for winning its Business Idea Challenge.
The top 10 business ideas were chosen by a panel of judges from a total of 486 submissions. Winning ideas included a proposed ceramic water filter for rural residents, a mobile application that allows people to find their lost identification cards, and a mobile health clinic, among others.
The 2016 Business Idea challenge winners (in no particular order) were:
Christian Iradukunda – Medisync Christian’s application aims to help private clinics in daily management of patients
Yvette Iradukunda – Agri-healthcare With many crop diseases affecting farmers on a daily basis, Yvette wants to avail symptoms and treatment information through a mobile application
Viateur Ndagijimana – Vinyungwe The Protected Nyungwe forest is home to myriads of bees and Viateur wants to use modern methods to produce pure organic honey and derived products
Moses Ishimwe – Anti-mosquito lotion Malaria is a major cause of death in Africa, and Moses wants to create a lotion with natural extracts to repel mosquitoes that spread this terrible disease.
Fidele Gisore – Silver Coated Ceramic filters Fidele wants to create very affordable water filters for rural communities that are out of reach from government water grids
Ebenezer Mugisha – ID track Ebenezer will create a lost and found application to track and find missing Identity Cards without going through tiring government processes
Emmanuel Nzabandora – Hydraulic oil Emmanuel will create Hydraulic oil from the natural plant Ricinus and lower prices for car drivers and machine operators
Etienne Ndagijimana – Accounting Services Many cooperatives struggle to manage their finances professionally, Etienne wants to provide specialized accounting services to these important actors in the economy
Emmanuel Twizeyimana – Data Collection A seasoned data collection agent, Emmanuel will create an application that will ease surveys and research for NGO’s and companies in the region
Jean De La Croix Niyirora – Mobile Clinic Jean De La Croix wants to reach patients in remote areas with a repurposed bus that will house a consultation room and a laboratory for timely treatment
Special recognition prize: Grace Umuhoza – Baby an angel As life becomes very busy for parents in urban areas, Grace will train babysitters to help them care for their children safely and professionally.
“AIP’s work and investment has made many young Rwandans job creators rather than job seekers,” said Moses Tumusiime, director of UR’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development.
Students submitted paragraph length business ideas, which were judged on their creativity, scalability, and market need. Students from every college within the university submitted ideas, and previous years’ winners have gone on to develop their ideas into functional businesses.
“I thought business was all about making money, I didn’t know business was all about creating value,” said Origene Igiraneza, winner of the 2015 AIP Business Plan Competition, the next step for business idea winners.
He told the winners that success in the challenge was not a destination, but only a first step toward something larger. Winners now have to further their business ideas into a business plan and enter the next phase of the competition, in which they have to produce full business plans and defend them before a panel of judges.
AIP — an affiliate of the African Entrepreneur Collective — was founded to spur entrepreneurship and innovation among Rwandan youth.
“When students have ideas that turn into actions and then into businesses, that develops the country and community,” said Julienne Oyler, CEO and founder of AEC.