Press Release AMPION – Berlin/Harare 06/11/2014
Southern African Venture Bus destined for AfricaCom next week
- HaltEbola pitch wins West Africa AMPION Venture Bus competition, the app facilitates public
education on Ebola and other diseases
- HaltEbola to be rewarded by Microsoft and AMPION with software and training worth 10000€
- South African Venture Bus starting on Friday, headed for Africa’s biggest tech conference AfricaCom
in Cape Town
- AMPION Press conference in Cape Town to be held at StartUp 90 on Nov 13, 8 am
AMPION is proud to present the first winner of the African Venture Buses 2014: “HaltEbola” is a mobile
application using voice messages to connect people in rural areas to share information on Ebola in their
local languages. Meanwhile the AMPION Venture Bus in Southern Africa is ready to go and will welcome 40
high profile participants from Africa and all over the world on board of its hack trip from Harare to Cape
Town on Friday, November 7.
West Africa Venture Bus Africa says “halt” to Ebola
Faced with severe obstacles due to the on-going Ebola disease, AMPION decided to face the problem head
on. Instead of cancelling or delaying the West African event, the Ampioneers were encouraged to become a
part of the solution instead. As a result, eight great startups emerged on the first Venture Bus 2014
including three solutions to tackle healthcare issues and Ebola:
Teams included Health Ops (information and fast response system about health and epidemics via an
append sms; local Health Ops volunteer to answer questions and provide first assistance), IHealth (app
connecting patients and doctors that bridges long queues at hospitals & improves the quality of medical
advice), AfriEdu (platform designed to gather and increase African content online), Teledidiact (one-year
practical digital skills course accessible to rural people) and Launche (web portal for entrepreneurs to
arrange meetings). AMPION would like to thank their sponsors MTN, SAP and Microsoft who helped to
make this event possible.
Behind the eventual winners of “HaltEbola”, second and third place went to the startups Travlr and FindR
respectively. Travlr is connecting people who need short term housing with home owners within West Africa
whilst FindR is an application that puts your budget into consideration when ordering meals from a
As a reward for their innovative business model, HaltEbola will be supported by AMPION and its sponsor
Microsoft with free software and mentoring worth 10000€. The founders have already expressed their
desire to develop their business idea further and to implement it in the fight against Ebola as soon as
The AMPION Venture Bus West Africa was a very unique experience for us. My team includes Martine Pandam (Togo), Luc Alapini (Benin) and I, Michael Chu’no Ike (Nigeria). We were not contented with expecting others to lead the path in solving African challenges; we were determined to take the lead so that
others can support. To this end, we modeled HaltEbola, a digital platform that uses mobile to connect rural communities to information, practices and expertise that would be helpful in the current Ebola crisis. With the outlook of extensive support through AMPIONs network, we hope to be able to launch the prototype in a few weeks. Recording translations for many West African languages will take some time, but we have started right away!
AMPION would like to specifically thank their sponsors MTN, SAP, Microsoft and SAIS who helped to make
this event possible.More business models and Venture Buses yet to come, next stop: Southern Africa
Having received over 900 applications for this year’s 160 seats on the AMPION Venture Buses, the events
feature Africa’s most promising IT and entrepreneurial talents. Participants on the Southern Venture Bus will
include entrepreneurs like Trevor Sibanda, a spirited youngster from Zimbabwe who, at the age of 19, has
already developed an Anti-Malware Software and who has been coding since the age of 14. He will be
joined by more experienced entrepreneurs like swiss mentor Cédric Waldburger or Gideon Moyo, a Yale
graduate in software engineering and experienced Android developer.
Southern Africa’s AMPION Venture Bus is destined for AfricaCom, Africa’s biggest tech conferences to be
held in Cape Town from November 11-13. On November 7, the bus will depart Harare (Zimbabwe) to
Gaborone (Botswana) and Windhoek (Namibia) before reaching Cape Town (South Africa) on November 12.
On the Bus the participants will form teams to conceive, build and launch a start-up.
The Ampioneers will pitch their startups on stage at AfricaCom. The tech conference welcomes over 9000
decision makers and 350+ key eminent speakers from more than 140 countries. Julie Rey, Programme
Director at AfricaCom, highly anticipates the pitches of the Southern African Ampioneers:
The AfricaCom team is pleased to partner with AMPION for this year’s event. AMPION’s participation enables us to expand our reach to even more local entrepreneurs and to showcase their innovation to our high-level audience.
An AMPION press conference is scheduled to take place in Cape Town on November 13, 8 am and will be
hosted by local accelerator StartUp 90 (Buchanan Square, Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock). Please register
at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend. You will be able to interview our winning startups,
international attendants and leading AMPION members.
AMPION is the leading pan-African entrepreneurship initiative to enable young Africans to start ICT companies, often creating considerable social impact. AMPION organizes 5 day Venture Bus programs accompanied by international mentors and followed by an extensive incubation program. The Venture Buses are regularly covered by media such as CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and brought some of Africa’s most innovative companies to life.
About MTN Group
Launched in 1994, MTN Group is a leading emerging markets mobile operator which is at the forefront of the technological changes sweeping the world. We invest significantly in advanced communications networks, connecting more than 215 million people in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East. MTN has been rated among the top 500 global companies on corporate sustainability and environmental impact in the 2014 Newsweek Green. For more information visit mtnbusiness.com or mtnmmo.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft Corp. is the world-wide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. For more information visit microsoft.com or microsoft.com/africa/4afrika.
SAP is the world leader in enterprise applications in terms of software and software-related service revenue. Based on market capitalisation, SAP ís the world’s third-largest independent software manufacturer with more than 253,500 customers in 188 countries, more than 66,500 employees, and locations in more than 130 countries SAP has a 42-year history of innovation and growth as a true industry leader, and reported €16.82 billion in annual revenues (IFRS) in 2013. For more information, visit www.sap.com.
The Southern Africa Innovation Support (SAIS) programme, funded by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), is a four-year pilot project which seeks to guide innovation in southern Africa. The programme supports collaboration between the innovation systems of African countries in order to create a positive impact on economic and social development in the region.
The SAIS programme includes partnerships in four African countries, namely Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia. These partnerships form ‘the southern cross of innovation’ that unites and guides innovation across the region. The programme is managed by a project office that is located in Windhoek, Namibia, and is led within each partner country by a partner institution that has a dedicated SAIS country coordinator located at the institution. For more information please visit www.saisprogramme.com.
Jan David Jonas Schafft
Co-Founder, Global Head of PR
AMPION – amplifying pioneership
Tel.: +49 (0) 176 621 168 29
Ampion Press Room
Also read our previous Ampion articles