Intel Shark Tank, Looking for New Talent in Kenya Mobile App Scene


So how far has mobile development come in the country, iHub and Intel decided to create an event to gauge this. The Intel Shark Tank brings together app creators and investors and between them you can trust that a lot of hard questions are asked. Of course app creators stand to gain from this, if the sharks like your app and the business model you may just get that funding. According to Mbugua Njihia, MC for the event, apps are judged on the quality, relevance, ease of monetization, and creativity.

Just from a few pitches at the event, developers are doing a lot of work to improve the quality of apps in the country. Abel Masai, Newsdrift creator, says the app has recorded 1300 downloads with 1000 regular users. An impressive number which also comes up in a presentation by the University of Games whose app has recorded over 1000 downloads. Analytics were emphasized by the shark tank panel as way for determining market sizes as developers roll out their apps.

Benard presenting Newsdrift to the Sharks
Abel presenting Newsdrift to the Sharks

What does the app developer provide value the user? Relevant content was a key theme during the conversations between the panel and app creators. University of Games’ ElectionThief for instance addresses issues surrounding Kenyan elections – voter education, violence. This is done while providing a fun exercise to the user with 75 levels of increasing difficulty.

App creators mention paid versions and ads as potential sources for cash. Momentum Core addresses the issue of cash flow from a unique angle with Simiyu the Chicken. Momentum Core charges the user $0.22 for each level in the game.

From among the 8 startups pitching at the event Intel promises a $5000 marketing budget to the product they like best. Mobile devices play a significant role in the Kenyan market, a factor which Intel is tapping into to push for the adoption of their platform in mobile development. Currently Intel runs a program in partnership with iHub which equips developers to create applications for Intel powered Android phones.