Friday, March 27, 2015

THINK Announces Top 10 Finalists for Investment and Incubation in Rwanda

THINK Announces Top 10 Finalists for Investment and Incubation in Rwanda
Digital companies selected from competitive applicants in 14 countries

26 March 2015, Kigali, Rwanda, Tech incubator think announced today the top 10 finalists for its second cohort. Selected finalists are in the running for investment and incubation from Tigo and its parent company Millicom at the state-of-the-art think incubation site.

The second cohort will build on the success of think’s first cohort comprised of Rwandan company TorQue and Nigerian company Cribpark, who both received investment, access to key networks, assessment of growth, and office space.

Think received highly qualified applications from 14 countries, and the finalists represent six African nations: Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda, as well as the US. A committee of top tech investors, including executives from Millicom, Tigo Rwanda, the African Entrepreneur Collective, and leading regional tech entrepreneurs, are in the process of selecting up to 5 companies. The chosen businesses will join think in May, receiving $15,000 in equity investment, strategic consulting services, and a tailored growth-training curriculum, as well as access to Tigo resources and global tech mentors.

The think top 10 include early stage companies that provide a variety of IT Solutions, addressing diverse consumer needs throughout Africa, with an ability to scale rapidly:

Bitnexa, Uganda
Product: A bitcoin exchange for merchants and individuals, using mobile money to exchange local currencies with bitcoins.

Get It, Rwanda
Product: Text-to-order sales and distribution platform delivering household items to last-mile consumers.

GutsHaven, Nigeria
Product:  Web platform that connects a local community of freelancers to those who need small projects completed.

Howxit, South Africa
Product: A mobile app for real-time communication via text, voice and video.

Malaika Travel & Tours, Rwanda
Product: A travel app designed to crowd-share rides and excess luggage allowances.
 Mergims, Rwanda
Product: A mobile application that allows Rwandan migrants to pay airtime, tuition fees, and utility bills efficiently.

SeedBox, Uganda
Product: An interactive online mentorship platform, connecting young African entrepreneurs to those around the globe

SoftProviders, Burundi
Product: A multi-function, adaptable mobile payment platform, leveraging patented M-PAY technologies.

THE Exchange Visionary Labs, United States
Product: Contact lenses that display an augmented reality. Think 3D Google glass.

Two4one, Kenya
Product: A mobile platform incentivizing people to eat out, go out, and hang out more often.

Tongai Maramba, General Manager of Tigo Rwanda, said: “We are excited about the promising top 10
finalists.  Investing in the final selected companies from among this group is a hallmark of Tigo’s commitment to innovation and to growing the IT startup environment across Africa.”

About think:
think, the “technology incubator in Kigali”, launched in 2014 in Rwanda for tech startups seeking to create digital solutions with the potential to scale across Africa.  Africa IT News rated think as one of the top tech startup incubators to watch in 2015.  With a young and dynamic population and significant government investment in the country’s ICT infrastructure, Rwanda provides a unique opportunity as a platform for technology startups. Millicom, operating under the Tigo brand in Africa, is the angel investor behind think.

For more information:                                                                 
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Tigo Public Relations                                                                       Follow us on Twitter: @thinkrwanda
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