Mobile Monday-Kenya

Bringing the local mobile industry together…sharing, educating, building

Archive for August, 2011

August 29, 2011
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

Join us this Monday the 29th of August at the iHub for our next MOMO meet up. We have a special focus on Mobile Advertising and are pretty excited to have InMobi as our keynote speakers.

InMobi is the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network. With offices on four continents we provide advertisers, publishers and developers with a uniquely global solution for advertising. Ournetwork is growing and now delivers the unprecedented ability to reach 314 million consumers, in over 165 countries, through more than 36 billion mobile ad impressions monthly. InMobi was recently selected as the 2011 AlwaysOn Top 100 Mobile Companies in Silicon Valley.

We will also be getting an update on upcoming mobile apps event AppCircus as well as some of the awesome work being done by the Ushahidi mobile team.

  • AppCircus–  Judith Owigar  of AkiraChix will be talking about AppCircus
  • Ushahidi Mobile Apps with the Ushahidi Team
  • InMobi- The Economics of Your Ad Supported Application Business with Terence Eden, Developer Community Manager, EMEA, InMobi

Excellent opportunity to network with other mobile developers,entrepreneurs and enthusiasts. If you’ve registered before for other events please go ahead and register again here http://momoke2908.eventbrite.com/ .If you’d like to be present during the meet up in September please send us an email at talk@mobilemonday.co.ke and we will set up a slot for you.

For more information check out:
twitter: twitter.com/mobilemondayke
facebook: facebook.com/mobilemondayke

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  • Filed under: Events
  • The m:Lab’s training on mobile applications development and related technologies is delivered through a short course program. The training program is designed to offer individuals who already have a software development background an opportunity to hone their skills with a mobile technologies focus. It is a program targeted at the thousands of graduates of ICT related degree programs from East African universities.

    The training is undertaken at m:lab East Africa’s new facilities located at Bishop Magua Centre on Ngong road – one floor beneath iHub. The training facility has capacity for 25 students equipped with computers and high speed Internet connections. The Lab’s testing facility equipped with a wide range of mobile devices from various manufacturers is also accessible to the students.

    Technologies covered in the training include USSD, android, J2me, php, mysql, LWUIT, Mobile Web , IVR, User Experience Design, SMS, Systems Design. Students also get to cover training on business for mobile. This is meant to improve their entrepreneurial skills and is complemented by short business incubation period before they graduate. The Lab expects that although some students may complete the course and go into relevant employment positions others will go into entrepreneurship with mobile innovations.

    The current program is a full time daily course on all week days. The students get to interact with other developers and domain experts from different development sectors through events organized by m:lab East Africa and the iHub community.

    Eligibility criteria

    1. Must have completed a degree program (evidence = final year transcript or degree certificate)
    2. Must be available on a full time basis from 9.30am to 3.30pm for 4 months (between September 5th 2011 and December 31st 2011 for second wave of students)

    Number of Students

    A new lot of 25 students is expected to join the training in September 2011.

    Evaluation and Selection Criteria
    The selection panel for submitted applications will consider the following criteria

    1. Familiarity with technology, platforms and programming languages
    2. Accomplishments
    3. Demonstrated interest and motivation
    4. Academic background and performance
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  • Filed under: mobile, Momo News
  • Here comes AppCircus in Kenya.. iHub Nairobi will host the travelling showcase of the most creative and innovative apps on the 10th of September.

    10 developers can pitch in front of an international jury, formed by industry experts.The winner of the AppCircus will get an opportunity to be nominated for the Mobile Premier Awards 2012, which are held during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

    The deadline to participate is the 22th of August!

    Here are the rules for participation:

    • Submissions and presentations to the AppCircus are FREE and open to any developer, Startup or company.
    • Applicants must send one representative person to present the app live on stage.
    • Apps are submitted through the appcircus.com platform.
    • Registration and membership on appcircus are FREE!
    • appcircus.com members need to add the app to their profile before applying to an AppCircus.
    • Each App can only present in one AppCircus, except if it receives a Runnerup Waiver.
    • One app in each AppCircus will be nominated for the pool of apps from which the 20 finalists for the Mobile Premier Awards 2012 will be selected.
    • The app with most votes after the nomination winner, will receive a “Runnerup Waiver”, which allows it to apply again to be selected at another AppCircus.
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  • Filed under: mobile
  • Orange African Social Venture Prize.

    The project aims at rewarding ventures using technology for development purposes. The African Social Venture Prize will reward three projects or enterprises addressing needs of the ‘bottom of pyramid’ market in Africa through technology.

    The digital projects range from e-health and mobile banking to digital and mobile applications for education or agriculture. They therefore represent huge opportunities for social development.

    Prizes

    The 3 winners will receive a financial grant (25K€, 15K€, 10K€) and they will also benefit from a 6-month mentoring by management experts.

    How do I enter?

    Any entrepreneur or any legal entity that has been in existence for fewer than two years at the time of the contest may participate at no cost and with no restriction on nationality.

    Submitted projects must be designed to be deployed in at least one of the African countries in which Orange operates and must offer technology in an innovative way to help improve the living conditions of the populations.

    The African countries of Orange’s footprint are Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Uganda, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Botswana.

    Applications are accepted from June 8 to September 15, 2011 at www.starafrica.com.

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  • Filed under: mobile
  • Where are the True mcommerce Apps?

    You hear a lot of m-this and m-that, and sometime we wonder can we get another name for these mobile apps.  Mobile apps are great and it is encouraging that Kenya is among the top apps producing nation in the world.. can you believe it. Yeah we are that good. The only question always in my mind is how many of these apps are geared towards making money?

    In the last few months Mobile Monday management decided to allow the guys with local apps to come forward and showcase their fine creations. True to the word many developers came forward and they did not disappoint.  Excellent apps with downloads running into thousands and hundred of thousands. The only problem is people don’t eat downloads. That might come out badly but we came to realize that, it might be true when a guy whom i can’t even remember his name came in and presented his tours and travel app on the ovistore and blow everyone off with the amount of money he is making from the people downloading his app. The different between this unknown guy’s downloads and the other more popular downloads is that he is charging for every download made. I would rather have only 100 dowanloads with people paying Ksh.10 rather than have 100k dowanloads with people paying nothing.

    Most of the time I think that with the  free downloaded app, the end game is to have some rich company or investors to buy out the developer after sometime. For that to happen the app has to be very popular, and i mean very popular.If you can’t get it to that high level then put some amount on your app, for heaven sake. make even a cent after a year. Better.

    Why are the local apps not geared towards mcommerce?

    Yes the answer to that at the moment is beyond my paygrade, but i will throw that question back to you, yes you reader.  Mobile commerce (aka “m-commerce”) refers to consumers shopping through mobile payment system. The most popular in Kenya is Mpesa followed by Airtel money and others like yuCash and orange Money.  In the last few days i have been constantly looking for an m-commerce app. This is not about a website with ecommerce function and transacted through Mpesa or mobile payment system. No, i have been looking  for a version of a company’s webpage that is designed to fit within the constraints of a cell phone. We call them apps, so i will stick to that. Where are they?

    Something is not adding up. Although Mobile Money payment has provided widely available electronic network and payment mechanism in Kenya, mcommerce  in its true sense is yet to take off in a big way. Popular companies like Dealfish still can’t make money online, and still wondering what to do next.   I know people will talk about  paying bills, such us electricity bill to Kenyapower but  my experience with that is not that good. If your electricity is going to be cut today and you pay via Mpesa, believe me it will be cut because it takes two days before that transaction is reflected on the system.  For that, you better walk there and pay for the electricity in cash. Now compare that with when i want to buy domains through credit card and it takes only a click of button and the speed of the internet and i have the domain purchased.

    Now we all know that one of the biggest  hindrance to mcommerce in Kenya is Safaricom or Vodafone or whoever is in charge there. The exact point is their refusal to come up with Mpesa API. Again i don’t understand why the Safaricom guys are not giving this a serious thought but i believe that on top of revolutionizing mcommerce in Kenya and beyond, this could be one great cash cow for them.  Yes, i know about those Mpesa APIs you have read about around but don’t believe any of them unless they can prove that they can access Safaricom or Vodafone server. And the true API for Mpesa will definitely come from Safaricom or Vodafone. …..Dear Bob Collymore if you ever read this,give us your thoughts on this as i believe it is a matter of National importance. …sssssshhhh.

    That aside why are the developers not using the other network if Safaricom is so rigid to accept change which actually will internally help them? Big mystery. I find most companies in Kenya very funny, most of them are not willing to take risks and be the first ones to try and test something. Whenever you take something new to them, the first question you get is who else is using  it. Damn it people, why can’t you be the first one to you use it!!!!!!!!!

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  • Filed under: mobile