Two Kenyans Win Sh4.8 million in Google Challenge


Two Kenyans are among three winners of the Sh7.2 million  Google Android Developer Challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa aimed at encouraging mobile phone applications for use in Africa.

The two, Mr David Lemayian of  Capefield Ltd and Mr Gerald Kibugi of  Elan Telemedia Ltd and the third one from Nigeria, Afrinolly, will each receive Sh2.4  million ($25,000).

They are expected to use the money to grow their businesses, with mentoring from Google.

The three winning applications, were chosen from hundreds of developers in Sub-Saharan Africa who submitted applications for entertainment, media and games; social networking and communication; and productivity, tools, and geo services.

Capefield’s application, Olalashe (which means ‘brother’ in Maasai) is a geo-alert application that could help one communicate when in distress, through a widget that sends the location of the person with a pre-set message at the push of a button.

Elan Telemedia Ltd’s Shoppers’ Delight allows buyers to compare prices across supermarkets in different areas, unearthing bargains complete with access maps and health information.

The winners were chosen from a short-list of 29 finalists who were then provided with new phones, mentoring from Google and also given six weeks to improve their applications.

The judges also gave honourable mention to finalist apps Rainbow Racer and Wedding Plandroid whose developers would each receive $5,000 (Sh471,200).

The three winning apps, honourable mentions and finalists wouldsoon be available on the Android Market. More than 1,000 developers participated in over 25 Android hackathons.

Software developers submitted their apps to one of three specially-designated categories from June 1.

Each application was only submitted to a single category. To determine the winner, there were two rounds of submission.

Google judges reviewed the applications to determine the top three in each region by category (27 in total). Those who reached the final stage, were each awarded Android devices and given six weeks to improve their apps before the committee of judges announced the three winners.


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