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Uganda’s M-Scan wins Shs93m in 2018 TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa

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Ugandan healthtech startup M-Scan has beaten 14 other African companies to emerge winner of the 2018 TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa.

Yesterday 15 startups from different African countries faced off in the innovation showdown that would reward the winners with the much needed US$25,000 (about Shs93 million) equity-free grand prize, a trip for two to TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019, and the coveted title of ‘Africa’s Favorite Startup’.

Held in Lagos, Nigeria, the 2018 TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa, was the second bout by TechCrunch in Africa, having held the first last year in Nairobi, Kenya.

TechCrunch says it was impressed by the 2017 event, the reason they came back this year.

“African startups impressed us with their innovative solutions and effective business models, so we had to come back and find even more impressive companies from across the continent,” writes Mike Butcher, a reporter at TechCrunch.

TechCrunch reviewed several hundred startups from across the region to come up with the fifteen that faced off today at the Facebook-funded competition.

M-SCAN, the winner at the 2018 TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa, has developed portable mobile ultrasound devices (Ultrasonic probes) that are laptop, tablet, and mobile phone compatible.

According to TechCrunch, “the judges were impressed with its scalability potential to make many other medical access devices affordable for Africa, which mother and infant mortality is unforgivably high.”

Other than M-Scan, Uganda was also represented by LabTech, which has created UriSAF, a urine testing hardware and software solution designed to speed up the diagnosis of Uterine Tract Infections (UTIs).

Bettr, a virtual banking experience powered by your smartphone and your data, was the runner-up.

Bettr has the potential to make banking way more accessible to millions of people currently unbanked across Africa, says TechCrunch.

The other startups that pitched at the 2018 TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa were:

Apollo Agriculture: Leverages advances in machine learning, remote imaging via satellite, and mobile money to deliver input finance and agronomic advice to smallholder farmers with radical efficiency and scalability.

Sud-pay: Developed an integrated, multi-support, multi-service, and multi-operator digital tax collection platform that connects merchants to financial institutions.

Complete Farmer: A “crowdfarming” platform that enables users to invest in sustainable farms and monitor farming activities without discarding their daily routine using data-driven cultivation protocols and IoT enabled precision farming.

FoodHubs: Uses mobile solar powered cold carts and cold rooms to help smallholders farmers store their produce, so as to avoid post-harvest losses.

Honey Flow Africa: Optimizes beekeeping operations by digitizing and bringing the power of IoT to the beekeeping process to improve honey production, processing, and predictability.

AgriPredict: Provide farmers with tools that equip them with information that will improve predicting disease, pest infestations, and extreme weather conditions.

MAX: Transforms moto-taxi mobility in Africa using mobile apps, inclusive data-driven asset-finance, and a comprehensive driver on-boarding program that uses machine learning and psychometric tests to profile drivers and create credit scores for them.

MAX enables financial inclusion for drivers, prioritizes safety, and uses IoT technology to track all drivers in real-time.

CodeLn: An end-to-end technical recruitment platform that automates the entire recruitment process, making it fast and easy for companies to find and test Software Developers and reduce the risk of bad hires.

Bankly: An innovative financial product focused on reaching the unbanked in Africa, in a “Recharge to Save” model. Bankly developed a cash-digitization payment and savings products, in which users pay using Bankly vouchers.

Powerstove Energy: The world’s first clean cookstove with built-in self-powered IoT System for real-time monitoring.

Its 100 percent smokeless biomass cookstove cooks food times faster and burns 70 times less of processed proprietary water-resistant Goodlife Biomass Pellets produced from forest and agricultural waste.

Pineapple: A fully decentralized insurer. With Pineapple, members pay premiums into their own wallets rather than a central pot.

When claims occur, they are distributed to all wallets in the community, which collectively help pay for the claim.

Trend Solar: Assimilated a 4G Android Smartphone and Solar Home System to provide affordable access to energy, internet, and mobile in an all-in-one solution that seeks to address the needs of 640 million+ people currently living off-grid in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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