The organizing team is excited to officially announce the open call for applications for the PIVOT East 2016 edition.

PIVOT East is Africa’s biggest startups competition and conference held annually since 2011. The competition comprises of a series of activities that will culminate in the finalists conference which will be held on 15th November 2016. The conference is organized by m:lab East Africa and initiative of the iHub.

Set to be held on 15th November 2016, PIVOT East aims to catalyse the growth of startups, so as to amplify and consolidate the gains of East Africa’s digital entrepreneurship ecosystem. The key objective for this year’s event is “to facilitate discovery of the next wave of high potential startups in the region”.

Startups from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Burundi, Somalia and DR Congo can submit their applications at before September 8 2016. Just to be sure your startup qualifies, check more info here but the judges are looking for startups which describe the customer pain, the startups solution, revenue streams, team composition and commitment, market traction, short-term projections and milestones among other aspects.


The competition has five categories which are; Finance, Enterprise, Entertainment, Utilities and Society and Governance. Each category will feature five finalists who will pitch to an audience of Investors, Development Partners, Government Representatives, Telecom Operators and other key stakeholders from East Africa. The 25 finalists will receive training and coaching on how to pitch to investors.


Startups that reached final 25 lists of the previous editions may not compete with products/services previously submitted for the competition. The judging panel will have discretion to disqualify entries in breach of this requirement. Companies that entered the competition but did not make it to the finals can compete with the same product.

The deadline for submission of applications is on 8th September 2016. Applicants are encouraged to start building and curating their startup profiles early as they might need to research or source some of the information required widely.

Applicants are also required to upload a short (max 5 mins) video of the founders expressing the mission and strength of their startups on their VC4Africa profile.