The Up Accelerate Program a part of a regional initiative by the UNFPA with funding from UKAID is a health-based innovation accelerator that was launched last year in November 2016 focused on empowering youth to address sexual and reproductive health bottlenecks, and was set to run until October 2017.
Up Accelerate seeks to explore new and engaging ways to tackle pressing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges in Uganda while promoting social entrepreneurship among young people.
Outbox Hub in partnership with UNFPA invited innovators to the Pitch Day of the first cycle of the Up Accelerate initiative early this year in January where ten finalist were selected and pitched their ideas to an independent panel of Judges leaving only four teams emerge winners of a business and technical training, USD$10,000 each in Seed Funding, and mentor-ship for four months. However, after four months of mentorship, the four teams that won, had to still pitch to the judges to rank the overall winner, and Team Stre@mline (Formerly known as Snap HMIS) were did ranked the overall winners during the Demo/Pitch Day Event that was held on Tuesday at the Outbox incubation hub.
— Up Accelerate (@UpAccelerate) May 30, 2017
During the Demo/Pitch Day Event, ten other teams that were selected finalists in the second call for applications of the Up Accelerate Program pitched to a panel of three judges; Mr. Alfred Wise; Country Director of Living Goods in Uganda, Ms. Susan Ajok; Executive Director of Straight Talk Foundation, and Mr. Lawrence Were.
— Up Accelerate (@UpAccelerate) May 25, 2017
Four teams; Team Blood Finder, Team ECO Smart Pads, Team mScan Uganda, and Team Data Health Harvesters – were selected by the judges as winners receiving USD$10000 each and will be under going a mentorship program till October this year where they are expected to present how far they have reached with their products.
The Keynote Speaker at the Demo/Pitch Day Event, Mr. Vincent W. Bagiire permanent secretary at the Government of Uganda and representative from the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance during his keynote session said innovation involves sacrifice and commitment and therefore the Ministry is ready to fund innovators.
What the winning teams pitched
1. Team Blood Finder: Developed a web-based application that monitors the blood stock levels of specific blood types, and their app uses a barcode to scan and track each blood data.
2. Team ECO Smart Pads: The team is using sugarcane residue to make and deliver cheap a low cost sanitary towels for girls in the rural communities.
3. Team mScan Uganda: Developing a prototype probe that can be bought or rented by maternal hospitals, private clinics, and other health centers. Their probe will monitor the baby’s vitals and conditions, in return saving the lives of the unborn babies with abnormalities.
4. Team Data Health Harvesters: Developing a mobile application that will digitize the process of health data collections in hospitals and clinics. Their app will present a proper patient data collection and storage infrastructure for better accountability and also offers several data categories such as immunization, drug accountability, and so forth.