Kenyan start-up Crowd Journal wins Kshs. 660,000 in a challenge

Kenya’s start-up, Crowd Journal has won Kshs. 660,000 ($6000) in a Digital Democracy Challenge organized by Seedstars.

The start-up amplifies underrepresented voices in mainstream media by facilitating participatory journalism.

Through the digital platform, eyewitnesses worldwide are able to publish their experiences thereby giving voice to stories that would otherwise be shunned by mainstream media

Crowd Journal came third in the hackathon after Divao from Hong Kong and SafeNow NG which were first and second respectively.

Divao which creates a private blockchain to let locals in a neighborhood find, offer, and exchange services, goods and other community values such as spaces won $10,000 (Kshs. 1,100,000) while Nigeria’s SafeNow NG won $8000 (Kshs. 880,000).

The Nigerian start-up runs a mobile application, a one-click solution for quick reporting of unsafe incidence to helpmates and security authorities. The platform aims to amplify the call for safety for families, friends, and democratic nations at large.

According to Seedstars, the 72-hour online hackathon was organized to find innovative, low-cost, and viable digital solutions to uphold a digital civic and democratic public space under challenging and complex conditions.

“The program sought solutions that would allow citizens, activists, civil society actors, disenfranchised political actors and other stakeholders to stay in contact with each other and their supporters abroad, keep the democratic space alive, maintain a space for dialogue and ideas, and provide first-hand accounts of government activities,” said Seedstars.

The 72-hour collaborative digital process included sessions and mentors who helped the startups refine and improve their ideas and finished off with a demo where the participants pitched to a jury.


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