Empowering Startups in Uganda: Anatoli Kirigwajjo
In the realm of technological innovation and community empowerment, the collaboration between Yunga Technologies and HIVE COLAB stands as a beacon of progress. At the forefront of this partnership is Anatoli Kirigwajjo, the co-founder and lead of Yunga Technologies, who has spearheaded an innovative initiative that redefines safety and unity within African neighborhoods.
Yunga Technologies has introduced an ingenious IoT community security device that transcends traditional security paradigms. By establishing a localized rescue network, the innovation enables households to proactively safeguard one another in real-time, reducing reliance on external entities such as the police and private security firms. Rooted in the spirit of African culture, where sharing and trust are paramount, communities are organized into networks consisting of 10 to 30 households. Each of these networks is equipped with a YUNGA device, seamlessly connected through a local network. Additionally, police stations are integrated into the system. In times of emergencies or attacks, a simple button press on the device sends out a distress message to other connected devices and phones within the network. This message includes vital victim details and address information, triggering a swift and coordinated community response. This feature is also accessible through the YUNGA mobile application, ensuring accessibility and ease of use.
The journey of Yunga Technologies realized significant progress through the Youth Startup Academy Uganda (YSAU), implemented by HIVE COLAB in partnership with the International Trade Centre, Korea, SMEs Startups Agency and NITA Uganda. The YSAU is a transformative initiative which encompasses an array of invaluable services, from providing access to cutting-edge manufacturing and maker spaces, to facilitating mobile app testing and offering collaborative workspaces. Expert coaches, both local and international, stand ready to guide and mentor participants, while exposure to international markets and connections with investors pave the way for success. Anatoli Kirigwajjo and his team embarked on this transformative path and witnessed remarkable growth. Before their involvement with YSAU, they had already sold 400 devices to as many homes since 2019. Joining YSAU opened doors to refining critical aspects of their business. The program's connections with real-world investors from Korea and Uganda paved the way for enhanced investment readiness. Through rigorous pitch practice, their capacity to attract investors grew, resulting in a flourishing investment funnel. Ultimately, the YSAU network became a source of funding, driving Yunga Technologies further.
Notably, this journey led Yunga Technologies to a prestigious recognition—the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation by the Royal Academy of Engineering winning £25,000. Their dedication to innovation and growth made them worthy recipients of this accolade. By the program's culmination, Yunga Technologies had impressively expanded, incorporating over 1,000 households into their network or selling their innovative devices. Their remarkable growth journey culminated in the remarkable achievement of securing the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2023 from the esteemed Royal Academy of Engineering in the United Kingdom.
Looking ahead, the mission of Yunga Technologies resonates with empowerment and inclusivity. Anatoli Kirigwajjo and his team are committed to utilizing the raised funds and prize money to extend their reach, connecting an additional 6,000 households to the YUNGA network within the next year. Notably, a significant proportion of these households will be led by women, reflecting the commitment to gender inclusivity and equality. The overarching aspiration is equally inspiring—to have 5 million households linked to the YUNGA network across pivotal African markets by 2030.
In the tapestry of this remarkable journey, HIVE COLAB emerges as a critical implementer of the Youth Startup Academy Uganda project. HIVE COLAB's integral role in nurturing and guiding emerging entrepreneurs has contributed immensely to the success story of Yunga Technologies. As a hub for innovation and collaboration, HIVE COLAB's influence reverberates through the success of projects like Yunga Technologies, creating a brighter and more secure future for African communities.