AMPION Venture Bus Stops over at MakSPH – ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) on Saturday October 17, 2015


Makerere University School of Public Health – ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) Innovation Lab partnered with the AMPION Venture Bus 2015 to host a stop-over event for the young innovators at the RAN Innovation Lab.  It was about 2:46 pm EAT on the rainy afternoon of Saturday October 17, 2015 when the AMPION Venture Bus gracefully entered the gates of Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) Innovation Lab. We welcomed over 54 travellers on the Bus who included rising entrepreneurs, Mentors, Coordinators of the AMPION Venture Bus and partners from GIZ Germany. This was a short 2 hour break from the journey through East Africa but very remarkable and exciting both for Innovators on the Bus and Innovators from RAN who attended this memorable event on Saturday at RAN.


The AMPION Venture Bus is an initiative to create innovation through technology and entrepreneurship in Africa. The idea behind AMPION’s Venture Bus is very simple; Young Entrepreneurs are on boarded on the Bus for a couple of days! Designers, business experts and developers meet on the Venture Bus and team up to create innovative startups providing solutions to local challenges in Africa.  The AMPION Venture Bus is an amazing road trip in different countries, and it is a great chance to meet top investors, mentors and co-founders among others.


The AMPION Venture Bus kicked off with two successful tours in Morocco and West Africa in September. The bus then embarked on a journey which started from 13th to 19th of October from Dar es Salaam via Arusha, Nairobi, Kisumu, Kampala (RAN Lab), Mpigi –Social Innovation Academy and finally finishing in Rwanda where the Ampioneers will visit and participate in the Transform Africa Summit 2015 in Kigali, Rwanda where the winners will be awarded. Operations of the AMPION Venture Bus are guided by the theme “Creating Sustainable Star-ups”

A big Thank you to the “AMPION Venture Bus Team” for proving a great opportunity to Joshua Businge one of RAN’s innovators working on the Matibabu (Non Invasive Malaria Diagnosis Kit) and Brian Ndyaguma, a Consultant on the RAN Outreach Program to participate in this year’s AMPION Venture Bus activities. It was during the break at the RAN Innovation Lab that the seven teams of start-ups (MedSure, Team Mitambo, Know You, M-Chanjo, Team Makoa, The Waiting Line and Titi Tech) on the bus pitched their projects to the RAN staff, innovators, students, faculty, mentors and the community at large.


The RAN Deputy Chief Party Dr. Roy William Mayega with vast experience in m-health innovations made pertinent annotations and encouraged the young innovators to think about interventions in line with Decision Support Systems (DSS) of Health workers. “For example: How can you assist a Nurse who has to make a decision from about 1000 instructions while delivering a mother?” he remarked


Michael Ninyitegeka, a re-known Business Model Expert took the workshop participants through facts about growing their start-ups. In his engaging chat with the Ampioneers, he stressed four main issues that innovators should keep in mind. He said, “all innovators must know their customers thus the importance of Needfinding as you innovate, know the existing gap that you are seeking to fill, value the team and value add each member on the team brings to the innovation and understand what exactly you would want to do in order to build on the existing rather than re-inventing the wheel as well co-creation where they involve other disciplines in the innovation process.


 Maggie Linak, from the Global Development Lab | Higher Education Solutions Network
US Agency for International Development USAID-Washington D.C also attended the workshop and in her remarks, she appreciated the efforts by all those working in support of innovation to address communities’ most pressing challenges and encouraged innovators to always work towards growing/scaling their start-ups. She added, “Innovators, do not be afraid to share about your projects, the feedback in form of question and answer (critique to the projects or start-ups) provides a great opportunity for you as an innovator to improve your project”.   It was a rich networking opportunity coupled with receipt of feedback directed towards further improvement of the start-ups but also pitching style and format.  Additionally, during the workshop at ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) the Ampioneers were offered nothing but the best in guest lectures and guidance to help them foster their business models to the next level. Details about the event were also shared on Facebook and the conversation shared widely on twitter under #VentureBusEastAfrica.


Deborrah Schaer, Head of Marketing and Communications for the AMPION Venture Bus also strongly noted that the AMPION team is committed to supporting all the start-ups directed towards positively impacting the communities.



AMPION is the leading pan-African entrepreneurship initiative to enable young Africans to start technology start-ups and creating considerable social and economic impact. AMPION organizes Venture Bus programs accompanied by international mentors and followed by the AMPION fellowship, an extensive incubation program. For more information, please visit  The AMPION Venture Bus East Africa was made possible by the support of Merck, Microsoft and GIZ on behalf of BMZ.

Photos are shared here