The International Consumer Electronics show (CES), the world’s annual gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies, show cased more than 3800 exhibiting companies from January 1st-9th 2017 at the sands Expo Centre in Las Vegas, Nevada. The exhibiting companies like it has always been include; manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, technology delivery systems and more. Of the 3800 exhibiting companies and startups, ‘Matibabu’ an innovation under incubation at Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) joined in after successfully applying online and being selected to participate in this show. Matibabu is a pocket-sized hardware device that uses a beam of red-light to detect malaria parasites in tissues. The technology is simple to use, non-invasive, low cost and does not require blood drawing devices making it viable in primary health care settings in hard-to-reach areas where the microscope is not accessible in many such contexts.
With a booth in the Eureka Park under TechCrunch, Matibabu represented by Brian Gitta (Co-Founder and CEO) and Josiah Kavuma (Co-founder and CTO) show cased the current prototype to industry delegates from big technology companies as well as investors. The team also took part in the TechCrunch start up Hardware battle field which brings together the world’s top early phase startups on one stage to compete for the coveted Metal Man Trophy, a $50,000 prize (£30,000), and the attention of media and investors. The judges included TechCrunch editors as well as top world Venture Capitalists. ‘’These startups represent what the TechCrunch team feels are the most interesting and promising early-stage hardware companies being built. Whether medical devices, construction safety, healthy lifestyles or electric vehicles are your fancy, we have got you covered with this batch.’’ Commented a representative from TechCrunch. The ‘Matibabu’ team pitched their unique technology in front of expert judges as covered in this link also shared on the official TechCrunch website (https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/06/matibabu-uses-light-to-diagnose-malaria/).
Even when the Matibabu team did not win the pitch competition, these innovators learnt and picked good insights into the innovation’s Business Model and market segments from the judges ‘It was yet another rich learning and sharing opportunity for the Matibabu team’, shared Brian Gitta! ‘It is at this engagement that we further practiced and attained additional skills of how to pitch to an investor in the shortest time possible (less than 3 minutes), intensified understanding of what exactly we as innovators need to present or pitch to the investors? And it was also another learning opportunity for us to pick from other start-ups at the show the importance of always remaining aggressive in marketing one’s innovation or product among others’ added Gitta.