Test Drive winner Mobilize provides economies of scale to African small business owners

Mobilize winner

Mobilize is one of 18 carefully selected companies that during the fall participated in the STING Test Drive Digital program to develop their business ideas. The winner, Mobilize, is a social business that uses mobile tech to provide economies of scale to small business owners in Africa. Their bulk-buying and delivery platform aggregates orders from independent traders to unlock bulk discount rates with local farmers, and then co-ordinates the delivery, Uber style, through local vehicle owners. 

– It is now time to validate the hypothesis. We are exploring three test countries: Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. The next steps will be to run small experiments, conduct research and build strategic relationships in the test markets. I am in South Africa next week and will be in Kenya in January, says Fiona Goldrick, founder of Mobilize.

The teams STING Test Drive Digital, which all have early, innovative digital business ideas in areas such as payment services, games for children and “Uber for laundry services”, has during seven evening workshops evaluated and developed their ideas and business models, and learned what it means to build a company. The program is organized by STING and sponsored by the EIT Digital.

At the final, the startups pitched their business ideas to a jury consisting of Magnus Rehn, business coach at STING; Martin Gemvik, Investment Manager Portfolio Development at Industrifonden, and Agneta Jacobsson, business developer at EIT Digital. As winner, the jury selected Mobilize, who received 10,000 SEK. Motivation:

“With a strong presentation, well thought out business model and great potential in a growing market,  Mobilize wins STING Test Drive Digital 2015.”

The fall round of STING Test Drive did not have the often usual dominance of male participants, says program leader Raoul Stubbe.

– In a very heterogeneous group like we had this time – half women, half men, and participants from five continents – there will be an incredible dynamic environment and “high ceilings” in all the discussions, which has helped the development curve of all companies to point straight up, says Raoul Stubbe, program leader and business coach at STING (Stockholm Innovation & Growth).

The next round of STING Test Drive Digital held in autumn 2016. Follow STING on Facebook to stay up to date on our programs and events.