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Nominet Trust, the UK’s leading tech for good funder, has recently unveiled the 2016 NT100 – a celebration of the 100 most inspiring social innovations using digital technology to drive social change around the world. This blogger is pleased to note that 5 Kenyan startups made it onto the 2016 NT100 list. The 5 Kenyan startups that made it onto the list were OneUni, Digital Matatus, Illuminum Greenhouses, Tunapanda Institute and the Well Told Story.

What follows are brief descriptions of these 5 startups:

OneUni is a mobile start up that “turns smartphones into classroom seats” by offering online based degrees from top universities including Strathmore University. The monthly programs even include a data plan for the students to enable access to them wherever they might be.

Digital Matatus (“matatus” is a Swahili word that refers to small passenger buses) digitally maps and collects data about Nairobi’s matatu routes and plans to expand the mapping to other parts of the country. Digital Matatus have also developed mobile routing applications and designed a transit map for Nairobi. One may imagine the impact of this startup if the matatu industry in Nairobi actually adopted these technologies and followed the maps created.

Illuminum Greenhouses offer modern greenhouses with drip and sensor technology to smallholder farmers.  While the Tunapanda Institute is a free online training platform that delivers 3 month learning experiences and opportunities and apprenticeships. One of the platforms offered by Tunapanda include Tunapandanet, a free wireless network that connects users to online content ranging from open source MOOCs and access to the Tunapanda Swag. The Well Told Story is a media platform and a communications, research and productions company that does business in Kenya and Tanzania. The platform is behind the popular youth communication platform Shujaaz.

This blogger congratulates these 5 startups that made it onto the NT100 list. It is hoped that more Kenyan and East African startups will receive such recognition for striving to positively impact the society through the use of digital technology.