BlackBerry Jam in Kenya sparks innovation


More than 40 developers attended the BlackBerry Jam Sessions Super Hackathon over the weekend at the 88mph Garage in Nairobi, Kenya, illustrating the high level of interest amongst the developer community in Kenya for creating apps for the BlackBerry platform.

Dr Allan Makenzi, MD of Avallain Africa, addresses the developers (image: BlackBerry)

In August this year, Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry solution, held the BlackBerry 10 Mini Jam, where developers were trained on how to create apps for the upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform.

The Super Hackathon was an intense 10-hour programming session where developers planned, designed and developed their apps and their business models for BlackBerry 10 smartphones. It was also a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and BlackBerry experts, have fun and even win some great prizes.

At the end of the day, developers presented their apps to a panel of judges for a chance to win prizes, including BlackBerry Jam Session badges, trophies, developer kits, BlackBerry PlayBook tablets and more. The overall winning team took home a cash prize of Ksh 60,000.

Developers came up with some really innovative apps that show just how much potential there is in the next-generation BlackBerry 10 OS and platform. The winners included:

* Best App – Tech Echo is an app that provides a networking platform for developers allowing them to communicate, share ideas as well as collaborate in their day to day lives, developed by Kweli Mukeli.

* Best Game –Konnekt4Wild, a game that allows users to align objects on a grid with some animals. Future milestones will allow one to play via Bluetooth or online, developed by Konnekt4.

* Best Idea – Check it, an app that addresses the issue of counterfeit pharmaceuticals.  It allows users to check if a product is genuine by entering the product code into a text box and checking it against a database, developed by Check IT.

* Best Design – Travelous is an app that offers a social travelling experience that compares a traveler’s life back home and the place they are visiting. The app compares user information on the user side and matches it to life back at home, developed by League of Extra Ordinary Gentlemen.

Staff writer