Octopizzo Hackathon

(Salim Virani) #1

#The Opportunity
A hackathon focusing on enabling non-technical producers, such as women in Kibera, to sell their goods online. We can create a suite of apps with viable business models, enabling local producers and manufacturs. With the input and apps developed by the iHub community, delivered economically to those who need them using Firefox OS, connected directly to the best producers by the Octopizzo Foundation, and promoted by Octopizzo, the initial network effects can be put in place.

#Common Goal - How will it make a difference?
A major difficulty in establish manufacturing in Africa is onward distribution. Established supply chains export raw material, not manufactured goods, leaving small-scale producers unable to sell what they produce. Online channels are beginning to change that, but they’re disconnected from suppliers simply because online marketplaces require their suppliers to be online as well.

#Organisational Goals:
Octopizzo Foundation creates economic opportunities in Kibera, and is looking to create impact in other slums in Africa.
Mozilla has developed Firefox OS to bring connectivity to poorer communities.
Source Institute develops educational techniques appropriate for unique and isolated contexts, and we focus on humanitech.
iHub is the centre of the Kenyan tech community, and is positioning itself to grow its consulting businesses, targeting corporates.

Strategic Relevance

Successful marketing by mobile networks is a key factor in the successful adoption of Firefox OS. Octopizzo is a saught-after brand among the networks in Kenya. These two dynamics have been isolated from each other until now, but the work of the Octopizzo Foundation reveals a common goal - that Firefox OS brings the potential for an app ecosystem that economically benefits low-income markets.


Budget: hackathons can be run $1,000 - 2,000 USD, depending on in-kind sponsorship.

Timeline: A single hackathon can be organised with 3 months lead time.

People needed:
Event manager
Community leaders (for promotion)
Mozilla Dev rep (for training and support)
App developers and UX Designers (as participants)
Goods-producers from Kibera
Founders of marketplaces and e-commerce sites that either sell craft-goods anywhere, or sell manufactured goods in Kenya

Resources needed:
iHub space
Buses or transport from iHub to Kibera
Phones (for development and testing)


  • New supply lines for e-commerce sites
  • New product lines for e-commerce sites
  • Possibly new viable business models for startups
  • Increased traction for Firefox OS
  • Increased sales volume and sale prices for Kibera producers


This is a simple hackathon where the focus is on improving the lives of Kibera producers, such as the women who produce clothing and traditional goods in the Octopizzo Foundation.

We’ll invite them to bring their goods to the hackathon, where they will meet the developers and e-commerce companies. For the duration, they’ll be available to test the usability of the apps developed. (Most have not used a smartphone.)

A simple concept app is to allow them to simply take pictures of their goods and post them for sale. Given that e-commerce companies, producers and designer will be contributing, a much wider variety of apps is expected.

(Salim Virani) #2

Update: Mozilla has moved away from mobile phones to IoT in their focus with Firefox OS, so this makes Mozilla less relevant to the Kibera benefactors.

(Nemanja) #3

lucky me :slight_smile: So one of girls from serbia went in nairobi few days ago for few months. She organised huge events on her own and she is explorer (she organised TED… btw Nemo is speaker on TED in october:)) plus http://it-konekt.com/en , she is looking for these kind of opportunities and I think we can involve her to be one of main people for this thig. what do you think? I can even start talk with her today, move her to telegram, make channel and kick it :slight_smile:

(Nemanja) #4

plus I think it can be well coordinated with her to transfer our message and point, she is dyeing for this kind of opportunity. we have contacts, she has energy and will. right now she is helping people round there and just explore.

I think I can move this really fast

(Salim Virani) #5


If it goes forward without Mozilla, we’re effectively talking doing the same with the cheapest Android phones. And without Mozilla, we don’t have pre-organised group of techies to provide support on the platform, so that’ll mean hustling that up. That’s more work and more variables for us - do you think it makes sense for us to take this on now given it’s harder and we have so much else on our plate atm?

How do you see this playing out? If you’re keen, you can take the lead. First step is for me to check with and intro Octo to see if he’s still keen too.

(Nemanja) #6

Let’s talk about this tmr morning maybe we can set this up (I have idea). Calling you in morning during my source time (you can see it in source calendar :))

(Tito Maina) #7

Did this project take place? and what were the outcomes?

(Salim Virani) #8

Sorry, but no. We missed the window to do it - or at least this version of it - because Mozilla pivoted FirefoxOS away from mobile handsets, and they were a critical part.

I’ve since talked to Octo about variations on this theme, but nothing’s taken hold. Are you interested in doing something like this?

(Tito Maina) #9

I’m interested in helping out where I can. My focus is on design.