Three Lessons For Innovators & Techpreneurs: Learning From Ushahidi’s History

Will Mutua | Afrinnovator | December 19, 2011

The Ushahidi crowdsourcing platform recently secured an additional $1.9 million round of funding from the Omidyar Network spanning 3 years.

Ushahidi has definitely grown from strength to strength since 2008 when it was created and first deployed, really as a hack creating a quick solution to an evident problem at the time. The solution happened to work well and picked up momentum, drawing the attention of many across the globe. Powered by a small community of local developers and volunteers in Kenya and it’s diaspora, the ‘hack’ took shape as a powerful tool for crowdsourcing information, particularly during crisis situations.

Beyond the Kenyan crisis, the technology was revised and improved, drawing more and more developers and more eyes to the interesting innovation. This included the Omidyar Network and others who poured in some fuel in the form of funding that allowed the founders of Ushahidi to focus and create, this time not spontaneously out of the urgency of creating a solution to a present pressing problem but intentionally, a solid platform that could scale not only technologically but also in terms of applicability...