top of page

2018 Governors Startup Challenge Bootcamp Highlights

The Governors Startup Challenge, the flagship program of Youth Empowerment Program Initiative (YEPI), brings 10 best and brightest entrepreneurs from around the coast region of Kenya to Diani for one week boot camp of intensive training in the areas of business and entrepreneurship, leadership, and community engagement each year. Competitively selected for this innovative program, the Finalist represent the regions emerging generation of most promising social entrepreneurs, artists, technologist, and business leaders. YEPI and Partners support the Governors Startup Challenge Finalist with continuing business development opportunities for one year after they return to their communities.

Meet the 2018 Class of The Governors Startup Challenge


The 1st edition of the Governors Startup Challenge was held from July 21 - 27, 2018. In partnership with a number of corporate and institutional innovation actors, the Youth Empowerment Program Initiative successfully welcomed ten (10) early stage local startups to Diani, Kenya and immersed them in various activities related to venture creation, design thinking, technology commercialization, social inclusion and networking.


The YEPI Entrepreneurs participated in a curated 3-hour Networking Cocktail at Swahilipot Hub. After a warm welcome from the Patron of Swahilipot, all of the startups had the opportunity to learn from notable speakers and pitch their solutions to a diverse room of Mombasa stakeholders that covered technology, investments and partnerships. Additional networking sessions allowed the startups to receive individual feedback and gain critical insights for their ventures.


The one-week Governors Startup Challenge Bootcamp was filled with fun and stimulating learning activities, providing participants the chance to meet, connect and explore Diani and surrounding areas. On the arrival day, entrepreneurs participated in a team building exercise at Diani Beach that motivated them to connect, bond and build lasting relationship with each other.


The 2018 edition of the Governors Startup Challenge Bootcamp was successfully executed in partnership with KCB Group, Swahilipot Hub, Express Shipping & Logistics, and a few notable Kenyan Based corporate. All of the participating entrepreneurs had multiple opportunities to pitch their products, services and technologies to select groups of judges, industry leaders, fellow youth and expert panels. The entrepreneurs also had the opportunity to join a legion of local startups at the Governors Startup Challenge Networking Cocktail.