December 9, 2015

Muhandis Challenge: Somaliland’s first student business competition

On the 23rd November students from Golis University Somaliland received $2,000 to kick-start their fresh Somali enterprise Koobe – a One Stop Shop for goods, services and rental spaces. The developers of Koobe,, were voted the winners of the first business competition for students in Somalialand by a jury composed of leading technology representatives, prominent entrepreneurs and an audience vote.

The Somaliland Muhandis Challenge was organised by SPARK, in partnership with Shaqodoon.Org,, and Amazing Technology Group (ATG). This was the first of its kind to take place in Somaliland and it was a major success! Four teams attended the grand final at the prestigious Summertime Green Plaza, Hargeisa on 23rd November. This competition final was attended by over 150 guests ranging from investors from the private and public sectors, technology experts, higher education institution representatives, young entrepreneurs, government officials, the media, and of course, the students.

Somaliland’s Muhandis Challenge

These students are from seven different universities who, through 2015, received accelerator training, coaching, and mentoring programmes organised by SPARK, Shaqodoon, and Innovate.SO, to kick start their tech enterprises. Their progress was filmed by Amazing Technology Group who turned this journey into a short documentary to further promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Somalia.

The four university finalists were: Golis University (the winner of the Muhandis Challenge); Alpha University (the runner up); Admas University, and International Horn University (IHU) who all pitched innovative and original IT business designs. The competitive competition resulted in international companies, such as Telesom and Dahabshil, expressing interest in supporting and investing in the start-up enterprises. The Muhandis Challenge was the first of its kind in Somaliland, and due to its success this programme will continue in 2016. Fostering the skills and characteristics in youth is imperative; Google, Microsoft and Facebook are all University start ups – this is where the magic happens! The 2016 Muhandis Challenge focuses on agriculture, trade, and fisheries, and will expand to educational institutions country wide, so don’t forget to apply!

For more information you can watch live footage from the day here from Horn Cable TV’s YouTube stream.