Updated: Jan 22, 2020
2019 has been an eventful year for Katapult. Here's what happened...
I incorporated a company and launched a website
This might seem like an unimportant event to some, but you have no idea how happy and accomplished I felt when I did these two things. Incorporating the company to me meant that I was finally working towards achieving this dream that I had been thinking of for so long. Launching the website, on the other hand was an accomplishment. Yes, I have a mechanical engineering background, but really I am by no means a software engineer. I bought the domain and hosting and designed and launched the website all by myself.
I started and completed an incubation programme
What a year! The journey with Turbine all started in October 2018 with the Test Drive programme. The Test Drive programme is a 4-week programme. You come with a business idea and you come out of the programme with a business plan and a pitch. When I did it back in October 2018, 5 startups out of 30 were selected to do the incubation programme which a year-long programme with business coaching, access to a network of experts and co-working space. Katapult was selected and I was ready to embark on this journey, unaware of all the ups and downs that were waiting for me! The business coaching has truly been life-changing for me. The weekly 2-hour sessions with my coach Aysha have really helped me to deal with all my doubts, fears and in general how I was overwhelmed by everything. If you would like to know more, read the interview I gave to Turbine here.
We won 2 awards
We won 3 awards this year. If you had asked me in 2018, where did I see Katapult in a year's time, I would have said: I'd be lucky if it still exists. I had given myself a year, where I would do my very best to make it work, and it proved to be the best year of my life! Now on to the awards:
1. Total Startupper Challenge
Worldwide competition organised by Total.
Katapult won the second prize of Rs450,000 in Mauritius.
2. The Outstanding Young Person Award by JCI
Worldwide award by JCI (Junior Chamber International)
I won the second runner-up for The Outstanding Young Person award.
I started an acceleration programme and won a pitch competition
I started an acceleration programme with yher, an accelerator focused on social impact because I want to scale Katapult in the most sustainable and impactful way. Yher is a social impact accelerator and I participated in the Africa programme where out of 400 female applicants across the African continent, only 9 were selected to do the programme. So far, I've completed the week-long intensive training in Johannesburg. And it was hard, but in a good way. That week gave me time to really think about the startup and what I wanted to achieve and how to have maximum social impact while doing it. During the week, I also pitched and won the peer review competition and a grant of $7500.
I pitched at the China-Africa Summit
I went to Beijing in October 2019 to the China-Africa Summit as part of a delegation with the Chinese Business Chamber where I gave a presentation about Katapult, our activities and how we are trying to make a difference in education in Mauritius.
But most importantly, our impact has been 127 children
In 2019, my team and I have delivered over 100 hours of workshops. We have empowered 127 children think both critically and creatively and we have equipped them with coding and robotics skills.
I'm excited for 2020, and I hope you are too!