A supportive environment can be a key success factor for an entrepreneur. Accelerators, labs and co-working spaces provide a variety of support services, all with the goal of assisting startups to be successful and grow. Students have found hubs the right environment in hubs to launch their applications, software and ventures. In addition to getting space to launch your business, the labs offer mentorship and a great community that will contribute to your venture. Below you can find links to the hubs that are available near you.
The iHub is ranked the best innovation hub in the country as well as among the best in Africa. Arguably, it can be said that iHub is the pioneer of tech hubs in Kenya and in Africa. It brings together technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in the area with a focus on young entrepreneurs, web and mobile phone programmers, designers and researchers. Statistics show that more than 152 startups companies have been incubated at this tech hub. Some of the initiatives by iHub include: iHubConsulting, iHubCluster, UXLab and Research.
Nailab is a startup accelerator that offers a 3 – 6 month entrepreneurship program with focus on growing innovative technology driven ideas. Some of the startups through this accelerator program include: Card Planet, Eneza Education, Ghafla, Sematime, Duma, Gigwapi and Weza tele, Cladlight, GoKibali, KejaHunt and SwapKitabu are among these years’ startups.
M:lab East Africa:
It is the region’s center for mobile entrepreneurship. They offer business incubation, developer training, application testing, and ecosystem building. Some of the successful startups launched here or associated with Mlab include: Uhasibu, Zege, Whive, mFarm, Kopo kopo, Ma3route, mobiAgent and Eneza Education.
IBM Research Lab, Nairobi:
It is IBM’s Africa physical lab space opened at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi on November 2013. The lab is IBM’s 12th global laboratory and the first commercial technology research facility on the continent conducting both applied and far-reaching exploratory research.
IBM Research’s presence in Kenya is intended to encourage and strengthen an innovative culture, and engage local entrepreneurs and innovators to develop solutions to the challenges faced by the people of Kenya, the surrounding region and other fast-growing markets around the world.
Just as the name suggests, it is a hub that provides early-stage web/mobile companies with up to $100K in funding through their 3-month startup accelerator program. They are a private seed fund with vibrant work spaces in Nairobi and Cape Town, and a talented network of startup founders, investors, our corporate partners, and local business professionals. Some of the startups include: Booknow, Mbet, Yum, Tourist link, Closet49, Gamsole, Hivisasa, Pesatalk and Mdundo.
It is a business incubator that carries out the Entrepreneurship and Incubation theme of @iLabAfrica. @iBizAfrica seeks to provide a nurturing environment that builds on the potential of the youth to develop ICT solutions and businesses that work for the common good in society.
@iLabAfrica was established in January 2011 to spearhead research, innovation and entrepreneurship in the ICT for Development (ICT4D) ecosystem towards the attainment of the UNDP Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Kenya’s Vision 2030.
Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Center:
It was established to provide effective nurture and management of innovations, inculcating all the principles of entrepreneurship. Since the official launch in July 2013, Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre has remained robust units of the university in ensuring that all incubates are supported in all ways possible.
Lake Hub – Kisumu
Dlab Hub – Eldoret
Outbox – Uganda
Hive Colab – Uganda
Klab – Rwanda
Kinu Hub – Tanzania
DTBI – Tanzania
The type of an incubator chosen depends entirely on the personal needs of the entrepreneur, accessibility and the benefits that come with that type of accelerator. Time for you to kick-start your idea!
By Isaac Jumba