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$1.6 Million Tech Incubation Program Launched In Kenya

The Kenyan government today partnered with Nailab, a Kenyan incubator, to launch a $1.6 million technology incubation program in an effort to support ’s growing information and communications technology (ICT) startup community. The Kenyan government aims to become one the top 10 ICT hubs in the world.

NaiLab is based in Nairobi and tries to lower the entry barriers for ICT entrepreneurs who want to start and scale their businesses in Kenya. NaiLab was launched in 2011 by NaiLab Ltd in partnership with the crowdfunding platform 1%CLUB and consultancy firm Accenture.
According to Sam Gichuru, Nailab’s founder, Nailab focuses on early stage business ideas that are likely to have a large social and economic impact, are highly scalable, require minimum investments to prototype, and have a strong value proposition.  Already, a few startups have graduated from the NaiLab, including Tusqee, a mobile app that allows schools to send children’s grades to their parents by SMS, and MyOrder, an app that allows every street vendor to open his or her own mobile web shop, allowing customers to order and pay by mobile phone.
Business incubation provides entrepreneurs with access to critical information, education, contacts, capital and other resources crucial to the growth of the business that may otherwise be unaffordable, inaccessible, or otherwise unknown to ICT Startups in Kenya. While Nailab has so far focused on Nairobi-based startups, the technology incubation center will use the new funds from the Kenyan government to widen its reach and invest in Kenyan startups in major towns and cities from across the country such as Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, and Eldoret, providing them with tools to succeed.
“With this Tech Business Incubation programme we can upscale our ambition and support more ICT startups. It is our ambition to create the next generation of successful ICT companies of Kenya,” Gichuru said.
The $1.6 Million Tech Incubation project is an initiative of the Ministry of Information and Communications through the World Bank. It is funded by the Kenya Transparency and Infrastructure Project which was spearheaded by the Kenya ICT Board (KICTB).
Kenya’s population is estimated at 41 million with almost 70% of the population under the age of 35. As the most developed economy in Eastern Africa, its economy is growing an average of 5% annually. Almost 1 out of 3 Kenyans is connected to Internet, 75% have a mobile phone and 1 out of every 2 uses his or her mobile phone to make mobile payments.

Originally published on 1/24/2013

Tagged in: Africa Hub ICT Kenya
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EuropeLogo eInfastructure This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 313203
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