Kenya Launches $1.6m IT Incubation Centre

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VENTURES AFRICA – The Kenyan government has partnered with Kenyan business incubator, Nailab, to launch a $1.6 million (Sh140 million) technology incubation centre, it was announced on Thursday.

The centre will be used to support IT startups right across the country including other major towns like Mombassa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret. Currently, Nailab supports ventures based only in Nairobi.

Nailab founder, Sam Gichuru, said this move would boost his ambition to upscale support for more ICT companies.

“It is our ambition to create the next generation of successful ICT companies in Kenya,” said Gichuru.

“The idea was to create a business incubator in Nairobi whose main role was to stimulate innovation, provide space for ideas to be worked on with little financial strain, and provide appropriate guidance necessary to do so.”

Business incubation provides entrepreneurs with access to critical information, education, contacts, capital and other resources crucial to the growth of ventures that may otherwise be unaffordable, inaccessible, or unknown.

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.

The 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 is spearheaded by Kenya ICT Board (KICTB).

Nailab has contracted the board to pilot the national business incubation programme for companies with high growth potential.