Silicon Valley is not the only place where new tech companies are born. Throughout the world, technological advances are made by the hour. In fact, the continent of Africa has a burgeoning tech effort and today we focus on iHub based out of Nairobi, Kenya. iHub, which is called the Innovation Hub, is “an open space for the technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in the area. This space is a tech community facility with a focus on young entrepreneurs, web and mobile phone programmers, designers and researchers. It is part open community workspace (co-working), part vector for investors and VCs and part incubator.” Located on the 4th Floor of the Bishop Magua Centre, iHub is designed for technology experts and business professionals (including VC’s) to meet, share and create together.
iHub is the first type of technology focused idea creation building in Kenya. The primary goal is for iHub to spur the technological products and service “revolution” in Kenya. This “revolution” would bring additional venture capitalist and seed funders from across the world to Africa. The process would continue to establish credibility to the tech scene in Africa and specifically in Kenya.
iHub has several interesting projects they are working on currently. The first one that caught my eye is the Random Hacks of Kindness Day. This activity involves a specific scenario being given to a group of developers and letting them “hack” a solution. Scenarios range from a Person Finder program (creating a web and mobile solution to locate missing people), I Need Help program (web and mobile program to receive emergency SMS feeds, aggregate them on a website, and send them out from the website), and Haiti AMP issue (creating online registry via SMS and an online database). The most impressive part of this effort is that iHub is creating completing complex solutions for seemingly simple problems. The second project is Mobile Monday where developers gather and create mobile solutions and follow the process through until an actual app is created.
It’s time to keep a close eye on iHub. We look forward to seeing many of their applications become mainstream here in the US. Share your thoughts in the comments section.