15 Innovations to be incubated at the IIC Lab
Good news for the first cohort of 15 innovators comprised of students and staff of the University as they have been selected to go through a 6-month incubation and acceleration program.
This was revealed during the launch of the Innovation, Incubation and Commercialization (IIC) program on Wednesday, 19th April 2023 at the C4DLab in Chiromo campus.
Speaking during the launch, the Chief Guest, Dr. Parmain Ole Nalekaei, Managing Director, Kenya Industrial Estate, applauded the university for this major milestone of launching an incubation hub for talent within the university. He pledged his firm’s support and he gave an example of the growth trajectory of an innovation. He noted, ‘The vision of this lab is to grow these start-ups to multinationals, with a presence in 37 counties, the innovations will be protected with KIPI, KIRDI to firm up on the idea and market-ready, KEBS to ensure quality and KEPROBA to market and sell the products globally. We are a strategic partner in this lab.”
On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama emphasized on the urgent need of Innovation and the critical role that innovative solutions play in today’s set-up in addressing local and global challenges and giving the youth new careers and business opportunities. He expressed the need for a wall of fame for University’s innovators to honour their role and contribution towards the innovation ecosystem.
Dr. Kamau Gachigi, Executive Director Gearbox, also spoke during the launch and announced that the University recently signed a collaboration agreement with Gearbox and pledged his support to the innovators within the UoN Community. Dr. Kamau gave a brief history of the University’s version of the Silicon Valley and how much money the University attracted at the time.
On his part, the Director, C4DLab announced that, ‘The first cohort of 15 innovators will go through a 6-month program. Innovations are on different stages with different needs, some innovations need a seed funding to be accelerated, others need a business model to commercialize. There are mentors and coaches from industry and venture capitalists waiting to move in and partner with the innovators.
Prof. Mary Kinoti, the Director, Intellectual Property Management Office (IPMO), while moderating the event, presented the working framework of the incubation hub. She mentioned that the Incubation Lab will be managed by the C4DLab, the IPMO office and partners, especially Safaricom who will see to it that the Innovations are incubated to multi-national levels.
The 15 innovators presented their ideas to the audience. This was a precursor to this year’s Nairobi Innovation Week which is slotted for May 17-19, 2023 at the Main Campus.