With Kenya experiencing a boom in the mobile economy investments, a number of successes in the mobile sector and broadband penetration, the new thing to watch is virtual incubation.
Kenya is known as the Technology hub in Africa and the media is quite loving the region. The East African country has adopted the Silicon Savannah name, coined from the Silicon Valley in the United States.
Mobile innovations are sprouting daily, and business incubation is what is giving a jab in the arm to the small businesses that would otherwise be run in the bedrooms. We have no basement garages to do these things Google style. There are currently over ten innovation hubs all focused on mobile and web businesses.
Many are focused on giving the innovators the space to work on their projects and network with each other. This is meant to have them give value to each other and complement the businesses, like a marketer can meet a developer and they will proceed to develop a product.
Virtual Incubation seeks to widen the reach and leverage that incubation hubs present. The Nailab is the first hub in Kenya to offer Virtual Incubation. This is done by providing business advice, technical training and support, professional mentoring and coaching, giving access to market and fostering strategic partnerships as well as linking start ups to potential investors.
The model allows entrepreneurs in other towns and countries access the same resources they would if they were at the hub, but virtually. A project whose end game is to devolve incubation and reduce employment rates in rural areas by giving them opportunities previously available to the urban entrepreneurs. Nailab has called for applications for the incubation program for later this year. Applicants will be shortlisted and vetted before a small group of qualifying companies are picked as the next group to be incubated.