A few weeks back, we had a sit down with iHub’s new CEO Dr. Kamal Bhattacharya where we talked extensively on his plans for the innovation hub going forward. Kamal took over as CEO of the innovation hub with the view of spearheading it towards becoming 100% commercial entity.
Among the goals the CEO outline was focusing on providing technical assistance to early stage companies. This will take place by harnessing its convening power to continually support entrepreneurs within Kenya’s tech ecosystem. Other plans included innovation journeys by helping corporations innovate, helping with design thinking as well as providing consulting services.
Kamal also stated that the innovation hub was looking to move offices. Innovation in Kenya has come to be associated with the Bishop Magua building which houses both iHub and Nailab. It also houses Ushahidi and GearBox among others. The new location for the iHub is at the corner of Lenana and Galana Road in Kilimani, Nairobi some two kilometres away from its present location at Bishop Magua on Ngong Road. It will be interesting to see what the move means for the space for both iHub and the tech community that have had Bishop Magua as a quite iconic building for tech in Kenya.
iHub will occupy two floors, the 5th and 6th of Senteu Plaza, a building owned ACS & Others. ACS & Others on Wednesday evening held a launch dinner announcing the developments. The building is not complete and visitors had to deal with non-functioning lifts and had to heave their way up 6 floors. Above the space where iHub will be at is a rooftop that’s a common space for all tenants but we learnt that the building owners are in talks to have iHub manage it.
Among the entities moving together with iHub include iHub Research, iHub Consulting, M-Lab and iHub UX. These will however, operate as departments under one unitary structure called iHub once the move takes place. iHub is expected to make the switch in the Q1 2017.