Design software corporation Autodesk Foundation opened a Kenyan office in November 2017. At that time, the company’s Channel Manager for Africa, Mr. Simon Bromfield mentioned that Kenya had demonstrated a reputation as a regional leader in technological innovation, which made it an important market. Autodesk expressed its vigor in the region by rolling out a range of products in engineering and construction, with plans to work with the government, education sector and other partners in launching the 3D design and software for other industries.
In its quest to expand its business and spur positive growth in the local scene, the American design vendor and software giant has made a grant to the climate-focused Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC) to mitigate a number of pressing social and environmental concerns that continue to curtail the progress of local start-ups. As a result, the foundation will seed an early stage financing facility through which KCIC will invest in its enterprise and enable them to scale climate-based innovations.
In this collaboration with the firm, KCIC will invest in start-ups that are solely based in Kenya. Secondly, qualified organizations need to prove their innovation has a meaningful impact in the country. At the same time, they must operate in one of KCIC’s investment sectors, which cover renewable energy, water management, and agribusiness. Lastly, they must be in an early stage of development.
“Climate change is one of the greatest design challenges of our time, and addressing it is essential to the long-term success of both business and society. We are happy to partner with KCIC and to announce the companies that will benefit from this partnership. Supporting innovations that are tackling some of the environmental challenges that we experience will go a long way in improving the quality of life of many worldwide,” said Joe Speicher, Executive Director of the Autodesk Foundation.
So far, the partnership is considering four companies for the first batch of funding once due process is concluded. These are Kings Biofuels Ltd that that manufactures low-cost high-energy briquettes as an alternative source of energy; Wisdom Innovations that make gasification stoves using biomass gasification technology; Azuri Health Ltd that distributes naturally dried fruits; and Exotic EPZ that processes and exports macadamia and coffee.