• Connectors: Eric Hersman/ Mbwana Alliy/ Martin Obuya/ Brian Muthiora/ Pelle Braendgaard/ Eran Feinstein/ Njeri Chelimo/ Gainluco Iazzolino
  • Events: IPO 48
  • Organizations: iHub

Hear the words of any wizened real estate agent, ‘Location, Location, Location’. Similarly in today’s world, where you are placed in the giant ecosystem of startups, VCs and accelerators plays a huge role in how valuable you and your startup can be. We’ve headed down to Kenya to find the most exciting figures in the Iranian startup industry. 

Local Kenya Connectors:

kenya martin pasquier innovation is everywhere emerging markets startups kenyan startups connectors 2014 entrepreneurs eric hersman kenya connectors

Eric Hersman (Twitter): Founder of Ushahidi & iHub, Kenya’s first tech cluster Known as the “White African” Reputed observer of the African tech scene beyond Kenya.

kenya martin pasquier innovation is everywhere emerging markets startups kenyan startups connectors 2014 entrepreneurs mbwana alliy kenya connectors

Mbwana Alliy (Twitter): Founder of the Savannah fund, Kenya’s VC Tanzanian national Educated at Stanford with experience in the Silicon Valley

kenya martin pasquier innovation is everywhere emerging markets startups kenyan startups connectors 2014 entrepreneurs martin obuya kenya connectors

Martin Obuya (LinkedIn):
Engineer in satellites communications turned facilitator and multi-hat man at iHub
Connects the new media community with education.

kenya martin pasquier innovation is everywhere emerging markets startups kenyan startups connectors 2014 entrepreneurs brian muthiora kenya connectors

Brian Muthiora (LinkedIn):
Currently a regulatory expert at GSMA (telco association)
Worked at Safaricom, Kenya’s telco and operator of mobile money Mpesa

 

International Kenya Connectors:

kenya martin pasquier innovation is everywhere emerging markets startups kenyan startups connectors 2014 entrepreneurs pelle braendgaard kenya connectors

Pelle Braendgaard (Twitter): Danish & American codeur turned entrepreneur with Kipochi. Ties up Bitcoin to remittances Strong vision on crypto-currencies.

kenya martin pasquier innovation is everywhere emerging markets startups kenyan startups connectors 2014 entrepreneurs eran feinstein kenya connectors

Eran Feinstein (LinkedIn): Veteran of the mobile payment industry in Africa Heads 3GDirectPay

kenya martin pasquier innovation is everywhere emerging markets startups kenyan startups connectors 2014 entrepreneurs njeri chelimo kenya connectors

Njeri Chelimo (Twitter): Codeur turned hacktivist Runs Nairobi Dev School to teach free coding to Kenya youth.

kenya martin pasquier innovation is everywhere emerging markets startups kenyan startups connectors 2014 entrepreneurs gianluca lazzolino kenya connectors

Gianluca Iazzolino (LinkedIn): Researcher at the University of Edinburgh working on Somali practices of mobile money (hawala)

Events:

kenya martin pasquier innovation is everywhere emerging markets startups kenyan startups connectors 2014 entrepreneurs ihub kenya connectors

The iHub, situated in Nairobi, is the unofficial heartbeat of Kenya’s startup community. Like many organizations in Kenya that have one eye on upgrading the living standards of the people, iHub emphasizes the importance of building communities and not just businesses.

Did we mention membership and access to the facilities are free? All you are required to be is genuinely active in the startup industry. In their own words, iHub is trying to create a place where seeds are planted and are easily found by the people with money to help them grow. Since its founding in 2010, iHub has advanced the tech industry at a startling pace, hosting over 530 events with its close to 15 000 members. With its philosophy of entrepreneur autonomy and “test and try” culture, it has generated close to 1600 jobs in various budding startups. If you have one eye out on promising startups in Kenya, keep it on iHub.

kenya martin pasquier innovation is everywhere emerging markets startups kenyan startups connectors 2014 entrepreneurs ipo48 kenya connectors

IPO48 is a tech boot-camp that puts business concepts through a vigorous 48-hour critical stress-test. This competition requires each team to build a solid business idea in web or mobile innovation, though it also accepts many matured entries, some of which have been active in the market for some time. Judged on the strengths of their presentation, the most impressive startup will go home with 25 000 € (USD$ 34 000).

For young startups, IPO48 provides mentors for participants and much more. With a sophisticated overview for business plans, many startups experience a plethora of benefits. IPO48 provides an easy avenue for matured insights, objective analysis and concept overhauls to go into the making of a final product.