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An Exhaustive List Of Co-Working Spaces In Nairobi

In continuation to our series on Co-Working spaces in Africa, we bring to you a comprehensive a list of co-working spaces in Nairobi, Kenya. The list covers a detailed description of amenities, pricing and contact information.

AHANSA Business Centre

Launched in 2016, AHANSA Business Centre is situated in Westlands. It strives to provide a full serviced business environment with leading-edge IT-service type solutions. It offers full reception services inclusive of couriering / mailing of packages, emailing, faxing, photocopying, printing, etc. In-house catering and lounge services for its members and clients along with the regular offering of meeting and conference rooms access.

 

Available facilities: photocopier/printer/scanner, Integrated Voice Response (IVR), personalized reception and secretarial services Extra facilities: conference rooms, virtual offices, short-term rental executive suites and boardrooms.

Location: Aly’s Centre, 5 Muthithi Road

Pricing: Hot desk (16): price on request

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Saturdays 7.30AM-5.30PM

Email: info@carnationpropertiesltd.com

Tel: +254 724 121 212 / +254 736 444 488

Almasi

Almasi is flexibly priced coworking space provider on Watermark Business Park, Ndege Road.

Offering spaces on hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis, it makes the hustlers enjoy its flexible working environment. Their pricing is inclusive of the services which include fiber optic internet access, tea, coffee and water for all staff and client visitors.

Available facilities: boardroom, common areas, photocopier/printer/scanner, kitchen and drinks & reception service Extra facilities: Membership for private office, business lounge or business address

Location: The Watermark Business Park, Langata Road, Ndege Road Junction

Pricing: Hot desk: KES 350/h Dedicated desk: KES 26,500/PM

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Fridays 8AM-5PM

Email: office@almasioffices.com

Tel: +254 709 752 186

Axlr8 Coworking Space

Axlr8 Coworking Space is naturally lit working space with professional and IT service support. Located in Kilimani, it boasts of its fully orthopaedic ergonomic office chairs for comfort. With great testimonials, it can act as new home to small businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers. Along with regular office supplies access and services, it provides on-site resource professionals and legal services at a separate cost.

 

Available facilities: kitchen, integrating SMS into marketing strategy & hot drink Extra facilities: meeting rooms (enabled for video conferencing) for KES 3,000/h conference rooms (audio-visual equipment, whiteboards and beverages. Virtual address and shipping for 10,000/y

Location: Adlife Plaza, Ring Road Kilimani, (2nd floor)

Pricing: Hot desk: KES 7,500/PW Dedicated desk: KES 20,000/PM

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Saturdays 8AM-8PM

Email: info@axlr8.co.ke

Tel: +254 706 276 622 / +254 706 276 631

iHub

 Launched in 2010, The iHub offers a mix of creative workspaces and meeting rooms. Located on the top two floors of Senteu Plaza on the junction of Galana and Lenana road, the iHub is surrounded by lush greenness and great views of the Nairobi skyline. Its members are offered to access all their facilities including 24/7 access, event space, lounge services and at subsidized rates for paid services.

 

Available facilities: Phone booths, meeting rooms, kitchen, event space, lounge

Extra facilities: meeting rooms & local events

Location: Senteu Plaza, Galana / Lenana Road Junction, (6th floor)

Pricing: Hot desk: KES 200/h Community desk: 7,000/PM

Dedicated desk: KES 20,000/PM Private offices: KES 70,000/PM (4,8 or 12 persons)

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Fridays 8AM-8PM and Saturdays 8AM-6PM with 24/7-member access

Email: info@ihub.co.ke

Tel: +254 798 985 410

Ikigai

Ikigai is coworking space situated in a house and a lush green garden providing open space working environment to a large community of writers, consultants, techies, marketers, angel investors and entrepreneurs. It offers living room style and lounge-like styles of a working environment. Membership provides access to discounts for events, boardroom and conference room hourly access, outdoor meeting space access according to the subscriptions.

Available facilities: variety or social spaces, photocopier/printer/scanner, parking, kitchen & coffee bar, Extra facilities: meeting rooms (14-seater) & boardrooms (2x 6-seater) events, workshops & concerts Extra’s: Membership including: lunch (mon-sat), coffee, discounts for events, meeting- and boardrooms, 24h-access, available community manager

Location: General Mathenge Close, P.O. Box 1093-00606, Sarit Centre

Pricing: Hot desk: KES 20,000/PM or KES 10,000/PM (limited to 10 days/PM) Dedicated desk: KES 30,000/PM Private office: price on request

Opening & Closing Times: 24/7 access

Email: admin@ikigai.co.ke

Tel: +254 797 519 466

Nailab

Nailab is a business incubator, founded in 2010. It offers spaces to businesses, start-ups and individuals. From hot desk for daily basis working, dedicated office space to hiring space for events is provided here. Services include event space, boardroom access and also incubator support.

Available facilities: coffee and tea

Extra facilities: incubator support, event space (max 25 persons) & boardroom

Location: Bishop Magua Centre, (4th floor)

Pricing: Hot desk: KES 700/day Dedicated desk (office for 3-6p): KES 10,000/PM/pp

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Fridays 8AM-5PM

Email: info@nailab.co.ke

Tel: +254 790 492 467

Nairobi Garage

With central locations in Kilimani and the Westlands area, Nairobi Garage is Africa’s co-working space for new and growing businesses. It provides well-designed coworking and enclosed offices, event space and on-demand fully equipped meeting room facilities. Pricing based on daily, flexible and fixed packages.

 

Available facilities: support team, conference room (bookable per hour), tea, coffee & water Extra facilities: meeting rooms Extra’s: Event space discounts, offers & giveaways, workshops and member nights, investor introductions, PR Support and online community portal

Location: Pinetree Plaza, Kaburu Drive Ngong Road, (8th floor) & M2, Mirage Towers, Westlands, Chiromo Road

Capacity: Ngong Road: 500 desks / Westlands: 300 desks

Pricing: Hot desk: KES 2,000/day / KES 20,000/PM Dedicated desk: KES 25,000/PM

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Fridays 8AM-5.30PM

Email: ngongroad@nairobigarage.com (Ngong Road) westlands@nairobigarage.com (Westlands)

Tel: 254 755 556 955 (Ngong Road) / +254 708 556 955 (Westlands)

Nexus Co-Work

 Nexus Co-Work is a space designed for people and organizations to come together, connect and work together. It offers access to the area for 12 and 24 hours according to the subscription package. Boardroom facilities, and even subsidized gym rate and lunch card are available to its members.

 

Available facilities: subsidized gym rate, access to common area, kitchen, restaurant, skype room, photocopier/printer/scanner and coffee. Extra facilities: weekly local events, workshops

Location: Riara corporate suites building, Riara Road, (ground floor)

Pricing: Hot desk: KES 2,000/day Dedicated desk: KES 20,000/PM

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Fridays 9AM-5PM with 24h member access

Email: info@nexuscowork.com

Tel: + 254 721 385 270

PAWA 254

PAWA 254 is a 37-seater collaborative coworking space which offers both communal working tables and designated desks. Its focus is towards young artistic and creative bright minds collaborating at one place.  Features Wi-Fi, shared printer, mini kitchen with unlimited hot beverages and relaxed lounging areas.

 

Available facilities: printer, kitchen and lounging areas

Extra programmes: PAWA Salon, PAWA Festival, Kenya Photography Awards, PAWA Masterclasses, A4T-K, Off-The-Record & #ARealManis

Location: Africa Alliance of YMCAs Building, State House CRE (2nd floor)

Capacity: 37 persons (communal working tables & designated desks) & 120 space rental

Pricing: Hot desk: KES 500/day or KES 15,000/PM

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Fridays 8AM-5PM

Email: info@pawa254.org

Tel: +254 20 523 106 / +254 721 956 552 (mobile)

Regus

Regus is one of the world’s largest provider of convenient, high-quality, fully serviced workspace. It provides co-working spaces office and virtual office services along with well-equipped meeting rooms access. Located at nine places in Kenya, it has a mobile application to access the bookings on the go.

 

Available facilities: Staffed reception,  virtual office for KES 1,115/PM, interview room, boardroom, training room, conference room, meeting facilities, an option to customization, app, account manager, 24/7 customer service, global community and a Regus magazine

Membership: Access to over 3000 locations worldwide, opportunities for all budgets depending on the type of membership and have access to all the benefits of a Regus Business centre.

Location: ICEA Building, Kenyatta Avenue Vienna Court, State House CRE 14 Riverside Drive, Cavendisch, (4th floor) Purshottam Place, A 104 Laiboni Center, Rose Avenue.

Tower 2, Delta Corner Towers, Chiromo Road, (13th floor) Fortis Office Park Block C, (ground- and 1st floor) Village Market, United Nations Crescent, (2nd floor)

Pricing: Hot desk: from KES 100/day to KES 175/day Shared office: KES 100/day/pp

Opening & Closing Times: varies for each location

Email: contact via website or Facebook

Tel: +254 205 154 400 / 1-855-400-3575

 The Banda Space

 Launched in 2006, The Banda space is a coworking space that is located along Ngong Road in Nairobi, Kenya. It has partnered with Covenant Guest House to provide Co- living services also. With WIFI and coffee services being free, locker and reservations are depending on the subscription packages taken.

 

Available facilities: backup generator & a variety of social spaces Extra facilities: reception, meeting rooms & local events event space: KES 7,500/4h or KES 11,000/8h

Location: 13 off Ngong Road

Pricing: Hot desk: KES 450/day Dedicated desk: KES 650/day

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Saturdays 8AM-5PM with 24/7 access for accommodation

Email: info@thebanda.co.ke

Tel: +254 789 225 311

The Crews

Focused on innovation and creativity, The Crews coworking space offers comfortable places located at the heart of Nairobi. Catering to the young / established, local and international businesses, it also provides coworking desks as well as lounge according to the comfort needs. Access to office supplies and communication services along with meeting rooms and free parking.

 

Available facilities: Personal lockers, kitchen, on-site café & restaurant, 24hr member, free parking on premise, lounge & chill-out area, backup generator, free access to member events, photocopier/printer/scanner & daily cleaning of offices

Extra facilities: virtual offices and meeting rooms

Location: Argwings Kodhek Road, Saachi Plaza

Pricing: Hot desk: KES 707 per day/ KES 3,333 P/W/ KES 20,200 P/M Dedicated desk: KES 707 per day/ KES,3333 P/W/ KES 20,200 P/M

Private desk (2p): KES 59,188 per month

Private desk (4p): KES 127,266 per month

Private desk (6p): KES 138,881 per month

Email: info@crewsafrica.com

Opening & closing times: Monday to Fridays 8AM-6PM.

Email: info@crewsafrica.com

Tel: +254 714 492 277 / +254 711 232 913

The Entrepreneurs Hub

The Entrepreneurs Hub was founded in 2014. It is an all-inclusive knowledge hub for entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and industries. This offers working spaces located in a 5-bedroom bungalow turned office and offer desk, office and meeting space. Also provides the use of garden and library access, free startup workshops, coaching services to its members according to subscriptions.

Available facilities: Power backup, use of library & garden, meeting room for KES 7,500/day or KES 4,500/half day (incl. free coffee & tea and a possibility for a meal) space for 18 or 45 persons.

Extra: Personal coaching, free community activities and free start-up workshops: available when renting a dedicated desk or private office for minimum one month.

Location: The Hub East Africa, Waiyaki Way.

Pricing: Dedicated desk: KES 800/day or 10,000/PM Private office: KES 45,000/PM

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Fridays 7AM-7PM and Saturdays 9AM-5PM

Emailinfo@theentrepreneurshub.com

Tel: +254 790 499 022

The Foundry Africa

The Foundry offers startups, small businesses and freelancers, beautiful open space, a supportive community of innovators, reliable services and flexible membership options. It provides premier office spaces to the coworking community in three locations situated in Nairobi. These offices include universal 24/7 access to custom spaces, office supplies, gaming and coffee machines.

Available facilities: shared common area, fully kitted-out kitchen, coffee machine, cleaning services, mail services, power backup, board games, croquette, badminton, lockers & photocopier/printer/scanner.

Extra facilities: events space, rooftop lounge, garden, call room, full membership gives you access to all Foundrys boardroom and common areas

Location: Nelleon Place, Rhapta Road / Viking House, Waiyaki Way / Woodley, Joseph Kang’ethe Road.

Capacity: maximum 50 people in each space.

Pricing: Private Balconies: KES 35,000 P/M

Private Cubicle: KES 45,000 P/M

Private Office: KES 50,000 – KES 160,000 P/M depending on some workstations required and also the size of the room.

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Fridays 8AM-7PM with 24/7 access

Email: info@thefoundry.biz

Tel: +254 792 651 071 / +254 792 651 072 / +254 715 368 842

The Hive

The Hive is conveniently located at Westcom Point Building, Off Waiyaki Way, providing serviced office spaces, meeting rooms, boardrooms and open workspaces. It is aimed at reducing overhead costs and add value to the businesses. Services like storage, boardroom access and reserved working spaces depend on the subscription plans which are ranging from hourly, daily, weekly and monthly packages.

Available facilities: Parking, personalized administrative support, photocopier/printer/scanner & tea and coffee. Extra facilities: Virtual offices & meeting rooms (KES 500/h) Extra: Special pricing offers

Location: Westcom Point, Mahiga Mairu Ave, (3rd floor)

Pricing: Dedicated desk: KES 1,650/h or KES 9,000/PW incl. Boardroom access KES 15,000/PM incl.

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Fridays 8AM-5PM

Email: info@thehive-nairobi.com

Tel: +254 707 244 920 / +254 735 252 011

The Kijiji

The Kijiji, located at Ngong Lane, Nairobi is dedicated event space that can host up to 70 people theatre style or 30 people with tables. Also, members can book the space for daily services. It boasts of providing this dedicated space along with access to rooftop with beautiful views over the green neighborhood of Woodley. Membership includes facilities including skype and phone booths, board or meeting rooms along with unlimited hot beverages.

 

Available facilities: phone/skype booths, meeting rooms, unlimited hot drinks and water

Extra facilities: Events geared at supporting social entrepreneurs and consulting

Membership: Meeting room, PO box, locker, part-time and full-time membership options available, 24/7 access and a discount of event space rental

Location: 2.1 Daykio Plaza, Ngong Lane, (2nd floor)

Pricing: Event space rental: Full day: (8AM-4PM) KES 25,000/PM

Part-time hot desk: From KES 3500/PM

Full-time hot desk: KES 15,000/PM Dedicated desk: KES 20,000/PM

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Fridays 9AM-5PM with 24/7 access for members

Email: info@thekijiji.co.ke

Tel: +254 721 459 889

The Lyceum limited

The Lyceum packages are ranging from hourly, weekly and monthly periods. It provides executive and exclusive working environment for entrepreneurs and working professionals. It offers customized serviced offices and events lounge from 8 in the morning till midnight. It has break out area which enables clients to have a good view of the city and its’ outskirts for formal and informal meetings.

Available facilities: Locker, personalized telephone services, open breakout and events area, in-house service manager, photocopier/printer/scanner, secure parking and a kitchen

Extra facilities: Boardroom with video conferencing facilities

Location: The Mirage, Westlands Tower 3, (11th floor)

Pricing: Hotdesk, Dedicated desk, Private desk, or Executive desk: on inquiry

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Sundays 8AM-12PM

Email: Info@thelyceum.co.ke

Tel: +254 705 763 610 / +254 780 337 091

The Mint Hub

The Mint Hub coworking office space in Nairobi Westlands provides fully equipped working spaces with free unlimited coffee for its members. Also, focuses on providing high-quality working experience along with free events and meeting room hours according to the subscription plans. Its services include access to office supplies, storage services and conference rooms access.

Available facilities: Printers, scanners, community events, meeting rooms (hours of access depend on booked office), collaborative spaces (booked), conference facilities, mushroom network & network opportunities Extra facilities: Virtual office for KES 7,000/PM, Club membership for KES 10,000/PM and private offices from KES 80,000-200,000/PM

Location: Karuna Road, Westlands Heights, (11th Floor),

Pricing: Day Pass: KES 1,500 Hot desk: KES 15,000/PM Dedicated desk: KES 20,000/PM

Opening & Closing Times: 24/7 access

Email: support@theminthub.com

Tel: + 254 796 752 502

The Twig Cowork

A Co-working space at West End Towers, Waiyaki Way, the Twig co-work space offers start-ups, entrepreneurs and business owners a colorful central place that’s accessible 24 hours a day. With the super-fast internet and skype room, all communication needs are met. For all client meetings, they provide well-designed meeting rooms on request. Access to mail, photocopy, printer/scanner services.

 

Available facilities: Personal lockers, skype room, kitchen, on-site café & restaurant, 24hr member access, wheelchair accessibility, photocopier/printer/scanner and a pool- and football table

Extra facilities: meeting room including drinks such as tea, water, and coffee

Location: West End Towers, Waiyaki Way, (6th floor)

Pricing: Hot desk: KES 2,000 per day/KES 10,000 P/W/KES 20,000 P/M Dedicated desk: KES 25,000 per month

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Fridays 8AM-5PM and Saturday 8AM-1PM

Email: info@twigcowork.com

Tel: +254 204 214 100 / +254 724 417 250

Transcon Office Suites

Transcon Office Suites offers business spaces with the resourced working environment along with in-house administrative services that are on a flexible month to month basis. It has 10 PAX seating boardroom access and meeting rooms. Printing and Daily housekeeping services for workspace is available according to subscriptions taken.

 

Available facilities: meeting- and conference rooms, in-house business services, a boardroom for KES 3,000/h, KES 7,000/PM for virtual package including meeting rooms, postal address & collection, virtual receptionist, physical address for your business, call forwarding

Location: Utalii Street, View Park Towers, (8th floor)

Pricing: KES 15,000/PM including desk space, shared receptionist, postal address & collection, meeting rooms, call forwarding and company lobby signage.

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Fridays 8AM-8PM and Saturdays 8AM-1PM

Email: contact via website

Tel: +254 205 230 996 / +254 700 151 693 / +254 739 421 312

Workstyle Africa

Workstyle Africa is coworking space in Westlands that offers an executive, professional and conducive working environment at competitive rates. It includes a common lounge for social or informal meetings, separate from its two boardrooms for executive meetings, a co-working space for freelancers and seminar rooms for events and workshops. The hub also has a rooftop section for night-time events.

 

Available facilities: Networking events & events space, conference rooms, 24hr access, mail service, HD-projectors, equipped kitchen, receptionist services, security, on-site parking, on-site restaurant and free tea, coffee, and water

Extra facilities: Boardroom for 3,500/h / Meeting room for 2,000/h Virtual office for KES 3,000/PM or Virtual Office plus KES 7,000/PM

Location: 48 Westlands Road, Pramukh Tower, (9th floor)

Pricing: Hot desk: KES 2,500 per day / KES 15,000/PM Dedicated desk: KES 25,000.00 per month

Private desk (2p): KES 70,000/PM

Private desk (4p): KES 140,000/PM Private desk (6p): KES 210,000/PM

Opening & Closing Times: Mondays to Saturday 8AM-5PM

Email: info@workstyleafrica.com

Tel: +254 798 936 651 / +254 782 936 651

  

 A special mention to our team members Lorenz Lambrechts and Chetan Khemani for the research, compilation and verification the information.

Please drop in an email to editor@weetracker.com in case you are a co-working and have been missed out in this list or any information given above needs to be updated.

The information in this article is directly sourced from the co-working space or their website. 

South African Supply-Chain App Khula! Wins Grand Prize Worth USD 14 K As MTN Business App Of The Year

Nzekwe Henry October 16

Khula!; a South African app that serves to link up farmers in emerging markets with the formal marketplace, has clinched top honors at this year’s edition of the MTN Business App Of The Year Awards.

In addition to being named the Business App of the Year, the platform has also received recognition in a special category dubbed; Best Agricultural Solution, as it has also emerged the winner in that category. As part of the perks that come with clinching the award, the developers of the app are now entitled to a trip to Silicon Valley in the U.S., worth up to USD 14 K in cash.

The app, Khula!, is known to facilitate delivery on bulk orders from supermarkets, restaurant chains, and even homes. This it does by effectively creating “one big virtual farm” which is basically comprised of multiple emerging farms for the purpose of crowd-sourcing produce to meet demands.

The platform’s complete software suite also incorporates an eCommerce web platform which makes it possible for clients to place orders from farmers. It also comes with an on-demand logistics solution which allows for the completion of deliveries by independent contractors.

According to Wanda Matandela, CEO of MTN Business, the awards afforded the telecommunications company the chance to place innovative solutions on the front burner and render support to these innovations with a view to helping them scale and go fully commercial, as well as help foster job creation in South Africa.

Industry experts, app developers, and past recipients of the award were amongst the panel of judges who selected and scrutinized the offerings of the shortlisted candidates of this year’s MTN Business App of the Year Awards.

Amongst other winners in the latest edition of the award were Pineapple (Best Consumer Solution),  Cowa Bunga (Best Enterprise Solution), Digemy Knowledge Partner and Besmarter (Best Incubated Solution), and Bestee App (Most Innovative Solution/Best Breakthrough Developer).

Other award recipients included such names as Stokfella (Best South African Solution), Difela Hymns (Women in STEM Solution), The African Cyber Gaming League App (Best Gaming Solution), dbTrack (Best Health Solution), Ctrl (Best Financial Solution), and Xander English 1-20 which took home the award in the Best Education Solution category.

 

 

Image via LinkedIn

South African Tech Teams Scoop Cash Rewards In The SAB Foundation Awards

Nzekwe Henry October 16

Around a total of USD 875 K in cash rewards have been doled out by the SAB Foundation to a number of South African startups and tech teams who have distinguished themselves to merit recognition in this year’s edition of the Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards.

Hustlenomics; an affordable housing provider, as well as Clothes to Good clinched cash prizes worth USD 90 K and USD 84 K respectively for their offerings. While the former was recognized in the Social Innovation Award category, the former took home the accolades in Disability Empowerment Award category.

The SAB Foundation Awards are targeted at innovators, entrepreneurs, and institutions that have developed prototypes of products that are designed to tackle social problems or early-stage businesses that have set their sights on addressing social concerns.

The organization is known to offer assistance in the form of financing and mentorship to social innovations that are identified as possessing a recognizably viable business model while serving up veritable solutions to critical social problems. The SAB Foundation also claims to have disbursed more than USD 5.2 Mn since its inception in an effort to promote social innovation. More so, a total of 163 social enterprises are believed to have benefitted from the offerings of the Foundation.

The winners in the Social Innovation category, Hustlenomics, is a platform which makes it possible for underprivileged families who are holed up in the squalid conditions of informal backyard shacks to build lasting structures in their place. The startup does this by employing alternative building technology which incorporates the use of interlocking bricks made out of recycled materials. The new structures cost the homeowners virtually nothing as the housing projects are financed by means of a shared-home financing model. This model allows for the rental home income raked in by the completed structures to be used in offsetting development costs before full ownership of the property is ultimately transferred to the landowner.

Following Hustlenomics closely as second and third-place winners in the Social Innovation category are smart farming tech solution, Famru, and a microfinance solution created by InvoiceWorx for retailers in the informal sector; Spaza Credit. Both teams took home USD 63 K and USD 49 K respectively.

It appears there was enough to go around for everyone as shortlisted finalists in the Developmental Award category also got in on the act with such names as Fix Forward, Solar Lab in a Bag and ejoobi, taking home between USD 28 K to USD 34 K in cash rewards respectively. Bursary Network and Impulse Biomed were also rewarded with seed grants worth USD 14 K each.

Clothes to Good; the winner of the Disability Empowerment Award, was rewarded for helping to provide sustainable jobs and micro-business opportunities for people with disabilities by means of its clothing recycling program. Steps Clubfoot Care and Coral Tech’s VoQal took home USD 56 K and USD 42 K respectively for finishing in second and third place respectively. In what could be described as a good day at the office for Steps Clubfoot Care, the first runner-up in the Disability Empowerment Award category also scooped the Audience Award which came with a cash reward of USD 10 K. Three other shortlisted finalists in the said category also went home with USD 21 K as recipients of a special Developmental Award.

 

 

Image SourceSAGoodNews

Meet Silas Adekunle: The Nigerian Prodigy Who Is Fast-Becoming The King Of Robotics

Nzekwe Henry October 16

Africans are known to be making waves and holding their own amongst their peers on the global tech scene, and one Nigerian robotics engineer cum gaming guru is taking this to a whole new level. 26-year-old Silas Adekunle is a Nigerian robotics engineer who is considered one of the highest paid and smartest in the field. And as you will soon find out, these are anything but purported or bogus claims.

At a time when the Nigerian tech scene appears to be playing catch up with their counterparts in the developed world, the young robotics engineer seems to be pulling off remarkable feats in the world of robotics and giving ingenuity and innovation a whole new meaning,

Silas Adekunle, Nigerian robotics engineer

Adekunle, who recently got snapped up by global technology and software giants, Apple Inc., to become one of the world ’s highest paid engineers on the robotics scene, was born and raised to his teens in Nigeria. Having had some of his education in Nigeria, he relocated to the United Kingdom where he completed his secondary school education before enrolling into the University of the West of England to pursue a career in robotics. This was going to pay off as the Nigerian engineer graduated Summa Cum Laude having bagged first class honors from the institution.

Silas Adekunle created Reach Robotics in 2013. The company is known to channel efforts towards incorporating Augmented Reality (AR) into gaming for the purpose of performing functions. Fast forward four years down the line and the youngster already carries invaluable robotics experience under his belt. This feat is believed to have earned him the position of team leader in the Robotics In Schools program.

The Robotics In Schools program is targeted at honing the skills of students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. His role in the program is believed to have triggered his ingenuity and inspired the idea which led him to another project which involved developing robotics to make education more engaging and entertaining for students in the STEM disciplines.

Silas Adekunle, Nigerian robotics engineer

But the young Nigerian genius was far from done as he again caused ripples on the tech scene when he got robotics circles buzzing after the launch of Mekamon in 2017. In Mekamon, Adekunle is said to have built what is believed to be the world’s first gaming robot. The robot is considered unique in that it possesses the inherent ability to customize its features for the purpose of performing personalized functions. Mekamon may have become an instant hit post-launch but putting the gaming bot together was anything but a cake walk. The young Nigerian’s chances of success were hampered initially when he encountered difficulties in securing funds for the project. But sheer persistence, resourcefulness, and resilience got him over the line, and Mekamon reportedly generated USD 7.5 Mn after its initial launch, having had 500 units sold.

The remarkable success enjoyed by Mekamon can be considered to have opened the floodgates as support began to stream in aplenty soon after the initial sell-out of the bot. London Venture Partners weighed in with USD 10 Mn and Adekunle’s company, Reach Robotics, wrapped up a deal with Apple in the same year — a deal which means the company now has exclusive sales in Apple stores.

The quality and design of Adekunle’s creations are deemed impressive owing to their ability to show emotion with movements that are subtly-calibrated. His four-legged “battle bots” are priced at around USD 300 by Apple, and they are featured in almost all Apple stores in the US and UK. As he told Forbes in an interview earlier this year, while techies and geeks may have accounted for most of the initial scramble for the product, the robot is now beginning to draw patronage from a growing number of parents presumably due to their STEM application which can serve to get children interested in those lines of study.

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“Balance, shared ideas, time management, and being oneself”, are the words and phrases fondly associated with the young robotics engineer as the tonic for the successes he has so far enjoyed. As his works have gained traction, so too has he gained recognition. Adekunle was listed in this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe: Technology. According to TheBossNewspapers, he was also named “Someone to Watch in 2018” by the Black Hedge Fund Group.

Having taken the world by storm with his genius, Adekunle can be thought to be gearing up for even more feats. He currently puts in work at the Bristol Robotics Lab, which can be considered the cream of the crop of research centers in the U.K. Now, here’s to Africans all over the world who are doing the continent proud!

 

 

Image Credits: QED, Face2AFaceAfrica, JejeGuysEmpire, Naij.NG

Internet Ventures: 5 Africans Founders Who Have Railed In Massive Online Cash

Andrew Christian October 16

In the course of the past two decades, a significant number of digital ventures have been springing up from different parts of the world, due to the increasing embrace of knowledge technologies, information and social media. Several African entrepreneurs have also carved out online niches to birth economic benefits, employment and in the same way, enable globalization. Pivotal people such as Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim (YouTube partners), as well as Lawrence Page have been scintillating the internet scene and cashing in big on the international front. So what about Africa? The continent is definitely not missing out, as innovative minds in the motherland are citing and exploiting internet opportunities, making them worthy of celebration and emulation. Here are five of them who have built successful online ventures.

Elon Musk – Co-founder PayPal, South Africa

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The legendary Elon Musk from South Africa is the co-founder PayPal. The entrepreneur, who has an African father and a Canadian mother, is one of the brains behind what has to be the most internationally recognized and used payments system. But that isn’t the only of his accomplishment, as he also co-founded X.com in March 2002 – a financial service and email payment company. In a matter of one year, the venture acquired Confinity – a company originally formed to beam money between Palm Pilots. The combined entity then capitalized on email payment through the PayPal domain. In February of 2001, X.com was officially renamed to PayPal, which was later acquired by eBay for USD 1.5 Bn in 2002 via a stock deal. Before its sale, PayPal’s 11.7 percent shares formed the coffers of Elon Musk, making him the largest shareholder in the company.

Kamal Budhabatti – Founder Craft Silicon, Kenya

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Kamal, who is nicknamed Kenya’s Bill Gate, is the fuel to the engine and the man behind the wheels of Craft Silicon. He founded it to be a Kenyan software company that provides core banking, Microsoft, mobile, switch solutions software and electronic payments services for more than 200 institutional clients in over 40 countries spread throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Craft Silicon boasts of an office in the all-time Silicon Valley in San Francisco, which makes it one of the quite few Kenyan companies ever to bask in such affiliation. With its more than USD 50 Mn market value, the company is causing ripples in the African business ecosystem, driving tech in the East African region and putting Kenya on the world map of entrepreneurship. Kamal Budhabatti’s idea of a venture now rakes in annual revenue of USD 6 Mn.

Jason Njoku – Founder Iroko TV, Nigeria

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Jason, who happens to be one of the few Nigerian entrepreneurs that beat the odds of raising capital even in impossible situations, is the founder and CEO of Iroko TV in Nigeria. The internet company is now reported to be the largest distributor of African movies in the world. While that may come as a shock to you, this may be an absorber – Iroko TV is labeled as the Netflix of Africa according to a Forbes publication. In 2013, Jason’s business was able to raise USD 8 Mn in venture capital from Tiger Global Management, which is a New York-based private equity and hedge fund being managed by billionaire Chase Coleman. Iroko TV is an online streaming website that makes enormous profits from lucrative content distribution deals with companies such as Daily Motion, iTunes, Amazon, and Vimeo. According to analysts, Iroko TV could be worth an estimated amount of USD 30 Mn, with Jason Njoku being the company’s largest individual shareholder.

Njeri Rionge – Co-founder Wananchi Online, Kenya

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Rionge is the co-founder of Wananchi Online, one of the leading internet services providers in East Africa’s cable, broadband, and Internet-based IP phone companies. This woman is regarded as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Kenya, and her turning point was when she succeeded in turning a USD 500 K startup into the echelon internet form in the whole East African region. Wananchi Online now has a net valuation of no less than USD 175 Mn. She was one of the few people who went tooth and nail to put it out there that internet is not cut out alone for the elite, as just about anybody can found, build and make a fortune out of it. Her ISP company became massively successful so much that it rose to nearly USD 60 Mn in growth capital from a consortium private equity firm.

Mark Shuttleworth – Founder Knife Capital, South Africa

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Mark Shuttleworth is the founder of Thawte and Ubuntu/Knife Capital, South Africa. He founded Thawte when he was 22 to be a digital certificate and internet security company, which he later sold to VeriSign for USD 575 Mn in an all-stock deal. The company today is the second in the world when it comes to the provision of digital certification. When Shuttleworth was 26, he used a fraction of the proceeds from the Thawte sale to start a venture capital firm HBD Capital, which is today popularly known as Knife Capital, based on Cape Town. The firm invests in innovation-driven fintechs with proof of traction. Knife Capital was one of the participating investors in the Weetracker UberPitch series. Another of Shuttleworth’s founding was that of Ubuntu, a computer operation system that is distributed as free open-source software. The entrepreneur’s net worth is reported to be USD 500 Mn.

NEIP Disburses USD 10 Mn To Ghanaian SMEs

Andrew Christian October 16

The government of Ghana, through its flagship National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan Initiative (NEIP) has successfully funded 1,350 owners of Small and Medium Enterprises, with a total of USD 10 Mn in seed capital.

The disbursement is meant to aid these SMEs successfully set up their own business or vamp up the existing ones to gain some traction.
Each beneficiary of the scheme received an amount ranging between USD 2 K to GHC 20 K as financial support.

Owusu Karikari, the Director of Business Support at NEIP, told the press that the support is a loan expected to be refunded with a 10 percent interest, repayable within three years to enable more SMEs to expand and create more jobs.

According to him, NEIP identified the lack of knowledge about product development, limited market, insufficient management skills, lack of funding and little or no technical support a few of the many challenges facing SMEs in the region. He said that the support would shore up indigenous enterprises, so they have a competing chance with their international counterparts.

As part of the government’s support for small businesses, 7,000 more entrepreneurs have been taken through intensive training to build and handle their enterprises. This is quickly followed by the announcement of tax holidays for young entrepreneurs under 35 years of age, as is a respite for their businesses.

NEIP Business Support Program essentially concentrates on the provision of business development services, startup incubators and funding for early-stage businesses, seeking to enable them to grow and become successful.

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