CEO Weekends:Mombasa’s Inaugural Hackathon To Stir Innovation In Kenya’s Tourist City


nailabMombasa is known for its lazy and laid back mood, great beaches, nice sand and warm sun  and a preferred holiday town for Kenya’s working class and tourists.

However, things are set to change as this coming weekend September 20-21, Nailab in partnership with JKUAT Mombasa and the ICT Authority has organized Mombasa’s inaugural tech hackathon.

Dubbed “Incubation without borders” the hackathon is expected to bring together Mombasa’s tech community, help innovators develop their ideas into products and fix their community problems.

According to Sam Gichuru, Nailab CEO, “We are keen to engage tech-prenuers to understand the different challenges they are facing in their localities. We will work specifically to mitigate this challenges and ensure that our techprenuers are well prepared for the market.”

The hackathon is also expected to enhance a culture of entrepreneurship throughout the country and ensure that the youth become job creators and not job seekers.

nailab3Victor Kyalo, Acting CEO, ICT Authority says, “In order to ensure that the Kenya vision 2030 is achieved through technology, we have to empower the youth who are the key drivers of the economy and todays leaders.”

The authority has been keen on enabling Kenyans to adopt and exploit ICT through promotion of partnerships and investments and this year gave a $1.6 million grant to the incubator to create a Tech Business Incubation program that supports Kenyan start-ups through out the country.

“As the Nailab, we are glad that we have received great responses on the initiative from institutions of higher learning who are keen on starting incubation programs in their institutions,” Gichuru added. “This will help sink the spirit of entrepreneurship among our graduate student body and create an empowered working source.”

Last year,the Nailab enrolled a total of 10 start-ups for the October 2012- 2013 program. It has now opened applications for the November 2013- 2014 batch of start-ups. Nailab expects to sign up 20 startups compared to last years ten.

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