The Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) has launched a one stop shop for innovators, investors, Enterprise Support Organisations (ESOs) and Customers dubbed the Kenya Innovation Bridge at the Hillpark Hotel in Upperhill.
The event organized by KeNIA and the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office
(FCDO) marks the National Launch of the digital marketplace. The platform has so far been launched in the Rift, Western, Lake, and Coastal regions of Kenya where different stakeholders have been engaged and on boarded as users.
The new platform hosts more than 2000 innovators, investors, and Enterprise Support Organisations across Kenya. The platform was created with the intention of increasing discoverability of innovations and connecting the existing and emerging innovations in Kenya to a virtual marketplace to provide linkages to investments/partnerships and capacity building opportunities that could transform the innovations into commercially viable products and businesses thereby contributing to job creation and overall economic growth of the Country. So far over 400 connections have been made and 120
partnerships are being pursued.
KeNIA CEO Dr. Tonny Omwansa said the Kenya Innovation Bridge Platform is part of the interventions that the Agency is making on the individual (innovator) level. He reiterated that through the platform the innovators get access to opportunities that will enable them to scale their innovations into sustainable businesses.
“The aspiration of the Kenya Innovation Bridge is to have a platform where all elements of the Innovation ecosystem are onboard. We envision it as a literal innovation marketplace; whether an innovator is looking for mentorship, partnership, funding or capacity building opportunities they can find it all there… it is a platform of boundless possibilities.” he said.
Representing the UK Government, Dr. Emmeline Skinner said that the Kenya Innovation Bridge is just part of the greater partnership between KeNIA and the UK Government. Talking to innovators Dr. Skinner emphasized that innovation is not just about technology and the latest trends.
“With the innovation bridge platform we hope to see diverse innovations from all sectors even in service delivery, because innovation is simply a different way of doing things.” “Innovation is equitable and Inclusive The intention of the Kenya Innovation Bridge is to ensure that we leave no one behind. Through the platform we want to reach everyone including women, youth and People with Disabilities. ”