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KeNIA launches cohort 2 of R2C Accelerator

The Kenya National Innovation Agency inaugurated Phase 2 of the Research to Commercialization (R2C) Accelerator early this March, a significant milestone in the country’s innovation landscape.

The R2C program is designed to help researchers, academics, and entrepreneurs bridge the gap between innovative research ideas and commercial success.

It often involves collaboration between researchers, industry partners, and investors to create a viable commercial product or service.

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During the inaugural phase of the R2C program, which aimed to bridge the gap between innovative research ideas and commercial success, over 500 participants across 28 institutions underwent training.

30 innovators participated in an intensive 11-week training, with four securing an impressive funding of Sh48 million.

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KeNIA, Dr Tonny Omwansa emphasized the government’s increased efforts to improve the policy environment, infrastructure, funding, access to market, and human capacity within the innovation sector.

Structured interventions within the sector are recognized as crucial for leveraging the knowledge economy for economic growth and sustainability.

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“Capacitating institutions to run similar programs internally will enable scaling and benefit more innovators,” Dr Omwansa elaborated.

As part of the accelerator program, innovators undergo a six-month intensive training covering essential aspects such as business formation, intellectual property, and go-to-market strategies, complemented by mentorship and commercialization support.

Founder of Viktoria Ventures, Stephen Gugu, highlighted the three key metrics for measuring success as an innovator: funding raised, sales made, and jobs created.

According to the Africa: The Big Deal startup funding report, Kenya’s startup ecosystem commanded the largest share on the continent in 2023, with $800 million raised, representing 28% of the continent’s total.

In 2023, Kenya’s share of Eastern Africa’s funding grew to 91%, with 93 Kenyan startups raising over $100,000.

Egyptian startups ranked second ($640 million) , followed by South Africa ($600) million and Nigeria ($410 million).

Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu is a Tech enthusiast, happy to delve deeper into the African tech space covering Social Media, AI, Startups, Telcos, Cryptocurrency, Big Data, Women in Tech and all matters Tech.

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