The Kenya National Innovation Agency has now launched the Kenya Innovation Bridge in Mombasa as a continuation of the series of regional launches that have been held across the country in a bid to introduce and onboard the key innovation ecosystem players from the Coastal Region to the digital marketplace.
The launch organized by Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) and the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) in collaboration with Strathmore University and SwahiliPot Hub brought together innovators, investors, industry players, Government and institutions from the Coastal Region.
The Kenya Innovation Bridge, developed by KeNIA and funded by the FCDO has been put together with the intention of increasing discoverability of innovations and connecting the existing and emerging innovations in Kenya to a virtual marketplace that provides 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.
During its pilot phase, the Kenya Innovation Bridge Platform onboarded more than 1000 local users. The platform allows its users to create profiles then proceed to showcase their innovations by uploading relevant photos and describing the unique features of their innovations. In the current phase, KeNIA intends to onboard more stakeholders from in form of investors, innovation support programmes, development partners and customers. These targeted stakeholders include local businesses, local and international investors, financial institutions, development agencies and industry players from all sectors.
Mr. Anwar Ahmed, Chief Officer for ICT, County Government of Mombasa speaking during the Coastal Region launch of the Kenya Innovation Bridge.
Representing the Mombasa County Government, Mr. Anwar Ahmed, called for more collaboration and partnerships in the Innovation ecosystem. He stated that Mombasa County Government has been pushing to enhance the innovation ecosystem through partnerships and great progress has been made in terms of ICT. He affirmed that the County Government of Mombasa is ready to offer support to innovators, but he insisted that it can only be beneficial to innovators through sustainable programmes.
“I envision an innovation ecosystem where all the players that is, Government, NGO’s, Development agencies, Industry, academia, investors and the innovators can develop a unified roadmap and strategy for scaling innovations, and the Kenya Innovation Bridge Platform presents that opportunity for us in Pwani.”
- Mr. Anwar Ahmed, Chief Officer for ICT, County Government of Mombasa
The agency reiterated its commitment in ensuring the discoverability and scaling of innovations through the Kenya Innovation bridge and its other projects. Speaking during the launch, George Masila the Communications Lead at KeNIA explained that in addition to onboarding more members to join the Kenya Innovation Bridge network, KeNIA will use the platform to share notable support programmes such as call for fundings to all members. The Kenya Innovation Bridge will work to bridge the inclusivity gap by ensuring innovators living with disabilities and from marginalized regions get equal access to scaling opportunities for their innovations.
“The Kenya Innovation Bridge is a platform that will change the narrative. We want to empower communities through this platform. Imagine an innovator in Tana River being able to connect with a mentor. An impact investor in Mombasa being able to connect with an innovative company to work with and solve real societal problems. That is impact.”
- George Masila, Senior Corporate Communications Officer at KeNIA.
The Innovation bridge team also conducted a step-by-step live demonstration on how to join the platform. Swahlipot Hub Chief Operating Officer, Atrash Ali commended the development of the platform and urged the Youth of Mombasa and its environs to personalize and take advantage of the platform to better their lives.
Watch Kenya Innovation Bridge Mombasa Launch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euErcMIEAgA