Today, innovators, investors, government, development partners and private sector institutions from the Lake region came together for the Kenya Innovation Bridge Kisumu Launch. The launch organized by Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) and the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) in collaboration with Strathmore University and Lakehub was aimed at introducing and onboarding innovation stakeholders onto the national platform.
The Kenya Innovation Bridge developed by KeNIA and funded by the FCDO was put together with the intention of increasing discoverability of innovations and connecting the existing and emerging innovations 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.
[Centre] Mr. George Masila from the Kenya National Innovation Agency demonstrating the Kenya Innovation Bridge platform to Ms. Dorcas Owino, Co-founder at Lake Hub and Mr. John Awiti, County Executive Comitte (CEC) Member for Education, Technical Training, Innovation and Social Services, Kisumu County Government.
During the launch, of the Kenya Innovation Bridge in the Western Kenya and Lake region, representatives from the Kisumu County Government appreciated the Agency’s timely launch of the Kenya Innovation Bridge. The County Executive Comitte Member for Education, Technical Training, Innovation and Social Services, Kisumu County Government Mr. John Awiti stated that the Kenya Innovation Bridge will be a supportive framework to complement their efforts towards furthering innovation within the region.
“The County is working on numerous projects and has already begun equipping more than 54 hubs within the subcounties of Kisumu with capacity building skills in partnership with local hubs such as LakeHub. We will be more than happy to work with KeNIA in setting up programs in those hubs.”
-Mr. John Awiti CEC Member for Education, Technical Training, Innovation and Social Services Kisumu County.
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 second phase, KeNIA intends to onboard more stakeholders from the supply side. These targeted stakeholders include local businesses, local and international investors, financial institutions, development agencies and industry players from all sectors.
KeNIA is commitment in ensuring the discoverability and scaling of innovations through the Kenya Innovation Bridge and its other projects. For this reason, in addition to onboarding more members to join the Kenya Innovation Bridge network, KeNIA will use the platform to share notable events such as call for fundings to all members. The Kenya Innovation Bridge will work to bridge the inclusivity gap by ensuring innovators with disabilities and from marginalized regions get equal access to scaling opportunities for their innovations.
“We are happy that over 20 counties have already been onboarded on the Kenya Innovation Bridge even before the regional activations. Today’s activity in Kisumu is geared towards onboarding the Western and Lake Region ecosystem players. We are committing to engaging county leadership and grassroots stakeholders to onbord more users on the innovation bridge which is going to improve access to opportunities for the youth. The end goal is job creation and solving societal problems through innovations,” said Mr. George Masila the Communications Lead at KeNIA.