iHub – Go And Build One In Nigeria. Lessons From Kenya


This is iHub Kenya. It is simply a wonderful vision and we challenge Nigeria to build one. Nigeria needs one with order and funding. Kenya is reaping enormous foreign direct investment in  the web and mobile ecosystem because of what this institution is powering.




*iHub_ – Nairobi’s Innovation Hub for the technology community is an open space for the technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in the area. This space is a tech community facility with a focus on young entrepreneurs, web and mobile phone programmers, designers and researchers. It is part open community workspace (co-working), part vector for investors and VCs and part incubator.

Here’s a rough video of the iHub. A first-look at the space, before any design or wiring was done:



Background and Info

iHub_ is an open innovation space with a 20MB internet connection from Zuku, hardwired and Wi-Fi, and it’s freely available to any tech person in Nairobi to use once they become a green member .

It is a paradigm shift towards the areas where technology approaches a barrier, and new technologies emerge to cross it. This is achieved through the idea of Open Innovation which is the process of combining internal and external ideas as well as internal and external paths to market to advance the development of new technologies.

Using syllogism, the *iHub_ can be described as follow:

  • “Mental Frame 1?: *iHub_ is an open space for the tech community in Kenya.
  • “Mental Frame 2?: The tech community in Kenya have great ideas.
  • “Mental Frame 3?: Great ideas lead to development of new technologies

Hence: *iHub_ is an open space for the tech community in Kenya with great ideas that will lead to development of new technologies in Kenya.


The concept of the *iHub_ is a first of kind in Kenya and there are great expectations that it will spur a revolution in the technology products and services space with its core focus to give the tech community a community facility where they can bring their ideas to life.


*iHub_ will be a gallery of technologies that will emerge to revolutionize the Kenyan Business scene.


Data connectivity is the most important aspect of the iHub, but after that comes a fresh design and an atmosphere that is conducive to techies getting cool stuff done.


Finally, we’re putting our networks into place to give special access to the entrepreneurs and startups who need space to meet with VCs, seed funders and local businesses. We’re trying to create the place where seeds are planted and are easily found by the people with money to help them grow.


A Blank Canvas

The iHub is what we as a tech community make it. It is a blank canvas, a big open room with a great view and wonderful location, but still an empty room that needs some input from people within the community to design, and create a culture around.


What part are you going to play?

  • Good at creating intranets for fast and easy file sharing of 1gb+ downloads like the Android SDK? Want to help us build that?
  • Maybe you’ve got great business connections. Will you help us connect the iHub and the people in it to the business community?

iHub Location

The iHub’s location is going to be on the 4th floor of the Bishop Magua Centre on Ngong Road (directly opposite the Uchumi Hyper). It’s an amazing location, with quick access to public transportation, food and the City Centre.
View iHub – Nairobi’s Innovation Hub in a larger map


Community Involvement

From the beginning, we’ve been working closely with a couple of people from the community to find a place and get some basic items squared away. This advisory group is made up of individuals with a long standing presence in tech locally, including:

  • Riyaz Bachani, CTO of Wananchi
  • Josiah Mugambi, Co-Founder of Skunkworks
  • Rebecca Wanjiku, Tech reporter and entrepreneur
  • Conrad Akunga, Blogger and Software Manager
  • Erik Hersman, Tech blogger, Founder of iHub, Founder of AfriGadget and co-Founder of Ushahidi


The space was made possible by funding to Ushahidi by the Omidyar Network and Hivos. Ushahidi covers the lease, electricity and data connections.

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