From 20 to 24 March 2018, Startups.be and Close the Gap join forces to organize a truly unique mission to Kenya, one of the most entrepreneurial countries in Africa, with a startup scene that attracts developers and investors from all over the world. We're glad to announce that Minister for Digital Agenda Alexander De Croo is joining us there too!
Engage with Kenya, the Silicon Savannah!
Africa is the tech continent of the future! As a new generation of young and ambitious people in Africa reaches the adult working age, the number of job openings in African tech startups skyrockets.
At least 370 tech hubs have sprung up all over the continent in the last few years. The number of new tech ventures has also risen to 3.500, with $1 billion in venture capitalavailable to accelerate these companies (2016-2019).
The African tech hubs consistently make headlines in their effort to accelerate technology businesses at the grassroots level. They bring many new ideas and innovations, and provide in a gigantic source of employment opportunities for the local population.
The origin of Africa’s tech movement can be traced back to Kenya, and to its capital Nairobi, that has been home to several major technological innovations in the 21stcentury. These innovations birthed Kenya as the Silicon Valley of Africa, now better known as the Silicon Savannah. Find out more via this link.
Close the Gap and Startups.be, together with key partners GEN Belgium and GEN Kenya, want to raise awareness about the tech boom on the fast-developing continent, and want to link young Belgian companies that have their eyes on the African markets to the local tech ecosystem in Kenya.
Both the organizers also aim for the co-creation of pilot projects in the ‘digital for development’-area, with mixed Kenyan and Belgian teams. Close the Gap strategic idea is to initiate a social impact fund that has the vision to invest in such projects.
During our three-day mission to Kenya, we will visit - amongst other things - Nailaband other tech incubators in Nairobi, the edutech startup Kytabu (award winner of the prestigious King Boudewijn Foundation African Development Prize), M-Pesa inventor Safaricom, some of Kenia’s most renowned investors, Andela Coding School (the coding school Mark Zuckerberg invested in), etc. The focus for the 'Silicon Savannah'-mission is on fintech, cleantech and agritech.
“Our delegates will get the opportunity to mingle and network with the most prominent players in the local tech ecosystem”, says Frederik Tibau of Startups.be. “We also throw in an ‘innovation challenge’ to stimulate digital co-creation between young Belgian and Kenyan companies.”
“Innovation challenges, that assist entrepreneurs in idea generation and development, stimulate young people to set up a company and make an impact”, argues managing director Olivier Vanden Eynde of Close the Gap. “Moreover, the best startups that emerge from those workshops could be potentially supported by Close the Gap.”
Furthermore, participants will get to know the ins and outs of the mobile money transfer service M-pesa (31% of GDP in Kenya is processed through M-Pesa) and the Kenyan kyama’s - micro banks for small communities. A lot of innovation takes place in those small initiatives.
Will you join us and:
- Get to know one of the most thriving tech ecosystems in the world.
- Work together with Kenyan startups and co-create winning solutions that can be adopted locally or internationally.
- Mingle with fellow entrepreneurs from Kenya and learn from each other.
- Explore the Kenyan market, and get to know the needs of the locals.
- Meet some of the key players in the Kenyan tech industry and in the start-up community.
- Learn about the opportunities that arise in Kenya and in Africa, and validate your idea with local entrepreneurs and investors in an interactive setting.
- Get acquainted with the Kenyan fintech, cleantech and agritech scenes.
- Find local partners
MORE DETAILS ON SUBSIDIES & FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR TRAVEL & STAY:
The cost below is inclusive of hotel but exclusive of flight.
Flanders (check out an important notice of subsidies)