International Business Machines (IBM) has announced a new innovation and collaboration space at iHub- the heart of Nairobi’s tech community. This announcement was made during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit which was co-hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama in Kenya recently.
This project is aimed at providing early-stage entrepreneurs and start-ups with access to IBM expertise, education and technology tools with a focus on cloud, Big Data analytics, mobile and security. IBM will exercise its expertise from its existing Innovation Centre and Research Lab in Kenya for the new innovation space, which will be an open working environment for the software developers and startups, this is a tech accelerator and co-working office with 17,000 members, which will also conduct monthly workshops and events for developers.
Founder of iHub, Erik Hersman expressed how the iHub and IBM are passionate about supporting and empowering the success of African entrepreneurs, adding on to say that, “by setting up an IBM Innovation Space within the iHub community, we are giving local developers and startups unique access to IBM’s expertise, business connections and resources which will help propel them to the next level.”
“Africa has millions of entrepreneurs who are experts in their own markets and who are now looking to technology to differentiate and compete on the global stage,” said Nick Nesbitt, Country General Manager, IBM East Africa.
The Innovation Space will be open to any of iHub’s 17,000 members, who will be able to drop in and get insight, advice and training from IBM experts in business and technology. The IBM Innovation space will open from August 2015.
Nairobi marks the first IBM Innovation Space in Africa with others to follow in the coming months in line with IBM’s investment into innovation ecosystems across the continent.
IBM has operated in Africa for almost 100 years. Today, its operations span 24 countries, including South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Kenya and Tanzania. Nairobi is also home to IBM Research – Africa: IBM’s 12th global research lab and the first industrial research facility on the continent of Africa. With facilities in Kenya and South Africa, IBM Research – Africa is driving innovation by developing commercially-viable solutions to transform lives and spark new business opportunities in key areas such as water, agriculture, transportation, healthcare, financial inclusion, education, energy, security and e-government.
Africa is being connected to the world and we thak businesses such as IBM for bettering the lives of our people.