Kenyan startups still have the chance to submit their applications for the Nairobi Innovation Week before the Jan 31st deadline for this year’s theme dubbed “INNOVATING FOR A BETTER TOMORROW. The Nairobi Innovation Week is an annual event organized by the University of Nairobi which made its debut back in August 2015.
Since then, the event has grown significantly attracting over 4000 delegates in 2017 compared to 700 delegates in 2015. This year, the main focus will be on startups which is why the event’s organizers have partnered with a number of enablers within the ecosystem.
“We are delighted to share our collaborative platform with serious players in the regional and international startup ecosystem. We are hopeful that NIW.Startups is a springboard for increased collaboration among the many organizations involved,” said Dr Tonny Omwansa who is the chairperson of the Nairobi Innovation Week Planning Committee.
Some of the partners include; UNICEF, Villgro Kenya, Swahili pot Hub, iHub, Metta, ibiz Africa, Viktoria Ventures, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland among others which bodes well for startups considering that the last event had only two enablers.
From the resulting submissions, 100 startups will be selected to pitch their ideas and the most promising 15 among them will be rewarded. According to the event’s website, there will be three tiers of startups to be evaluated as shown below.
For those who may not be entirely clear on what exactly a startup is, the event states that it applies the definitions of Steve Blank and Eriec Ries.
This means that being a startup is not defined by age or size of the organization. What matters is that there is a product for which the organization is searching for a repeatable, scalable business model (under conditions of extreme uncertainty). It also means that having a registered legal entity is not a requirement to be a startup.