Over the last few months RLabs and NaiLab have been in discussions about a partnership since our first meeting in Amsterdam (thanks to One Percent Club). It was there that we saw an opportunity to work together but also change and transform the way traditional technology incubation happens. Both myself and Sam Gichuru have a heart to see young entrepreneurs in Africa flourish to produce not just African solutions by Africans but we both believe Africa has a role to play in driving web and mobile innovation in emerging economies. There has been a number of people voicing their concerns about Africa not taking its place (read great post by Gareth Knight) and it was with that in mind that we believed collaborating will add the lots of value to our networks and eco systems. Below is just 5 examples of how this collaboration will be a game changer:
1) Both South Africa and Kenya are thriving web and mobile technology countries, having it share of technologists emerging but we not seeing enough of them adding value. Through partnership we will be able to strengthen each other in our weaknesses but also allow our entrepreneurs and technologist to scale through our networks.
2) NaiLab is focused on Incubating smart businesses and the RLabs Innovation Incubator and Accelerator is all about making ideas a reality. We invest in our communities to see the greatest impact with a preference of disruptive innovation.
3) NaiLab and RLabs with its own networks now offer further reach for the small start-ups.
4) Both Labs have a heart for Africa but think global and our strengths in mobile technologies and social media could contribute to scaling and getting traction for the innovations and businesses growing in these Labs.
5) Opportunity for Lab exchange programmes for entrepreneurs from both countries to form partnerships but also able to tap into the various eco system opportunities.
We are excited about this proposed partnership and to grow the African Innovation landscape using technologies for social and economical transformation. Looking forward to the official launch of RLabs Kenya now.