@HiveColab @iHub @Appfrica @NaiLab @Bantalabs @LimbeLabs come together to create AfriLabs

African Tech Hub meeting with @billzimmerman, @whiteafrican, @zia505, @appfrica, @batje @bartlacroix and @toneendungu in @Nailab

In the past two years we have witnessed the rise of Africa’s tech incubator. Already spaces have come online in Kampala, Nairobi, Douala and Dakar. New initiatives are coming online in Accra and Lagos and many more are on the way. Each lab offers their respective tech community a physical nexus space for meetings, events and work. The labs serve as an accessible platform for bringing together technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in the area. Each lab shares a focus on young entrepreneurs, Web and mobile-phone programmers and designers.

On March 3rd 2010, founders from several established African tech incubators and open collaboration spaces @HiveColab @iHub @Appfrica Labs @NaiLab @Bantalabs @LimbeLabs came together for the iHub launch in Nairobi. The meeting hosted by Nailab (an iHub neighbor) made clear that each of the labs shares in a common vision to promote technology as a platform for entrepreneurship on the continent. The labs have a lot to gain by working together and it was in this thinking that Afrilabs was born.

As a network organization Afrilabs seeks to build on this common vision and further promote the growth and development of the African technology sector. By working together the labs improve their chances of success, generating more success stories and decent work for young Africans, both as a means of self-employment and as job creation for others. Already members of Afrilabs have come together successfully in their bid to implement the U.S. Department of State sponsored contest Apps4Africa. Afrilab members have also worked to establish the Hive Colab as Kampala’s leading open collaboration space and successfully tendered to host the infoDev sponsored mobile apps lab in East Africa. AfriLabs by virtue of its on-the-ground engagement and local ownership is uniquely positioned to be a catalyst for the sector.

Afrilabs will build on this early success and from the ground up, the entrepreneurs using the spaces and the labs that service them set the mandate. This ensures Afrilabs remains grounded by the labs knee deep in the business and builds on the experience in each of their localities (initially Kenya, Uganda and Cameroon). Afrilabs sets out with the following objectives: 1) Discover synergies between the labs 2) Share best practices and help new organizations emerge 3) Enhance visibility of the network and her actors, share success stories 4) Organize networking events and facilitate other exchanges, both online and offline 5) Secure resources for the network by establishing a revolving fund 6) Generally promote developments in this space and explore other common interests.

Want to connect? Please contact us at Afrilabs [at] gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @Afrilabs.

Founding Members:

iHub in Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi’s Innovation Hub for the technology community – is here! It’s 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 and designers. It is part open community workspace (co-working), part vector for investors and VCs and part incubator.

Nailab in Nairobi, Kenya
The NAILAB is an ICT Business Incubation Laboratory. NAILAB, shortened from Nairobi Incubation Laboratory, incubates ICT – based or ICT – heavy start-ups and SMEs. The NAILAB offers an incubation platform to help young entrepreneurs to concentrate on building a business structure around their innovations without the need of a high initial capital to secure office space and the accompanying services. The reasoning behind the creation of these LABS is simple. We believe that by concentrating technology innovators that are building businesses in Africa in specific locations, we make it easier and more likely for financiers such as venture capitalists, angel investors or profit / non-profit driven corporations to find them and their products and services.

Appfrica Labs in Kampala
Since 2008, Appfrica Labs’s work has been rewarded with a reputation for innovative and technologically sophisticated projects in a diverse range of commercial and cultural settings. Our work is often exemplified for it’s ‘hacktivist’ nature, meaning it’s technically compelling motivated by altruism and global change. We work with a surprising range of clients on diverse projects: translation, mobile apps, facebook apps, software development, market research and reports, data analysis and visualization, infographics, graphic design and more.

Limbe Labs in Douala, Cameroon
Limbe Labs is a unique community / collaboration space in Cameroon for startups, freelancers, designers, entrepreneurs (esp. internet entrepreneurs) and independent thinkers. Limbe Labs provides not only a great space to work but also opportunities to interact with other like-minded individuals. We’re interested in contributing to the growth of an indigenous, high-tech startup community here in Cameroon. We think the best way to do this is to bring people with unique capabilities together in an environment that helps them do what they do best. We try to create a culture that fosters collaboration and idea sharing, that generates great learning experience for everyone, as well as opportunities for people with complementary skills and experience to work together for the benefit of their clients.


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About zia505

The world is changing right before my eyes. Sometimes I don't know how I will ever keep up. There are so many ideas floating around on this internet. If only I had the means to collect them....

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