Regardless of what it’s being called, business incubation in Africa seems to center in technology which helps investors, software designers, programmers, and young entrepreneurs to connect with each other. In Africa, only a few concepts compel more anticipation and collaboration than a technological innovation.
AfriLabs was founded in March 2010 and is basically a networking organization that seeks to allocate the lab practices among different entities. They also help increase the visibility of other tech labs and promote developments for a sustainable growth among emerging tech hubs. AfriLabs is responsible for implementing the Apps4Africa competition and assisted in establishing Hive Colab in Uganda.
ActiveSpaces was formerly known as Limbe Labs Ventures and was founded in February 2010. The company fosters open collaboration space and serves as an start up incubator and technological facilitator for African techies. ActivSpaces is a main innovation hub with fellowship program that attracts business coaches and mentors.
Founded in February 2010, Bantalabs operate both in France and Senegal which is basically a training and consulting firm and an open source web development facilator. The company specializes in building Drupal based websites and tech tools and has organized community events and workshops both in West Africa and Europe.
Based in Kampala Uganda and founded on June 2010, Hive Colab was co-established by AfriLabs. This is basically an open and shared community owned working platform for novice tech entrepreneurs. Hive Colab allows young techies to collaborate, come together on projects, and hold relevant events.
iHub (Nairobi, Kenya)
Founded in March 2010 in Nairobi Kenya, iHub is an open platform for techies, tech companies, and investors alike. The iHub in essence, is a technological collaboration facility that aims to bring together novice entrepreneurs, mobile software programmers, researchers, tech designers, etc. The iHub is not only a business incubator but it is also a vector for investors and an open community workspace.
NaiLab (Nairobi, Kenya)
An ICT Business Incubation Laboratory based in Nairobi Kenya, NaiLab offers comprehensive incubation service and an outreach service that provides a simplified platform for innovators to be found by venture capitalists and business angels and investors for African profit and non-profit corporations.
Botswana Innovation Hub
Botswana Innovation Hub was founded in 2006 and is based in Gaborone Botswana. The company aims to provide an appealing location for technology driven business and knowledge intensive ventures to progress for an opportunity to participate in the global market.
Ice Ethiopia (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
Ice Ethiopia is a recently established business incubation platform in Addis Ababa. Founded in January 2011, the company aims to set up a national based collaboration network and an institution for Ethiopian innovations. Combining ICT innovation with skills development and entrepreneurial know – how, Ice Ethiopia offers collaborative workspace and incubator facilities for new and established start up companies.
Founded in November 2010, Wennovation Hub offers a pre-business creation training and a facility to support collaborative business innovation and venture idea formation. The company also seeds capital for business startups undergoing financial difficulties.
More than just an incubation program, Enspire seeks to help business entities that are done with the initial stage of business development. The vision of the group is to see businesses succeed from incubation stage to leading companies when it comes to developing original and ground-breaking technologies. By August 2010, the program already incubated at least three proposals that include web portal solutions and software engineering projects carried out in only six weeks time.
Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST)
MEST is European based company that educates and trains aspiring African software entrepreneurs. The goal of the group is to establish a pool of local jobs in Africa that will in turn facilitate wealth creation. In 2005, the Ghana Multimedia Incubator Centre was set in partnership with UN. The aim is to facilitate and develop ICT entrepreneurship by creating ICT business startups.
One of the first Egypt based technology hub is Tahrir2 located in the city of Alexandria and is supported by Mohammed Gawdat. Tahrir Square provides startups with assistance from funding to mentorship and physical location for the business. The amount of money invested in each business vary a lot but successful entrepreneurs can expect around US$15 000 of funding assistance.
Nelson Mandela African Institute for Science and Technology
The first phase NM-AIST is finished and scholarships are now available and applications are being entertained by the organization. This serves as an entry point for various potential startups in East Africa. The organization aims to help develop and train the next generation of engineers and scientist in Africa and the idea is to influence and foster development within the continent through the use of science, engineering and technology or SET.
CTIC Dakar is definitely established as a leading stakeholder in the francophone Africa technology scene and is on his way to build one of the first models on the continent for a financially sustainable incubator. Its team has done a lot to put Senegal on the map but most and foremost to boost the growth of its IT and mobile companies all over West Africa.