University of Nairobi launches startup incubation policy

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The University of Nairobi (UoN) has developed an incubation policy it says will allow it to better support helping young entrepreneurs grow their businesses into commercially viable ventures.

The university has been a growing supporter of Kenya’s startup sector in recent years, launching prototyping and innovative incubator the C4DLab in 2013, which took in 11 startups last year, including Chura.

UoN is now looking to further its involvement with startups, after senior government officials and private industry stakeholders met to deliberate on a startup incubation policy for the university.

The policy, among other things, allows for the creation of more incubation centres along different disciplines, which UoN hopes will become financially sustainable in the future. Startups receiving incubation will be given office space and internet access, while UoN will also provide intellectual property (IP) protection, business mentorship programmes, networking avenues, auditing, and legal services.

Professor Peter Mbithi, the new UoN vice-chancellor, spoke of the need for collaboration between academia, government and the private sector in order to ensure the achievement of the economic development milestones set out in Vision 2030.

Mbithi said universities had a bigger role to play in national development.

“For us to fulfill our national development agenda and commercialization of technological start-ups, we have developed this incubation policy,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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