Nest partners African co-working spaces to offer startups “soft landing” in Hong Kong

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VC firm Nest, which launched operations in Africa last month, has partnered co-working spaces Nairobi Garage and Cape Town Garage to offer startups a “soft landing” when visiting Hong Kong.

Under the arrangement, startups from Nairobi Garage and Cape Town Garage will be provided with access to a central co-working space and Nest’s support structure when they visit Hong Kong or should they decide to launch operations there.

Meanwhile, members of Nest’s global ecosystem will have the ability to make headway in Kenya and South Africa through use of the services offered by the two spaces.

“On one hand, we see startups from Africa with both the ambition and ability to scale globally and on the other, we see the potential for solutions developed by startups in Asia to deploy into Africa. This partnership allows us to leverage the resources of both organisations to create another piece towards an ecosystem which will facilitate the potential of both those trends,” said Aaron Fu, managing partner for Africa at Nest.

Disrupt Africa reported last month Nest, which services early-stage, high growth businesses, opened an office in Nairobi, which the company will use to roll out accelerator programmes and invest in startups across Africa.

It has already been busy in the weeks since, launching speaker series “What’s Next” and inviting African startups to apply to join its smart cities accelerator in Hong Kong. Two African companies – Kenya’s SuperFluid and South Africa’s creditable – are already taking part in another Hong Kong programme, held in conjunction with DBS Bank.

The Cape Town Garage management team of Adelé Bezuidenhout and Stephanie Brummer was excited by the potential offered by this new partnership.

“With our mantra of “Connect, Co-work and Create” our space has always encouraged an ecosystem of knowledge and resource sharing. By expanding this ecosystem into Hong Kong our startups are able to network, collaborate and build synergistic relationships into other, bigger markets,” they said.

Hannah Clifford, general manager of Nairobi Garage, said the partnership will reduce the number of barriers to entry for African innovators to global markets, and more so towards Asia.

“It will also help startups from Hong Kong scale into and across Africa by opening Nest and Nairobi Garage networks to each other’s communities, and therefore building a bridge between tech ecosystems in both continents,” Clifford 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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