Konza Techno City can be a home to startups

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Konza Techno City, the smart tech business park being constructed on the outskirts of Nairobi, wants to be a home to Kenyan startups as well as large multinational companies.

Konza is part of the Vision 2030 project, with phase one set for completion in 2018 and the government predicting KES100 billion (US$1.1 billion) in investment to come into the city for multinationals.

However, John Tanui, chief executive officer (CEO) of Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KOTDA), told the Connected East Africa conference in Diani he wanted Konza to also be a home to Kenyan startups as a major part of its focus was innovation.

“We have the vision to be the innovation hub of the region. We want to see startups finding their home in Konza, and walking alongside the multinationals. Konza will create a catalytic effect that will promote Kenya and the region as an innovation hub,” he said.

Therefore, according to Tanui, the vision was also targeted at smaller and younger businesses.

“We will find a way to accommodate and work with them. It is our joy and passion to see the next multinationals come out of Konza in the near future,” he said.

“We want it to be a choice destination for multinationals globally. And we are going to work with academia, because they will play a key role in building the right environment for businesses to have there.”

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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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