Angolan co-working space KiandaHub is seeking funding to grow out its offering as it looks to become central to the country’s growing startup ecosystem.
A technology and innovation hub, KiandaHub was founded in February of last year by Mauro Yange, Dizando Norton and Joel Epalanga, and currently has a team of seven.
Managing director Epalanga told Disrupt Africa Kianda Hub has been launched after the team realised bringing the concept of startups to Angola – by means of events and workshops – would not happen until the country had a physical space where entrepreneurs, designers, investors and enthusiasts could meet to collaborate, exchange ideas and build their startups.
“Our meetings were held at restaurants and some events and other activities in very humble venues, where we could not even breathe or think properly, but the willingness to make things happen was bigger than anything else,” he said.
Epalanga was inspired by Marlon Parker, founder of RLabs in South Africa, who was his supervisor and lecturer at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in Cape Town, and upon his return to Angola looked for a group of people with the same interests and the passion to take the idea further.
KiandaHub’s mission, he said, is to turn Angola into a technology and innovation friendly country, as the team believes there is so much potential among the youth, and plenty of problems to be solved that in turn can be explored as opportunities.
“We aim to provide an adequate co-working space and environment that fosters creativity and embraces collaboration for tech-based startups to develop and grow successfully by organising events and offering consulting services to startups and other small businesses,” Epalanga said.
The hub’s business model is based on the co-working space, which for the moment is not being offered as the space is in need of refurbishment.
“We are still in the hustle for that looking for potential investors in order to have a more sought after space for other business to work from,” Epalanga said.
Once this has been achieved, individuals and startups will pay a monthly fee to use the space and its perks.
Currently, Epalanga and his team organise free and paid events for entrepreneurs, while also providing consulting services in the areas of business modelling, growth hacking, and website design and development.
It is also in the process of launching the KiandaHub Startup Club, whereby startups pay a monthly fee to belong to the club and enjoy its benefits, including featured articles about the startups on KiandaHub’s network, access to the hub’s contacts and mentors network, and discounts on KiandaHub-hosted events.