Kenyan makerspace Gearbox ready to start accepting members

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Kenyan makerspace Gearbox is ready to open the doors of its Lite incubator to the public having installed the bulk of its equipment.

Non-profit Gearbox launched last year out of the iHub in Nairobi, with the aims of creating a unique space for members to showcase innovative ideas and share skills while also providing a platform for capacity building in line with the integration of hardware skills with the software expertise available in Kenya.

The organisation, which is also running a hardware acceleration programme alongside Village Capital, launched Gearbox Lite in December with an initial cohort of seven companies.

Gearbox Lite provides members with access to equipment, tools, knowledge, advice, incubation and funding to electronics hardware technology enthusiasts. It is run on a membership basis, and is now ready to open its doors to the public after three months of testing.

“The bulk of our equipment has been installed and is ready to use. We’ve been testing things, making things, and writing training manuals,” Gearbox said.

Gearbox members will have access to all the tools and equipment necessary for PCB fabrication, electronics assembly and testing, and housing/enclosure and mechanical fabrication.

“The tools, equipment, and processes available at Gearbox Lite have been designed after many months of consultation with local and international product designers, prototyping labs, incubators, accelerators, and makerspaces, specifically to support hardware entrepreneurs. If you have an idea for a new product, come see if you can build it at Gearbox,” the organisation 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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