Kenya’s iHub seeks CEO to catalyse growth

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Kenyan innovation space the iHub is looking for a chief executive officer (CEO) as it looks to scale operations, tighten its service offerings and reach sustainability after raising funding in March.

Launched in Nairobi in 2010, the iHub aimed to provide a home for Kenya’s tech community and allow developers and entrepreneurs to connect and work on ideas from. It currently has more than 16,000 members, and also includes the m:lab incubator, iHub Research and Gearbox.

Disrupt Africa reported in March the hub had raised funding from local investors Bitange Ndemo, Becky Wanjiku, Ken Mwenda and Miguel Granier as it moved into what co-founder Erik Hersman described as the “next chapter”.

Executive director Josiah Mugambi has now announced the iHub is looking to make appointments in a number of key roles, most importantly a CEO to support the team as it grows towards its “ambitious new goals”.

“We are looking for an experienced executive with a proven track record building tech-oriented companies, including business development and fundraising,” he said.

“This person will provide strong leadership by working with global customers, investors, and donors while demonstrating a passion for innovation and innovators.”

The iHub is also looking to hire a director of sales and strategic partnerships, and is seeking an individual with experience in identifying, structuring and closing high value partnerships.

“These are two of several positions we will be hiring for. While we will be doing a formal search for the ideal candidates, do get in touch if you know the perfect fit for these roles,” Mugambi said.

By end of 2015, internally-generated revenue consisted of about 70 per cent of the hub’s budget, with the iHub team now aiming for the hub to become 100 per cent sustainable this year. Mugambi said this would give it the flexibility to create the programmes that the community needs most, and create a bigger space to accommodate its growing membership.

“We have streamlined our organization broadly into iHub Community – currently consisting of community engagement, and incubation through the m:lab – and iHub Consultancy Services – currently consisting of research, user experience, data science, and software development and design,” Mugambi said.

“The simplified structure allows us to respond to the community and our clients better. It also helps us streamline management and reduce overhead expenses so that we can ensure that we are putting as much of our resources as possible back into supporting innovators and the enterprises they are building.”

Another key goal is getting the local tech industry more involved in the iHub, which Mugambi said is a crucial part of strengthening the organisation. Later this month the iHub plans to hold a forum to map out how anyone interested in being closely involved can be part of the next chapter of the iHub. Interested parties can register here.

“As we move into this new season, I remain excited and committed to the ongoing success of iHub,” Mugambi said.

“I will continue to be a big part of the organisation, moving into a new strategic role that looks to extend our vision beyond Nairobi. iHub has been an instrumental catalyst in supporting Kenya’s tech ecosystem and I look forward to continuing to be a part of seeing that vision grow and spread.”

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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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