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Crafting a Silicon Savannah Univenture in an emerging context

How to build a “Silicon Savannah” in a challenging environment

It’s easy to do university venture in the U.S. or Europe. Starting a Univenture drive in Africa is a whole different story…

University Venture programs are clearly of critical importance to Kenya’s economic future, but with the country’s first university less than 50 years old, its universities are still exploring what works and what does not in this context.

This article takes learning from interviews with the leadership of two programs that are exploring the emerging phenomenon of univenture in Kenya:

  • The C4D Lab at the University of Nairobi, the leading public university in Kenya.
  • iBizAfrica at Strathmore University, the country’s leading private university.

The author uses these interviews to inform a broad analysis of the African venture landscape. He shows that Africa’s universities not only have to catch up with the rest of the world and ramp up research activity, they also have to link academia and research to commerce and industry, drive entrepreneurial culture, propagate the necessary necessary skills, and provide a meeting place for like-minded people to meet and collaborate. The stakes are high indeed:  success in the univenture endeavor will significantly drive job creation and inclusive growth in the quest to elevate Africa’s economies.

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About the Author:

Wilfred Mutua Mworia – M.Sc. Student, University of Nairobi; Founder, Afrinnovator