Every year on April 21st, the world celebrates the Creativity and Innovation Day to raise awareness about the role of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development.
Being disruptors in the modern workplace, innovation is also at the centre of what we do at Nairobi Garage.
Over the years the demand of coworking has grown, and it’s because of the initial believers of the coworking concept that Nairobi Garage has grown also to be what it is today.
As the world marks the World Creativity and Innovation Day today, we choose to celebrate some of our members and alumni companies who through their innovations are contributing largely to the different sectors they are in
Did you know that according to World Health Organisation, about 35 – 40 million people worldwide require prosthetic or orthotic care?
Today only 1 out of 10 people have access to appropriate assistive products, including prostheses and orthoses.
Without access to such products, many individuals in need are confined to their homes and live dependent, excluded lives, increasing the impact of the impairment and disability on the person, family, and society.
Well, Project Circleg, our members at Nairobi Garage Delta are changing this narrative, Project Circleg is a Swiss-East African social enterprise endorsing a holistic approach to the development of appropriate lower-limb prosthetic systems for people living in low- to middle-income countries.
Locally and readily available plastics are transformed into affordable high-quality prosthetics through innovative circular manufacturing processes.
Another company changing the face of the health sector by enabling quick health care access is BYON8.
With a vision to digitize the healthcare system, and create a platform where doctors could be easily reached by patients BYON8, strengthens healthcare processes by leveraging mathematical algorithms and medical AI to convert patient data into calculated diagnosis propositions, making it accessible to everyone, regardless of financial status.
BYON8 consists of two major services: a free symptom checker that allows users to enter their symptoms and determine what is causing them, and a paid symptom checker that assists users in determining what is causing their symptoms.
The app also allows users to book appointments with licensed doctors and communicate with them via video or built-in chat.
With 4 billion people living in the globe without access to basic healthcare, a device like BYON8 has a huge chance to increase healthcare access. You can connect with the BYON8 team at Nairobi Garage // Spring Valley.
From hygiene and women’s health, Kasha is an emerging leader in the rapidly expanding Femtech space.
Kasha is an innovative e-commerce platform based in East Africa, built for women’s health, personal care, and beauty products accessibility within urban and rural areas.
With custom technology that enables e-commerce without internet access over a basic mobile or smartphone, Kasha provides confidential orders and delivery of key health and personal care products, such as contraceptives and menstrual care.
Data is the bedrock of innovation, but its value can only be felt from the information data scientists can glean from it, and then act upon.
One of the biggest drives of data science has been modern technology, which has enabled the creation and storage of increasing amounts of information thus data volumes have exploded.
With the Big Data numbers growing every day, there is a demand for data scientists, though the numbers remain low.
However, one company has decided to innovate and wade through the waters and help close the gap by offering data science training.
Founded in 2018, Africa Data School is a practical school that enables you to learn ways in which you can mine, understand, analyze and implement data so as to enable you & your business to have a competitive edge.
Based at Nairobi Garage// Kilimani, the company was founded to help address the data science gap by equipping people with data science skills in Africa.
The company also tries to ensure people keep up with emerging technologies like AI, Blockchain, and Quantum Computing by providing curricula on the technologies as they evolve.
In early 2019, SWVL joined us at our Kilimani location. The innovative Egypt-based tech startup enables riders heading in the same direction to share fixed-route bus trips for a flat fare with no surge pricing.
In 2018 alone, it was estimated that Swvl had raised over $38 million through two different funding rounds. Towards the end of 2018, SWVL announced that they had plans to expand across 10 cities in 2019 including the Philippine capital of Manila, Nairobi, Dakar, and Jakarta.
However, during the pandemic Dip Patel, General Manager SWVL Kenya faced the tough decision of scaling down operations to only run what was essential. He shared that and other challenges such as working from home in a #ZoomIn interview in 2020.
However, a year later Swvl raised $121.5 million in private investment in public equities (PIPE) for this transaction. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Teklas Ventures, Chimera, Agility, and Luxor Capital Group are some of its other investors. The company is currently valued at $1.5 billion.
And in 2022, SWVL got listed on NASDAQ Stock Market in New York, becoming the second company in our community to get listed on NASDAQ after Mdundo got to cover the same milestone in 2020.
One of the things that became crucial to us during the pandemic was how to keep ourselves & our loved ones entertained without leaving the house.
Enter Akili Network, innovators of Akili Kids! who launched & provided edutainment to Kenya’s families – in the middle of a pandemic.
With the widespread school closures for the seven-week holiday, there is a greater need for quality children’s programming.
That is exactly what Akili Kids provides, as the 24/7 kids learning channel that has since moved to be loved by many including parents and caregivers as the content is designed for enjoyable co-viewing for the entire family.
By the end of 2020, they had 5.4 million children and 4.3 million adults watching every week (Geopoll) and they continue to grow. They were our first members at Spring Valley and continue to be a cornerstone of the space.
Another provider of entertainment is Mdundo, a platform providing Africa with easy and affordable access to music with a mission to be the primary pan-African music platform.
They were offered a ‘perfect storm’ by the pandemic and by September 2020 they had recorded a 27% growth in monthly active users to reach 6.4m users.
Mdundo listed its shares on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market Denmark following an oversubscribed pre-sale period that raised DKK40 million (US$6.4 million), in a bid to solidify its leading position in the pan-African music market.
Not forgetting TikTok, who are our members as well at our Kilimani Office Space
Launched in 2015, Fuzu aims to change the landscape of job search and recruitment in Africa, providing AI-powered personalized guidance to individual users, and talent acquisition and data services to organizations.
Over the last five years, it has become the most popular career development platform in Kenya and has expanded to Uganda in 2018 it has more than 7.5 million lifetime users. Before then, the company had last gotten funded in 2016.
The Kenyan career development startup, Fuzu raised a EUR3.4 million (US$3.86 million) Series A funding round in March 2020. In September 2020, Fuzu was also listed on Holon IQ’s first annual EdTech 50.
We ranked Fuzu as one of the 12 Companies that Prospered in 2020 despite all odds and later on 2021, they didn’t disappoint as they entered Nigeria as their 3rd African market
With African tech startups securing record-breaking funding worth US$701.5 million in 2020 the potential for companies & individuals on the continent is sky-high. Nothing makes us prouder than when the innovative companies in our spaces start, grow and conquer.
We’re now watching companies like Mawu Africa, a company started during the pandemic by Jenniffer Nyambogo & Pauline Kariuki.
Also this year, our eyes are pegged on Afripods who are amplifying the African storytelling through podcasting.
We’re glad to still be able to have so many great people and companies call us home. We believe that a key factor is the company you keep – which is why if you’re looking for growth, join a space that puts networking and business connections at the heart of it all.
Get in touch if you’re keen to hear the various ways you can connect to our community and help you grow.