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Kenya: The iHub launched in Nairobi

The iHub, an innovation center for techies, developers and innovators was launched in Nairobi this week. What exactly is the iHub?:

iHub – Nairobi’s Innovation Hub for the technology community – is here! It’s an open space for the technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in the area. This space is a tech community facility with a focus on young entrepreneurs, web and mobile phone programmers and designers. It is part open community workspace (co-working), part vector for investors and VCs and part incubator.

Several leading bloggers attended the event and here are their stories, photos and videos.

VC4Africa describes what the iHub will be about:

High speed internet, a comfortable and cool working environment, and a space for events and meetings to take place is what the iHub is about. It's run and managed by members of the local tech community.

It isn’t just a business. The end goal of the Innovation Hub in Nairobi is not to make money and be more profitable. Instead, it is to grow a stronger technology community in Nairobi, one where developers, designers, VCs and businesses are all better connected and mutually benefiting from the growth.

Bankelele considers the event a Nairobi Tech Moment:

iHub Nairobi: Our fabulous friends at Ushahidi are in the news for their recent technological endeavors which have been used in earthquakes rescue & relief in Haiti and Chile. But back here in Kenya, is something even more momentous, which is the unveiling & launch of the Nairobi iHub on March 3 2010.

The event, Sheila writes, was Geek Heaven in Nairobi:

Last night I went to Geek Heaven in Nairobi….and it looked kind of ordinary at first…. except we were in some kind of room in a building, with the skyline of Nairobi as the backdrop. It was the IHub Launch www.ihub.co.ke in Nairobi, Kenya and the evening was packed full of geeks, super geeks, TEDsters, futurists and a number of possible “Post humans” – people with artificially enhanced intelligence.

iHub, she argues, is a celebration of the power of ideas in Africa:

The IHub celebrates the fact that here in Africa we are beginning to value and invest in the power of ideas, as the essential currency for future progress and change. The iHub is a realization of the “Mindstep” or paradigm shift towards the areas where technology approaches a barrier, and new technologies emerge to cross it.

Njeri witnessed the launching and posts photos from the event:

The launch of IHub – Nairobi's Innovation Hub was yesterday at the Bishop Gatimu Magua Centre on Ngong Rd. The vent brought together the tech community in Nairobi as well as lovers of technology.
I was the unofficial blogger paparazzi and I can assure you that anyone who was in that event was captured on still.

Lone Ranger says iHub is simply what developers need:

This is the way to go, as there are a lot of smart guys out there with no means of putting ideas into action. This is just amazing. I attended the launch of iHub jana and it was good to see who is who in the IT field was there. The amazing thing was that almost all of the guys there were of age 40 and below, or 90% of the guys were 40 and below.
This is just what us developers need.

Kenya Christian writes:

This space is a tech community facility with a focus on young entrepreneurs, web and mobile phone programmers and designers. It is part open community workspace (co-working), part vector for investors and VCs and part incubator.

Nikolas was not invited to the event so he decided to watch TV instead. It was an invitation only event.

Now since i missed an invite to the premier iHubnairobi launch event of the day i shall sit about over here watching TV and regaling you lot with the most minute minutiae of my life currently and the current search for a one in all cell service provider.

Things you should know about the event:

■There will be eight lightning-style 5-minute talks done by local techies as part of IgniteNairobi (see Global Ignite Week for more)
■Keeping up to date with the event, we’ll be live streaming it via Ustream here.
■The first 100 attendees – who are on the list as confirmed -will get one of the new iHub t-shirts designed by the guys at The Ark and printed by Bonk. (Yes, they are incredibly cool).
■The floorplans and layout for the iHub are about done, but no buildout has started happening.
■We’re having a cocktail tonight, so it’s drinks and bitings/hors d’oeuvres.

Sam is happy that the event was given good TV coverage by KTN:

Launching of Ihub was quite phenomenon for the technical community. The fact that KTN gave it such a good coverage and substantial air time on Financial Markets live was quite encouraging.

Ihub creates a platform for Kenyan software and web developers as well other techies to meet and collaborate to bring out various innovations. The facility is equipped with a host of resources including fast internet provided by KDN and Zuku.

What will it take for the iHub to succeed?:

For iHub to succeed it has to become self-sustaining knowledge ecosystem. A place which will continuously appeals to great minds and produce wonderful applications, systems and ideas. Not all animals were equal in animals Kingdom and the same will applies here but in a good way. Yeah the doers will be given priority over the talkers. The reason is bright, innovative people like to be around other bright, innovative people. According iHub blog:
“We have never promised equality within the iHub, doers will be given preferential treatment to talkers and browsers. It’s a meritocracy, where those who create new and cool things are given more and better access.”

The Role of Government is critical in this, and it was refreshing to hear Mr.Paul Kukubo pledging that the government through ICT Board will be actively involved as a partner in iHub.

According to White African, the iHub isn't completely built yet:

The new iHub in Nairobi isn’t completely built out yet (in fact, it’s still basically just concrete and few painted walls…), however that won’t stop us from having a party to celebrate the opening of the new innovation hub here! It starts at 5:30pm (Kenya time) at the iHub (map).

Here is Njeri's web album of the event. Afrinnovator has posted videos of the event.

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