Here’s the 10 Moments Plus 1 that defined The Innovation Village Kampala in 2017

As we, at The Innovation Village Kampala, bid farewell to 2017, we remain in admiration of the spirit of the Ugandan entrepreneur who against all odds ferociously moves forward. It takes a Village to build a startup, we celebrate the partners that made 2017 possible for every entrepreneur within and beyond our walls.

1. The Innovation Bureau,

We opened our second location christened - The Innovation Bureau. This was done with the objective of converging partners that wanted to co-locate with innovators. Without a reason to believe that it would work apart from the fact that Creativity will attract creativity, The Bureau is now home to local, regional and global companies co-locating with early stage and growth companies.

The year 2017 saw great companies like Challenges Worldwide, Vouch Digital (formerly Innovate Uganda), LeO Africa, Xente, Sellio, Kola Studios, Moquid, EnVenture, Growth Africa, Milima Technologies, FinAfrica and Andela all collocating with our startups. This sparked off a recipe of activity as each of the above delivered their mandate.

2. Hack4refugees

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] 30 teams, 3 days, 3 solutions; Our CDA is how we bring innovation to challenges[/caption]

Hack4Refugees in collaboration with UNCDF, MercyCorps and Dan Church Aid to build digital solutions for Refugees and host communities. The 10 solutions are now undergoing the 100IDEASAccelerator Program.

3. European Union 4 Youth

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Launching the European Union’s Youth4Growth Movement[/caption]

EU4Youth where we launched the Youth4GrowthMovement as a first step to explore the Youth Question; Is it a promise or problem.

4. Data Hack 4 Financial Inclusion

Season II of DataHack4Financial Inclusion to bring the power of Data to Fintechs

A year with two Data hacks for financial inclusion. Working with I2I, UNCDF & FSDU, Season 1 saw winners raise $100,000 and also partnerships to scale. Season 2 will focus on FSPs, fintechs and the role of Data Science.

5. Scale Talks with Aga Khan

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] A flagship offering by Aghakhan’s CSI across East Africa[/caption]

The Aghakhan ScaleTalks with the aim to support a re-energized approach to youth entrepreneurship and employment across East Africa.

6. LeO Africa Economic Forum

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Minister of ICT & National Guidance tours exhibitors at the LeO Economic Forum[/caption]

Leo Economic Forum 2017 that focused on the impact of disruptive innovations on growth and development in Africa.

7. Liquid Telcom Partnership

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] An opportunity for local startups to tap into Liquid Telecom’s 10 market footprint.[/caption]

Tech development programmes, and usage of Azure. A partnership with entrepreneurial spirit to help local start-ups truly connect to the regional marketplace including the Go Cloud initiative, supported by Microsoft and aims to raise awareness, adoption.

8. Forloop Kampala

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] A continent of developers focused on solving our biggest challenges.[/caption]

Foorloop Kampala; our initiative to build a community of passionate developers. A local chapter of Foorloop Africa with a growing base of 6,000 developers.

9. An Angel Investment Network Emerges

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] John Brittle shares insight on the state of early-stage investment.[/caption]

Too many entrepreneurs shortage of capital, we piloted Kampala angel investment network, that went on to attract 10 investors now ready to explore the possibilities of investing in local startups.

10. The Kampala Innovation week

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Kampala Innovation Week; 50 speakers, 5 days of ecosystem building.[/caption]

The first ever Kampala Innovation Week as a multiple Hub collaboration delivered with Design Hub, Outbox and Education Reach Uganda with focus on conversations with ecosystem partners.

11. Celebrating the winners among us

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="324"] Evelyn Namara’s win for Outstanding Woman in innovation, Agribusiness App of the year at the MTN Innovation Awards[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="217"] Allan Rwakatungu’s efforts towards building a cashless Uganda win by Xente at The ACIAawards[/caption]

Other moments that shaped our mindset on the job to be done for innovators.

  • Women’s Day Brunch with on Being Bold for Change.
  • World Skills Day with focus on the need for skilling first.
  • The Visit by RT Hon Speaker of Parliament in our quest to democratize entrepreneurship
  • The AsentiForum17 converging entrepreneurs from 10 African countries to rethink Innovation.
  • HiiL Innovate Justice Accelerator in search of solutions to solve prevalent legal issues.
  • The Fintech Kampala meet up with focus on building solutions for Financial Inclusion.
  • Agribusiness meetup aimed to explore the role of technology in Agriculture.
  • A focus on StartPath as a gateway to get more Ugandan startups from early to growth stage with Mastercard Labs for Financial Inclusion.
  • Our new found love with Edtech Nairobi and Edtech CapeTown offering $80,000 for scalable EdTechStartups

Our membership grew from 800 members in 2016 to more than 2,000 members this year and we are proud that women represent over 40% of our membership and leadership It takes a Village to build a Startup- you were part of This Village in 2017

Better Together for 2018

At the core of our work is the desire to come together, learn together and grow together. As we continue to drive Uganda’s innovation ecosystem, we are thrilled to increase our offerings and partners in 2018. Our focus will be on

  • Championing Uganda’s digital Transformation through pursuit of startup — industry/community collaboration through our Challenge Driven Accelerator.
  • Accelerating Startup Investment through the Kampala Angel Investor Network.
  • Launching our in-house 100IDEASOnline Accelerator Program to discover & scale Uganda’s early stage entrepreneurs.
  • Launching UPSkill our enterprise and innovation Academy that will focus on a conscious entrepreneurial approach to build today’s most in demand skills.

It takes a Village to build a Startup- you were part of This Village in 2017; The Innovation Village.

This post originally appeared on The Innovation Village Kampala's Medium page.

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