This year, BarCamp Nairobi will be hosted jointly by iHub, m:lab, Nailab and Skunkworks Kenya. These four institutions, based around the Bishop Magua Centre, are at the heart of Kenya’s technology community.
Skunkworks Kenya is a vibrant tech community that grew around an email list of the same name. For years, Skunkworks Kenya would host regular meetings at different venues across Nairobi where techies, developers, designers, project managers, investors, entrepreneurs, academics and so on would listen to and learn from each other while testing out new technology and debating policy.
Skunkworks Kenya was the host of the very first BarCamp Nairobi in 2007. It was at a Skunkworks Kenya meeting that the idea of a permanent membership based hub for Kenya’s tech community was mooted, this idea developed in to what is now the iHub. iHub Advisory Board members, Conrad Akunga, Josiah Mugambi, Riyaz Bachani, Rebecca Wanjiku, Erik Hersman and Juliana Rotich were all active members of Skunkworks. In fact,Riyaz and Josiah were among the convenors and first speakers at the first Barcamp Nairobi in 2007.
The iHub is rooted in the tech community of Kenya. We have taken the vibrant, community based model of Skunkworks Kenya and given it a permanent home. In the tradition of Skunkworks Kenya the iHub hosts regular events on themes as diverse as robotics and research methodology.
Started as a community space the iHub now has a cutting edge research arm, iHub Research, hosts one of Africa’s first UX Labs, iHub User Experience Lab, is building a super computer, the iHub Cluster, and is connecting Kenyan techies to high level contracts through iHub Consulting. iHub was proud to host BarCamp Nairobi in 2011 and welcomes Barcamp Nairobi 2013 on 24th August, 2013.
A collaborative effort of a consortium of four organisations, m:lab East Africa aims to identify, nurture and help to build sustainable enterprises in the knowledge economy. The consortium members are eMobilis, World Wide Web Foundation, The University of Nairobi and the iHub. The m:lab in true Barcamp style is focused on surfacing exciting people who are building innovative products.
With world class business and technical training on mobile application development and entrepreneurship, m:lab supports the tech community by facilitating access to capital and markets for scale up for innovative mobile applications.
m:lab hosts the annual Pivot East Conference, a pitching competition that brings together entrepreneurs and investors. m:lab East Africa’s unique place in the African technology space makes it a valuable and natural host of BarCamp Nairobi.
Nailab is a business incubator that lowers entry barriers for young entrepreneurs to successfully start and scale their businesses in Kenya.
Nailab's vision is to support entrepreneurs with viable innovations in the technology and ICT arena for the guidance it takes to turn a good idea into a profitable and sustainable business thus meeting a crucial need in the Kenyan market.
"At Nailab, we are firm believers in enabling technology sharing and are glad to be co-hosts of the 2013 BarCamp”, Sam Gichuru says. “As a country we are the bellwether of tech innovation for Sub Saharan Africa and it is through forums such as this, that Kenya will be able to influence tech trends and inform its growth within the region."
BarCamp Nairobi 2013 will be held on Saturday, 24th August, 2013 from 8am. Registration opens soon. Follow @iHub for updates.