What a year this has been at the iHub as we celebrated 3 years in the tech industry. This has been a great year for building new relationships and fostering the current ones. Erik Hersman perhaps put it best when he wrote “places like the iHub exist to connect this community together, while we get involved in other gaps that exist in the market (UX, incubation, research...), these are just part of providing a place where serendipity happens for those who are involved across the network. Serving the Community has always been the paramount objective of the iHub. Hence we would like to thank all the community members for their continued support without whom the iHub would not exist. We would also like to thank all the partners and acknowledge the important role that they play in the ecosystem. Each and everyone of them has contributed in an immense way to building the iHub as a premiere tech space.
On that note welcome to a highlight walkthrough pictorial of your iHub year with some of our partners.
On June 5th we were pleased to host Sven Jochen Beckmann the General Manager for South and Sub Saharan Africa for Intel Corporation responsible for the territory’s sales and marketing efforts. Sven was at the iHub to talk to developers about Intel’s Software opportunities in the region.
Everyone needs a little nudge once in a while and it on this note that the idea of Jump Start was formed. iHub in collaboration with Intel hosted a 2 day workshop from 4th -5th September. This was done with a view to strengthen the local developer community’s access to high quality knowledge and complement their technical skills with other crucial aspects in the area of business training. Participants were taken through various topics ranging from Copyright and IP ownership to Company and Product Branding.
Games games games… was the theme of the day on 12th October as the first ever Intel Gaming Challenge went down at the iHub and Nailab! It was a great gathering of gamers and developers who mingled to celebrate all things gaming. The challenge was a fantastic opportunity for local game developers Leti Arts and Planet Ruckus who showcased their games Africa’s Legends and Ma3racer. Plus what’s an all-day gaming without a great competition. Hardcore gamers also got to compete in a League of Legends team knock out tournament, with some fantastic prizes for the victors.
I have several great for a business; however which one is the most viable? This was the basis for the Intel Ideation Camp held in collaboration with the iHub UX Lab held in June 25-26 and November 9th-30th (over the weekend). This was one of the most hands-on processes for entrepreneurs thinking about taking their ideas into a fool-proof process that helps them make sure that it is viable and practical, thus helping them save time by focusing on the right ideas but further still, develop the idea into a product in a very practical, tried and tested process.
2013 saw the partnership between iHub and Google grow with a visit from Eric Schmidt, the Google Executive Chairman on January 15th. Apart from enjoying a great cup of java at Pete’s Coffee with iHub Founder Erik Hersman he also toured the iHub, hung out with techies, met tech-preneurs from the iHub, and visited some of the startups here, including KopoKopo and SafariDesk.
To mark the launch of the first ever User Experience Lab in sub-Saharan Africa we were pleased to welcome Steve Rogers, Google’s Director of Europe Middle East and Africa on 12th June. He was also kind enough to impart some great user experience wisdom for local startups centered on how Google has successfully utilized user experience methods with examples from actual projects. Steve Rogers also had good advice for entrepreneurs on how they could practically start taking advantage of user experience methods for initiatives they were currently working on.
Tajriba was the catch word for the month of September as for the first time in Sub-Saharan Africa, a User-Experience workshop took place at the iHub UX Lab that brought entrepreneurs, university students, doers in the community together with world-class user experience experts. The month long event that took place from 9th-27th September was dubbed Tajriba ( Swahili for experience), consisted of talks, trainings and practical exercises on how to improve the usability, user satisfaction and user experience of products and services.
To foster the growing relationship between iHub and Microsoft we were glad to host Jean-Phillipe Courtois, President of Microsoft International on June 4th. In his role Courtois drives strategic planning, global operations and key growth initiatives in developed and emerging markets. Courtois was at the iHub to speak to speak to developers, students and bloggers on Microsoft’s plans to grow the developer ecosystem and its various partnerships.
Business is all about successes, challenges and failures. It is on this note that iHub Research and Microsoft hosted Entrepreneurship 101,a session that brought together start-ups and established entrepreneurs to share their experiences in commercial & technical research and development thematic based areas. The panel of great entrepreneurs offered advice on pursuing careers in entrepreneurship.
Monday 18th November, saw Microsoft in collaboration with m: lab East Africa and the iHub hosted a great Mobile Monday talk. It was the perfect learning experience as the talk was geared towards answering the needs of IT companies and startups on how they could become Microsoft Partners and benefit from the Microsoft Enterprise business. They also expounded on their 4Afrika program.
The Microsoft .Net Meetups has now become a regular fixture at the iHub as developers get together for fun interactive session where they get to share what they are working on plus get feedback and assistance from Microsoft Tech Evangelists and other experienced developers.