Will the hub provide loans for struggling developers? Will the hub provide accounting and management help for developers? How will the hub interface with other innovation initiatives?
These were some of the questions raised at the Skunkworks meeting last Tuesday. It was a forum for developers to share their thoughts, feelings and aspirations for the iHub. It was a forum for every techie to own the hub.
There is so much that will be said or thought of the hub but here is what it not; a funding agency or bank. The hub will not invest or co-own developers' work. But the the hub will be happy to be the repository for innovative minds and if angel investors or venture capitalists want to get in, then they will know where to find opportunities.
Erik explained that it will be a good idea for techies to come together and help draft a venture capitalist policy or manual that will state that if a venture capitalist wanted to invest in anyone at the hub, then the percentage is specified and the attendant conditions.
There is a lot of hope in the iHub and people are working hard to make it happen for many students seeking internship opportunities and for those seeking to expand their opportunities.
Anyway, the meeting also explored ways to have Intellectual Property lawyers, mentors from some of the biggest companies in the country and abroad talk to techies and answer some of the lingering questions and also catch up on some of the cool stuff going on.
Regarding the accounting, business strategy, marketing, outsourcing and other issues, the idea is that members of the iHub will interact and buy services from each other.
For instance; if there is an accountant who can outsource services to three or four techies, if there is a marketer who can help members with marketing, and if there is a communication person who can help members reach more markets; then power to them.
Regarding the other innovation initiatives, the more the merrier, the tech ground is barely scratched. Where I come from we say that just like the cows in the grazing fields learn to share the grass, then we must also learn to share the opportunities.
There is no doubt that Kenyans have potential and the idea is just to pursue and work together.