You may want to ask, “So what has LakeHub been up to?” And that’s a good question, because we have been up to many things but we many not have been able to update on every single one of them. I will try to be as brief as possible in this post – which is intended to be just but a brief update (really long, ha ha!). It may not be exhaustive, and so you are welcome to seek clarification or ask us any questions.
To begin with, we have sort of decided that LakeHub exists to primarily to spur innovation in Western Kenya region. To turn this into reality we are finalizing the creation of the LakeHub Accelerated Enterprise Creation (LAEC) process. The LAEC process is an assembly line for startups. An individual, or a team, is going to walk through the doors at LakeHub with an idea and with the system we are instituting at LAEC, we are going to work out its viability, provide necessary technical support in design, programming and testing, funding and eventually incubate it. We are currently enumerating the skillset that we have within the LakeHub community and are also in talks with possible funders and investors. We will keep sending out updates on the progress of the LAEC.
Secondly, we are happy to report that Financial Sector Deepening Kenya (FSD Kenya) and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in an effort to heighten its foothold outside Nairobi, the FSD Kenya retail innovations initiative team, together with met LakeHub officials early in the year to discuss ways of working together. While discussions are still at very early stages, potential opportunities lie around accelerating FinTech innovation in the region. Please read more on the FSDK blog here.
Thirdly, we would like to update you on the various projects that LakeHub is currently involved in. It is important to note that the LakeHub space provides co-working space to implement these projects, and as such, the idea that we are an innovation hub is the underlying factor that makes all the following possible.
- Web4Schools project. We have an ambitious plan of bringing all schools in Western Kenya to the Internet. We have begun this by giving out free websites. The idea here is to eventually give parents and children a reason to access the web. We intend to turn it into a business once we build school management systems and school reviews for each site.
- Village Code: A project dedicated to teaching code to children. We recently received an offer from Raspberry Pi asking us to identify ways in which we can use the Pi to solve the problems we face in Western Kenya. One of those ways is using the pi to teach programming to kids. There are endless possibilities in this pending deal even though talks are in their early stages.
- Bitcoin mining: Bitpesa partnered with us on our official launch, and since then several members have been enthused about the idea of the bitcoin cryptocurrency. There have been efforts to learn more about the bitcoin and the possibility of creating another African coin that would be mined on the continent. Even more exciting news, we have since received a bitcoin antminer from Sinclair Skinner. We want to begin mining BTC, we have however not been able to proceed because of lack of additional equipment.
- Dev: We are determined to make more individuals in western Kenya competent developers and with that regard we encourage members to meet regularly to learn various programming languages. We have so far user groups in Android, Python, Ruby/Rails and Java that have worked on projects such as the Web4Schools initiative and Open MRS (Open Medical Registry System) bootcamp.
In conclusion, in order to keep the LakeHub vision alive and achieve our mission, we have formulated an advisory board. We have been honored to have respectable visionaries on the board so far. They are (in no particular order):
- Nyimbi Odero, former Google West Africa Office lead and CTO on various successful initiatives. He also helped design the system that managed the Nigerian general elections.
- Paul Kukubo, former Kenya ICT Board CEO. His efforts as the person who lead our government’s adoption of ICTs are quite notable. He is also credited to have helped triggered the current tech revolution in Kenya by committing government support to local innovation.
- Lois Eva Adongo, her experience with FSD Kenya and other projects has given her hands-on experience and proven track record with start ups as well as with established organizations; in the conceptualization, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of mobile, telecommunication, digital financial projects and branchless banking programs, products, and services in emerging economies including Myanmar (Burma), Uganda, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Kenya.
Our board of advisors is still growing and we seek to add more accomplished individuals in the field of technology and entrepreneurship in order to help guide LakeHub core-vision and mission.
We look forward to expanding our wings in the near future as we gradually gain stability and sustainability and we are therefore calling out on you out there to come shape the future of Western Kenya with us.
You obviously love us already and want to be a part, write to us! firstname.lastname@example.org