IBM announced a new innovation and collaboration space at iHub in Nairobi, Kenya.
The announcement was made at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit co-hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama in Kenya this weekend
Software developers and start-ups can tap the new IBM Innovation Space @ iHub to ensure business growth.
Nick Nesbitt, country general manager, IBM East Africa, said: “With the IBM Innovation Space @ iHub, we are extending our presence right into the heart of the local technical community so that entrepreneurs and start-ups have access to the tools and expertise to succeed in this exciting new era of Africa’s economic development.”
Early-stage entrepreneurs start-ups will have access IBM expertise, education and technology tools – especially in the areas of cloud, Big Data analytics, mobile and security.
Erik Hersman, co-founder of iHub, said: “By setting up an IBM Innovation Space within the iHub community, we are giving local developers and start-ups unique access to IBM’s expertise, business connections and resources which will help propel them to the next level.”
IBM offers the Innovation Space to any of iHub’s 17,000 members. IBM will conduct monthly workshops and events for developers who will also be able to join the IBM Global Entrepreneur program through which they can qualify for free access to IBM Cloud services and get credits for Bluemix, IBM’s Platform-as-a-Service, as well as SoftLayer infrastructure.
Bitsoko, a digital currency start-up funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be using the innovation space. Bitsoko, which has been working out of the iHub for the past 6 months, has used Bluemix to develop a mobile wallet application based on Blockchain technology.
Allan Juma, co-founder and chief developer of Bitsoko, said: “As a Kenyan entrepreneur with global ambitions, being able to interact with a company like IBM and discuss ideas, extend our professional network and access cutting-edge technologies is a potentially game-changing opportunity.”
IBM has already set up similar spaces in New York, Boston, Uberaba (Brazil), Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Bangalore, New Delhi and Singapore.