“It was a great honor to chair the NIW2018 efforts that resulted in significant visibility of 120 startups who pitched, hosted over 60 side events, working with over 50 partners and generating numerous partnerships” said Dr. Tonny Omwansa the chairperson of the Nairobi Innovation Week steering committee. The University of Nairobi hosted the the 4th event of its kind since inception. Over 2,500 delegates graced the occasion and were treated to the numerous startup pitches and exhibitions that were showcased at the event.
I recently had a chance to chat with Dr. Omwansa who has described the event as a success in regard to the growth. “Over the years, we have build partnerships across board from the private sector and government. This partnerships are fundamental in moving forward beyond the innovation week umbrella,” says a very enthusiastic Dr. Omwansa. The annual one week event is focusing on the leaving a truly impactful event beyond the event. “For such reasons, we resolved during the planning phase to make the startup agenda the heart of the innovation week. Our platform will be in partnership with the numerous enablers within our ecosystem to propel startups into growth and successful business ventures,” he continued.
“Then we developed the NIW.Startups concept.” NIW.Startups was launched late last year with startups applying to join the program. Over 350 startups applied for admission into the program. During the event, over 120 pitches were made to potential investors and delegates. One of the startups that showed the diverse nature of our vibrant ecosystem was a pitch made in the health track category by a highschool student who is the head of outreach at the startup.
NIW is looking forward to engaging this startups and partners beyond the innovation week and and in the run up to NIW2019. “We will keep the conversation going beyond the innovation week and see how we can improve our ecosystem within our borders and the region,” noted Dr. Omwansa.
NIW2018 was the biggest event to date in regard to partnerships, side events and sponsors. The organising committee and secretariat worked tirelessly to make the event a success and conveys a message of appreciation to our partners, sponsors and delegates attended or supported the event through sponsorship or in kind.