Open space for technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in Nairobi.

iHub By Jessica Colaço / January 8, 2012

Start-up Advise: Scaling


The start-up culture has taken the Kenyan scene by storm in 2011!  2012 holds more trailblazers in the pipeline and running a start-up is hard work and one person cannot do all the work. My advise to these trailblazers for 2012 is scaling and here are four ways to do that:

  1. Team - Hire good talent to help you in business development and market research
  2. Product - Work on a product that has an impact in the value chain
  3. Capital – Raise the needed capital, invest it, manage it and eventually profit
  4. Community - Use the community to do your market research as they are your potential customer

Which kinds of scale are you using and why?

Start-up tip for the week: Conduct your market research!

With market research, you can determine the best marketing strategy for your business by gathering as much information about your customers and how they view your company and products. Here are 6 easy steps to conducting market research:

  1. Determine the goal of your research – Are you looking for the right market for a new product?
  2. Utilize market reports and journals to determine the demographics of your market as these publications provide data on purchasing trends that will clue you in on the buying habits of your target market.
  3. Conduct surveys via email and telephone using your business development contact database
  4. Collect information from existing customers via personal interviews and focus groups to get feedback on your products and services.
  5. Analyze your sales records – Knowing your best customers and most profitable products can help you to better focus your marketing efforts.
  6. Organize the research data you have collected and determine your marketing strategy based on the results

For more information on how to go about market research, you email us at

Author : Jessica Colaço

Jessica Colaço is currently the Director of Partnerships at iHub. She was the Founding Manager between 2010 and 2011 at iHub and Research Director between 2011 and 2013 at iHub Research. She is passionate about Innovation, Research, Mobile and Robotics Technology, Mentorship and Entrepreneurship in Kenya as she uses her position at iHub to court local, regional and international stakeholders to adopt Kenyan-made and African-made solutions. As an upcoming angel investor, she courts local and international investors to invest in great tech ideas and companies at idea and concept stage. She is also a Mobile and Robotics Tech Evangelist, Co-Founder of WMIAfrica and AkiraChix, ISOC-Kenya Chapter, Treasurer, ACM-W Nairobi Chapter Chair, TED Global Fellow 2009 and upcoming Guitarist. She was named one of the top 40 women under 40 years in Kenya's business scene by Business Daily on 2009, 2011 and 2012. Her endeavour is to put Kenya and Africa on the map for technology achievements and spur innovation within the country and continent! She blogs at:

  • Svein Mork Dahl at 07:25:20AM Monday, January 9, 2012

    Then it’s official! We are planning the first SEED Forum in East Africa 21. June in Nairobi, Kenya. We are SEED Forums partner in EAC, and we hope to arrange SEED Forums in other african countries later.

    About Seed Forum

    Seed Forum International Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation working out of London, and it is the international collaboration entity for the national Seed Forum not-for-profit foundations in various countries.

    The Seed Forum concept has grown rapidly since it was founded in Norway in 2002, and the Seed Forum concept is currently referred to as a global concept. Seed Forum International Foundation and national Seed Forum foundations are currently conducting investor matchmaking forums in 18 countries in Europe, North America and Asia.

    The Seed Forum process has the objective of providing competence within investor readiness and investor matchmaking opportunities within seed and venture capital to born global companies. Seed Forum International Foundation and the national Seed Forum foundations are giving born global companies seeking capital a unique opportunity to present their business concepts to investors by facilitating international and local investor matchmaking forums. The companies presenting to investors are nominated, selected and trained in the Seed Forum process to secure that the companies are investor-ready when they are presenting to investors. The Seed Forum process is very important to reduce the risk on investments in early stage companies.

    The mission of Seed Forum is to create a global investor matchmaking market place for seed and venture capital without national or regional borders.

    The investor matchmaking forums are core concentrated on investor matchmaking. B2B (Business to Business) matchmaking is conducted in gatherings within the Seed Forum entrepreneurs network, within the Seed Forum nominators network and within the Seed Forum local Business Angels Networks.

  • Handerson at 16:17:31PM Monday, January 9, 2012

    Some two instances recorded by renown Biographer Walter Isaacson on Steve Jobs’ thoughts on Market Research

    Did Alexander Graham Bell conduct any market research?

    Henry Ford is reported to have quipped, ” If I had asked people what they want they would have told me a faster horse.”


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