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


iHub By Jessica Colaço / February 20, 2012

Startup Weekend comes to Nairobi


Startup Weekend is an event that brings together programmers, developers, marketers, designers, startup enthusiasts and anyone with a great business idea, to form groups and develop viable business ideas in 54 hours. It is a weekend-long, hands-on experience where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if their startup ideas are viable.  On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical backgrounds; the other half has business backgrounds.

The Weekend begins with open mic pitches on Friday; attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday, teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.

Startup Weekend is an NGO based in San Francisco, US, and has so far organized startup events in about35 countries and 120 cities.

Startup Weekend Nairobi

Startup Weekend Nairobi does not only bring together technology entrepreneurs, but also individuals from sectors such as agriculture, education, communication, renewable energy amongst others.

Startup Weekend Nairobi will be held on February 24th -26th, 2011, and is slotted to have exciting prizes for the winners of the challenge.  The event has also attracted the attention of the International Community and 6 international participants and volunteers from Copenhagen, Denmark will be working together with the teams in Nairobi to see their ideas come to fruition.

On the local front, the event has attracted well known and successful entrepreneurs who speaker at the event will as well Judge the most viable ideas.

The benefits to the entrepreneurs participating include the following:

  • Education: Startup Weekends are all about learning.  Expect to learn a new skill, a new programming or business language and more so, a new way of thinking.
  • Enlarged network:  Startup Weekend works hard to recruit high-quality, driven entrepreneurs – like you! You willcreate relationships that last long past the weekend.
  • Learn how to launch a business:The goal of the weekend is for you to go from idea to launch in 54 hours.
  • Get face time with local and international mentors: Tech and start-up leaders mentor and participate in Startup Weekends. They interact with event participants sharing experiencesand giving business related advice.
  • Get access to valuable start-up resources: By participating in Startup Weekend, you are given instant access to great products and tools. No one leaves Startup Weekend empty handed.

The 3-day event will be held at the Nailab, which is on the 4th floor of Bishop Magua Center, Ngong Road, opposite Uchumi Hyper, with the break-out sessions being held at The GrowthHub, located at Cape Office Park, off Ring Road Kilimani opposite the Gracehouse Resort.

The participatory fee for the event is KES 2,050, and the tickets can be accessed from . For those attending the event finale on 26th February only, the entrance fee will be KES 500 and the tickets can be accessed on the same website.

To learn more about this event, you can contact us on the following:


Facebook Page: Startup Weekend

Twitter: @StartupwkndKe

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:

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