Afew months back, I had toyed with the idea of relocating one of my technology businesses to a different region, with South Africa and Dubai as the likely havens. The thought sprung from a series of blows to the local industry and it was becoming apparent then, that local innovations were destined for the deadpool as everyone seemed skewed to solutions from across the borders. However, I believe there is change in the air and we will see the effects soon.
But why Nairobi and why now?
This is one of the core reasons why it makes sense to be in Nairobi. It is honestly the only place that you have direct access people who matter to you now. Whether it’s the government reps, the myriad of venture capitalists making a stop, the ICT Board with their boat load of cash, strategy drivers at various corporates, mobile network operator dons or fellow technology entrepreneurs, this is the current melting pot.
The current buzz in Nairobi is palpable. The energy is infectious and there is a “go and create” attitude literally everywhere. From the established companies to the solo developers and creatives who are busy behind their computers at their “home office” or the iHub which has slowly transformed into some sort of mecca; ideas are being churned out on a daily basis. You could die of guilt if you are not working on some innovation or other. People are thinking, exploring and challenging. Talent abounds, it may be raw and in need of some refinement but it is available and adaptable.
Smell the coffee
The deal space looks primed for some good action this year. Venture Capitalists have been around, some announced while others in stealth mode. This would not be the time for anyone with innovative ideas and a minimum viable product or prototype to ship out. Old money has also evidently taken note and experiments in the technology vertical are ongoing.
Communities formed around matters technology are growing in numbers and contribution. This means that people are sharing ideas, problems and solutions. Events that matter are also happening, from your more generalized Barcamps to niche technology meets such as Mobile Monday.
Life beyond the business
Work hard and play hard. Here, chances are that you will not lack something to take your mind of building great products and services, if at least for a moment or two. You can reenergize without having to leave the city!
This is why Nairobi rocks!