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Kenya's accelerator programmes positive for entrepreneurs

Kenya , 10 May 2013

Kenya's accelerator programmes positive for entrepreneurs

SeedStars World co-founder Pierre-Alain Masson says the tech startup culture in Nairobi, Kenya is a positive growth space for entrepreneurs.

Masson told ITWeb Africa, that the city has a lot of accelerator and incubation centres that have moulded the tech startups to pitch and organise their business in a way investors would understand.

"The startup culture in Nairobi is very good. If you have a lot of accelerators and incubators then the growth is good,” he said.

He also said that in Accra, Ghana the environment is very different from Nairobi due to the little presence of accelerator programmes in the city.

Masson also exuded confidence in the winner of the Nairobi pitch saying that the company could easily compete with other startups across the globe.

Last year, Nairobi hosted the Demo-Africa competition bringing startups from all over Africa to compete. This year, the organisers have chosen Nairobi for the second time.

Nairobi has also been a host for the Startup World competition sponsored by The Next Web. All of these including incubators, iHub, Mlab, NaiLab and the Growth Hub have harnessed the potential of the tech startups in Kenya, Masson observed.

However, according to John Kieti the lead manager at m:Lab, an incubation and investment hub in Nairobi, most startups in Kenya do not have the “hunger” to take their business to the next level.

“There is gap with many investors ready to channel resources into startups but the startups might not be at the level that the investors would be comfortable to invest,” Kieti told ITWeb Africa.

He also cited the issue of startups concentrating on multiple business ideas. This works against the idea of holding to one idea and make it work. Kieti said that one of their push is to have a transition from having ideas to actually creating enterprises.

“There is always pressure for entrepreneurs to want to have money in their pocket for subsistence living and hence they enter competition for prize money and not to enhance their business idea,” Kieti said.

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