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Innovating for a better tomorrow – Nairobi Innovation Week 2018

Innovators need to understand that it is the ‘WHY’ that makes them succeed or fail at what they do.

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Innovators need to understand that it is the ‘WHY’ that makes them succeed or fail at what they do.

2018’s Nairobi Innovation Week (NIW) marked the 4th edition of the annual forum initiated by the University of Nairobi who have done a laudable job in making it a regional event. The forum attracts participants across various industries who are keen on recognizing and inspiring innovators who are disrupting and transforming their societies.

Jussi Hinkkanen- CEO/Founder, Fuzu, was slotted to give his keynote speech sharing his founder’s journey story. Dubbed “Mission man-one jump and two leaps,” Jussi Hinkkanen’s story, as the man responsible for taking Fuzu from vision to reality, left attendees with lots of aha-moments. His experiences being relatable in one way or another.

While sharing the story of his entrepreneurial journey, Jussi was intent on highlighting the critical role innovators play in the society by driving bottom-up change as compared policymakers who strive to effect change from the top. And in order to make this happen, innovators need to understand that it is the ‘WHY’ that makes them succeed or fail at what they do.This called for the emphasis on creating platforms for empowerment and those that have an impact on life.

A panel reconvened afterwards comprising of startup enablers and founders – Jussi Impio, Senior Expert, Demos Helsinki, Sam Gichuru, Founder, Nailab and Kuhustle, Kago Kagichiri, CEO/Founder, Eneza Education and Jussi Hinkkanen, CEO/Founder, Fuzu shared and discussed their founder experiences. Which brings us to a thought-provoking question that was raised, how big should you dream? However, these founders and enablers found common ground on the importance creating an environment that will enable startups to flourish and building more sustainable societies.

Florence Kimata, SME Advisor, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Interim KASSE Leadership was in attendance. She expounded on the NIW 2018 startup objectives in discovering the most promising startups and helping them to identify and link with investors. So, you think you can pitch? Get ready with your intelligently crafted convincing pitch for the next Nairobi Innovation Week!

As a fresh graduate transitioning into employment and hopefully entrepreneurship, I have learnt what impact innovation has on the business ecosystem as well as the critical role played by the human capital. Investors are out there, it’s up to graduates to come up with viable ideas - Jeff Nzunga, Graduate, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. 

Written by

Kelvin Mokaya

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