Kenya and its people have traditionally shown to be receptive to disruption, which is an integral part of entrepreneurial activity. This spirit is an advantage as it supports new endeavors and future opportunity especially in the area of Science, Technology & Innovation.

Science, Technology & Innovation


Konza Technopolis can foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem and culture that will contribute to all clusters attraction and growth.

Konza Technopolis also benefits from Nairobi’s entrepreneurial activity and its existing ecosystem of startups. New technologies like M-Pesa mobile banking service have been widely adopted. The moniker of Silicon Savannah is well shared and publicized. Based on this existing presence, Konza Technopolis has the opportunity to jumpstart entrepreneurial activity by positioning itself as a player within the existing Nairobi and Kenyan entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Strengths of Konza in an ST&I Entrepreneurial Context


Kenya, the Nairobi region, and Konza possess a number of positive attributes for attracting, nurturing, and growing entrepreneurial and small business activity. Primary strengths include:

Kenya

  • A young and growing population in Kenya and East Africa.
  • Kenya’s dominant position in the East African regional economy.
  • Kenya’s reputation as the Silicon Savannah, due to widespread consumer adoption of mobile and wireless technologies, success of numerous home grown tech businesses, and top rank in Innovation among African nations.
  • Investments in telecommunication.

Nairobi

  • Nairobi is home to business incubators such as iHub, Nailab, Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre, C4D, iBiz, Mlab, successful accelerators including Growth Africa and Sinapis, and numerous start-up success stories.
  • Nairobi’s stature as home to regional headquarters and research facilities  or leading multinational firms in ICT and healthcare.
  • Nairobi’s ranking as a top Foreign Direct Investment location among African cities.

Konza Technopolis


  • A planned new Technopolis combining the assets of a researc attractive setting for innovators and knowledge workers.
  • A full array of infrastructure to provide a reliable and efficient business location.
  • Institutional, organizational, physical, and programmatic supports
    for business start-ups and small business expansion are planned as
    integral parts of the Technopolis concept.

Innovation Ecosystem Elements


According to research by Mary Jo Waits of the National Governors Association (NGA), the following are the foundational elements required to build an overall innovation ecosystem:

  • Expertise.
  • Interaction and collaboration via strong networks.
  • Diversity of knowledge.
  • Application of technology and research.

The research also indicates additional or secondary attributes that increase the likelihood of success for an entrepreneurial ecosystem, all of which are present in Kenya and will be pivotal to the success of Konza Technopolis:

  • Targeting entrepreneurship relevant to existing industry clusters in the region, and making entrepreneurs and small businesses a part of those clusters.
  • Creating and promoting a civic culture that is conducive to risktaking, tolerates failure, and celebrates entrepreneurs.
  • Institutions, laws, and policies (such as protection of private
    property rights and intellectual property) that support entrepreneurship and business growth.
  • Quality of life amenities (cultural, physical, and social attributes of a place) that help to attract and retain creative individuals and knowledge-based workers.
  • Certain facilities – such as business incubators and accelerators – that can lower costs and risks for start-ups and small businesses, and increase connectivity.
  • Nearby markets for new products.