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Component 1: Strengthening the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem 

This component endeavors to improve the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem through (a) supporting ecosystem intermediaries – such as hubs, accelerators, incubators and technology bootcamps, and by (b) establishing greater linkages between local startups and traditional industries, local startups and international networks, and academic institutions and industry, in order to fuel open innovation.

This program focuses on strengthening the support ecosystem (e.g. incubators, accelerators and rapid technology skills providers such as bootcamps) through financial grants based on individual improvement plans. Incubators and accelerators accross Kenya are eligible to apply. In addition, KIEP is also funding technology bootcamp providers through subsidizing cost of tuition for students, and through grant funding for scaling.

The Industry-Startup Linkage Program aims to address the existing lack of connection between established industry players, startups, and other ecosystem stakeholders through a facilitated program involving product development. This mechanism attracts and filters relevant startups to work with industry players in their product or service challenges. It will helps the participating companies build their own innovation capacity, and aids startups in finding a ready market for their products and services.

The International Acceleration Process focuses on connecting the Kenyan ecosystem to international networks of talent and support infrastructure (for example, mentors and early-stage investors). The process focuses on attracting global experts and investors to the local ecosystem in order to showcase Kenya’s talent on the global platform.

The Industry-Academia Platform aims to connect a network of formal tertiary education institutions and their students to individual companies through specific product development sessions with company staff. This activity supports open innovation in Kenyan companies through access to relatively low-cost human capital, and help students develop practical, in-demand skills and experience during their formal education.