India based incubator Villgro has set up a shop in Nairobi to offer mentorship and financing to promising startups joining a host of other foreign incubators setting up in Africa.
The incubator is focused on startups in the health sector which it says has gaps in innovation and presents opportunity for growth.
Kenya is currently attracting incubation centers, accelerators and several other players in the startup ecosystem due to its position as the most innovative country on the continent.
The incubator said it will use Kenya as a regional office to expand into the rest of the continent adding that it will offer longer term incubation periods and mentorship to startup.
“After initial research, we saw the need in the health sector and in the incubation of health startups, with the potential to have the maximum impact,” Aditi Seshadri, head of communications at Villgro Innovations Foundation, told Disrupt Africa.
Reports also show that funding to African startups last year increased by 17 per cent compared to the previous year.
Most of the funding went to fintech while funding to agribusiness grew at the fastest rate. The entry of Villgro is set to spur funding to the health sector and help to drive innovation in the sector.
The organization is working with support from USAID in a move to drive the growth of entrepreneurship in the region.
Small businesses are said to employ the lion’s share of workers in Kenya hence the emphasis on startups. KCB this week commissioned a programme to train more than 10,000 youth in entrepreneurship in a move to create jobs in a major shift from reliance on government to corporate Kenya and NGOs.
Villgro says it has helped 119 startups create 4000 jobs for the youth since the year 2001.
“This partnership combines the knowledge and implementation of Villgro with the expertise and networks of PACE, and will help catalyse the implementation of what has been a highly effective approach by Villgro in India into Villgro Kenya,” said Seshadri.