kLab, based in Kigali, Rwanda, recently joined the VC4Africa partnership network. At venture capital community VC4Africa we work with entrepreneurship development partners all across Africa. kLab started last year and had an official opening reception in Kigali last week. See the video with Jovani Ntabgoba for an introduction of kLab above. Also read the Q&A with Jovani Ntabgoba and Claude Migisha of kLab below.
On November 21, Jovani of kLab is one of the co-hosts of the Kigali meetup (together with Ibrahim Sagna of the Rwanda Development Board), part of the worldwide series of VC4Africa Global Entrepreneurship Week meetups. Join the Kigali meetup (at the Aberdeen Hotel, Kigali) and other meetups on November 21!
What’s happening in the start-up landscape in Kigali?
Claude Migisha: “In Rwanda things are moving fast especially in ICT. Lots of companies are coming up to leverage the ICT infrastructure already in place and take advantage of a friendly business environment.”
What is kLab offering entrepreneurs?
Jovani Ntabgoba: “kLab is a unique open technology hub in Kigali where students, fresh graduates, entrepreneurs and innovators come to work on their ideas/projects to turn them into viable business models. kLab offers free wifi, co-working space, trainings, networking opportunities, mentorship and a coffee bar. kLab has experienced mentors who provide both technical and business assistance to tenants. At kLab we also host events, workshops, bootcamp, hackathons and networking sessions to promote collaboration/partnerships, investment and financing.”
How can entrepreneurs join?
Jovani: “Application is done online to be either a tenant or a mentor. Tenants are expected to have a project in mind that they wish to accomplish during their stay at the kLab. Mentors are expected to actively donate some of their time in kLab to help tenants become successful. Membership to the kLab is open to any professional, student or hobbyist working in the IT industry. By being a kLab member you will be able to use the space, attend events and collaborate with other kLab members. All members are expected to be active parts of the community.”
What are the main milestones kLab achieved to date, and what are you working on for the future?
Claude: “kLab has been a working place for more than a hundred techpreneurs, and has been the birthplace for innovations, companies and tech communities. We are working on having a seed fund to finance viable projects, collaborate with world class universities in providing both technical and business courses to the members. We are also working on setting up a testing center and a research department.”
What are your key suggestions for entrepreneurs and investors in Rwanda and Africa?
Claude: “My suggestions for entrepreneurs are: find solutions to real problems, don’t reinvent the wheel, position yourself in a global/continental/regional market. And to investors: Africa is full of investments opportunities in all sectors in most of its emerging economies. I urge you to come and discover what we have to offer this build win-win partnerships in a world becoming a global village.”
On November 21, Jovani of kLab is one of the co-hosts of the Kigali meetup, part of the worldwide series of VC4Africa Global Entrepreneurship Week meetups. Join the Kigali meetup and other meetups on November 21!