One of Kenya’s famed technology innovation hubs, iHub, has announced plans to relocate to Senteu Plaza in Hurlingham from its current location at Bishop Magua Centre on Ngong Road.
iHub, founded in 2010, has earned fame as a self-styled open-space centre for technologists, investors, and tech companies.
As part of the new transition, iHub will also break from the tradition of providing free space for tech enthusiasts which has earned it popularity, to charging members in a restructuring effort it says will make it more sustainable. “We are moving to a much bigger and spacious office in Senteu Plaza. The new office is situated at the crossing of Lenana Road and Galana Road. It is an amazing location with plenty of parking space, quick access to public transportation, food and entertainment amenities. We will occupy the 5th and the 6th floors, totalling almost 23,000 square feet,” it said in a notice.
According to its chief executive Kamal Bhattacharya, the role of iHub going forward is to become the “best African support system for ICT-focused tech entrepreneurs and individuals who aspire to create great companies that tackle some of our biggest challenges.
“We will do this in multiple steps and phases, starting with a move to a new building in March of 2017, and launching three product lines,” he said. In the change from the current free-for-all model, the organisation will introduce several membership tiers, starting with as low as $60 (Sh6,225) per month. They include floating work desks, dedicated desks, offices, and corporate sponsorships.
iHub will also launch a fund to invest in startups from across Africa as its restructuring continues. It additionally plans to introduce a sourcing mechanism in partnership with other organisations.
“Our product lines are all designed to create more investable individuals and entrepreneurs in Kenya. The goal is, in collaboration with our global and local partners, to master the art of creating the right kind of services that address the unique challenges in the East African market,” said Mr Bhattacharya.
iHub was one of Mark Zuckerberg’s first stops in Kenya when the Facebook founder and social media billionaire toured last year in what he said was a visit to meet with entrepreneurs and developers. “I’m starting at a place called iHub, where entrepreneurs can build and prototype their ideas,’’ he said.