The Nairobi Innovation Week secretariat has announced an exclusive package of benefits for startups participating in this year’s Nairobi Innovation Week Startups’ programme.

The Top 6 Most Promising Startups will receive the following package;  

  1. Exclusively pitch to potential investors, partners and customers at the Nairobi Innovation Week PitchFest on 14th June,
  2. Become the face of Nairobi Innovation Week,
  3. FREE publicity and interviews from the media,
  4. Sponsorship to the main event,
  5. FREE exhibition booth,
  6. Receive training, coaching and mentorship and
  7. An entrepreneurship scholarship from a leading training institution in Kenya.

The Top 30 selected startups will receive training, coaching and mentorship then pitch to a panel of judges. In addition to this, they will also receive free publicity and a chance to meet with potential investors.

The Top 100 vetted startups will be trained, coached and mentored before pitching to a panel of judges. They will also receive free publicity.

The call for startups is live at Startups can apply and update their profiles on the NIW.Startups online portal for consideration in 2019. Startups with existing profiles on the NIW.Startups portal will only need to update their profiles if they wish to participate in 2019. Startups in early stage and growth stage are eligible.

NIW 2019 will be held from 10th -14th June at the University of Nairobi Great Court. Participating startups are set to connect, learn from mentors, coaches and peers alongside being discovered by potential investors, partners and customers. Participating startups are expected to complete creating and updating their profiles and those of their team members for selection among the top 100 startups.


8 startups admitted into the TUMI Startup Accelerator housed by C4D Lab at the University of Nairobi‘s School of Computing and Informatics today pitched to potential investors, partners and customers at Nairobi Serena hotel in a mid-term pitch fest organised by the Nairobi based mobility Accelerator and the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative(TUMI).

The over 50 people delegation comprised of industry players, investors, the academia, government and mobility startups from advanced ecosystems all united to match ideas & capital to enable better access for millions of individuals on the African continent.

Some of the delegates present during the TUMI Startups Mid-Term pitch Fest

Speaking during the event, Daniel Moser stated that the goal of putting the accelerator was to have startups accelerated to achieve sustainable urban mobility. He reiterated that the current cohort should pave way for Kenya when it comes to transformative urban mobility.

Mobility should be the center point for urban cities because mobility is the focal point of any city. This way, cities can continue to thrive and improve the life of their residents.
Above all women, children and people with reduced mobility are suffering daily under the urban mobility crisis in their cities; at the same time missing transport infrastructure and lacking public transport leads to cities falling back and not becoming machines of growth and forces of sustainable development. Emerging digital mobility companies can be important enablers for better transport. The TUMI StartUp Accelerator seeks to establish smart digital mobility as a fundamental element of sustainable development worldwide and the this first cohort is here to start the journey.


The call for startups to participate in the annual NIW.Startups programme at the Nairobi Innovation Week is live. Startups can now apply and update their profiles on the NIW.Startups online portal for consideration in 2019. The deadline for application is 5th April 2019. 30 startups will be selected to pitch during the 5th Nairobi Innovation Week and the 6 Most Promising Startups 2019 feted. The startups are set to scale, network, get discovered by investors, partners, customers, mentors and the media. They will also learn from coaches and mentors.

Startups with existing profiles on the NIW.Startups portal will only need to update their profiles for consideration in 2019. Startups in early stage and growth stage are eligible. The thematic areas for this year are in line with the Nairobi Innovation Week 2019 theme, ‘Innovation and Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda.’ The following are the select thematic areas:

  • Agriculture and Food Security
  • Health and Life Sciences
  • Manufacturing and Processing
  • Innovative Housing
  • Cleantech and Renewable Energy
  • Education and Employability
  • Fintech
  • Governance and Civic Tech
  • Transport and Logistics
  • eCommerce and Business Services
  • Gaming and Entertainment and
  • Hardware Innovations

The NIW.Startups programme will bring together the startups ecosystem in Kenya and beyond. Investors present in 2019 will include VC Funds, Angels and Foundations. Startup enablers will include hubs, incubators and advisers. Selected startups from more advanced ecosystems will also be invited to participate.

Participating startups are expected to complete creating and updating their profiles and those of their team members for selection among the 30 startups to pitch during the prestigious Nairobi Innovation Week.


The University of Nairobi Innovation Fellows together with Aalto University students earlier today held a co-creation workshop attended by external healthcare stakeholders at C4D Lab.

Uon Innovation Fellows during a Co-creation workshop at C4D Lab

This is after holding a successful field research in Malindi where they got to interview health officers, traditional birth attendants, government officials and mothers to get information that will help them in prototyping an improved fetoscope.

Part of the invites present were midwives, biomedical engineers, MSc Physics students, and startup founders.

Rapid prototyping was one of the exercises of the day where the ‘Fetoscope Team’ got to hear the views of the stakeholders on the pinard fetoscope. The expertise views are set to help the team in its prototyping of the fetoscope.

The top highlight of the day was that, the views were used to create a Computer Aided Design (CAD) prototype design that will be used to create an actual prototype.

Up next is an Innovation Research symposium at the University of Nairobi. The ‘Fetoscope Team’ will be making their presentation. Watch out for the next article.





Lets connect from where we left from the first article of the Malindi Lessons. We’re in day 2 of the Fetoscope Team’s field study and we got new experiences and lessons for you. Enjoy the ride!

Interview with traditional birth attendants

The team starts the day by interviewing the traditional birth attendants. All they want to know is the experience of the birth attendants in helping mothers deliver children the traditional way.

The ‘Fetoscope Team’ interviewing a Traditional Birth Attendant in Malindi, Kilifi County.

Most traditional birth attendants recognize fetoscopes since they have encountered them during their quarterly training at their regional mission hospitals. They however can’t afford the fetoscope so they mostly rely on palpation using their hands on the pregnant women to determine fetal health status. They use massage to realign the fetus in case of complications. They were willing and desire to use fetoscopes if provided.

The Lessons.

  • Most Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) cannot afford the fetoscope because they are extremely poor.
  • Occasionally, the working conditions by the TBAs can be unsanitary since they offer their services at homes.
  • Their quarterly meetings involve sensitization on referring pregnant women to hospital for antennal care and dangers of home deliveries.
  • The attendants are integrated into the health system, after training, to improve maternal health services.

The Story of a Local Chief.

A local chief in Malindi talking to the Fellows during their field study

The local chief has only seen the fetoscope when bringing in his wife to the clinic when her pregnancy was due to delivery. Otherwise, he only sees the equipment being used for training on traditional birth attendants. He holds a negative view of traditional birth attendants because he considers them unsanitary and unsafe. He is of the view that equipment and training should be availed to traditional birth attendants (since they can’t be ridden off) to make safe antenatal care and home deliveries. Ironically, despite his views, he only recounts one death in the hands of TBAs in the local region throughout his entire term. He acknowledges campaigns to phase out TBAs in the community through drives to sensitize mothers to prefer hospitals.

Boom! The team is done with the field study and objectives met. It’s now time to go home, brief the client, and work on the prototype of the enhanced fetoscope.