Uganda’s Outbox hub is aiming at more than being a working space for Internet and mobile startups. Launched early June, the hub is setting pace as the country’s “think-thank where ideas come to life.”
Outbox’s founder Richard Zulu told HumanIPO that Outbox is an incubation program for promising mobile and web startups, helping them refine their ideas/prototypes into sustainable businesses. The incubation, collaboration and co-creation space supports techies to turn their tech ideas into businesses.
He says,”Our mission is to create awesome products and businesses on the mobile and web”.
Outbox collaboration hub supports the entrepreneurs in the country to turn their ideas into profitable businesses.
“We incubate and accelerate 3 – 5 mobile and web ideas to an investment ready business. This takes us three to six months,” Zulu said.
This according to the founder is in line with their goal to stimulate and foster technology entrepreneurship in the country.
According to Zulu, the Outbox Hub is setting itself as an idea’s think and do-thank and a collaboration community for developers, entrepreneurs, mentors, advisors and venture capitalists. The whole team together ensures generation of unique and original ideas, shaping of those ideas and their development into scalable web and mobile applications relevant for the local market.
Outbox hub currently hosts startups like Kola Studios and CodeSync. The 156-square meter hub is located in Kampala, Uganda.
Apart from Outbox being used by startups under its acceleration program, external startups of four or less members can access the working space just like Nairobi’s 88mph Garage, iHub, Mlab and Growth Hub and Uganda’s Mara Launchpad, The Hub, AppLab, Makerere University ICT labs, Fina Africa and Hive Colab.
The space is open to new members, partnerships, events, visitors and the entire tech community from the East African region.
Nikolai Barnwell, Program Manager 88mph is impressed that the Outbox move will help churn out entrepreneurs in the country and further develop Kampala’s tech scene. He says “I think it’s great to see young Ugandans seeing these opportunities and diving in head first. No one really knows what model works here and how to get it right, but people like Outbox see the opportunity and go for it”.
Zulu points out what the biggest need on the Kampala tech scene is. He adds,“Uganda’s startup scene requires a lot of mentorship and development of business skills in order to have individuals grow their startups, this is the biggest need for now.” From my previous engagement with developers at Startup Weekend Kampala and Garage48, I have come to realise the business skills gap in techpreneurs and Outbox is here to help sort that out”.
Still on the Kampala tech scene Joakim Ewechu of Angels Ventures Fund in an earlier interview told HumanIPO that the scene is still young but as promising as Nairobi’s or even more.
“It still needs support in terms of building skills and intellectual capital through training courses, fostering industry partnerships and gearing innovation into the local market needs,” he said.
According to him, there is much potential for the fact that the tech market is still virgin and young.
“This is an opportunity for growth for tech-preneurs looking to develop applications and software requirements for the local market. The general economic conditions in the country are also positively pointing to a more dynamic growing IT sector, mobile penetrations rates are on the rise and there is such a high adoption rate for new technologies in Uganda. It is just getting better,” Ewechu concluded.