The website allows startups to apply for inclusion on the map, facilitating communication and collaboration among startups and entrepreneurs, as well as providing potential investors with contacts to interesting businesses.
In an interview with HumanIPO, founder Roger Gichuhi said the Kenyan startup scene will be energised by the website, with it improving visibility, transparency and accessibility of startups in the country, which is billed to become an important tech hub on the African continent.
“To start with the platform will give much needed visibility to these startups. We have great products and services being offered by Kenyan startups but unless they've won a big competition, we never get to hear of them. Even those that win competitions, the buzz quickly fades,” said Gichuhi.
“Startup Kenya will not only give these startups visibility but location and a means [for other users] to know more about the startup and contact them. Founders will be able to know what the others are working on and find collaborate to find solutions.”
The fourth-year business information technology student also hopes the website will facilitate contact between investors and startups seeking support and funding.
“There's been a lot of interest by the local and international community on the Kenyan startup scene. Startup Kenya will be a one stop shop for any investor to take a quick glance of the startups, get more information about them and even plan a tour,” Gichuhi said.
Gichuhi, who first came up with the idea of creating a crowdmap for startups while undertaking an internship at Afrinnovator, a technology and entrepreneurship resource based in Nairobi, hopes Startup Kenya will also address unemployment issues in the country by providing a startup specific job forum online.
“My initial goal was to link Startup Kenya to University Students. Every once in a while someone mentions to me they're looking for a PHP developer or a marketing guy. Startup Kenya will bridge this gap by enabling start-ups list their jobs and internship opportunities for free!”
All startups wishing to list on the website can fill out and submit a form online, and subject to approval appear on the map within 24 hours.