NaiLab helps African startups launch and scale | Summary and Q&A

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December 20, 2017
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TechCrunch
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NaiLab helps African startups launch and scale

TL;DR

Nairobi Incubation Lab started as a co-working space but evolved to become an investment hub, providing seed funds for startups in Africa.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did My Lab evolve from a co-working space to an investment hub?

My Lab initially lacked funds to become an incubator like Y Combinator, so it started as a co-working space. Over time, it realized the need for seed funds and established My Lipstick Fund to directly invest in startups.

Q: What are the main problems that startups in Africa aim to solve?

Startups in Africa focus on a wide range of issues, including education, healthcare, logistics, security, and Sokka Hustle provides a platform for different professional services.

Q: How did My Lab support startups in terms of networking and partnerships?

My Lab provided valuable contacts with investors and potential partners. They connected startups with different kinds of investors and influencers, aiding in fundraising and market access.

Q: How did My Lab support a digital TV startup in Kenya?

My Lab helped the digital TV startup by providing mentorship, especially in online and social media spaces. They connected the startup with trendsetters, online influencers, and access platforms like Safaricom to reach a wider audience.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Nairobi Incubation Lab (My Lab) initially aimed to be a Y Combinator in Russia and Canada but lacked sufficient funds, so it began as a co-working space.

  • It later realized the need for seed funds and established My Lipstick Fund, providing direct funding to startups from 2010 to 2017.

  • Startups in Africa focus on solving a wide range of problems within areas like education, healthcare, logistics, security, and Sokka Hustle serves as a platform for different professional services.

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