[dropcap color=”#1e73be”]D[/dropcap]isrupt Friday, a monthly meet-up organised by The Disrupt Network brings together innovators, entrepreneurs, mentors, investors,and startup supporters in Machakos. They learn together, network and share opportunities.
In July 2015, the meetup will be on Friday 3rd at 4pm-7pm at Gelian Hotel, Machakos. The featured entrepreneurial journey will be that of Joshua Mutua, CEO and Co-founder of Keja Hunt. Joshua is a strong advocate for the use of tech to solve problems. He is a lean startup ambassador and has a background in web and app development; having studied Bachelor of Business Information Technology at The Jomo Kenyatta University.
Joshua Mutua’s KejaHunt has developed a mobile and web application to help low and middle income earners find houses without the hustle of agents by using caretakers and youth in the estates to house hunt. The company was at the 2015 connected Kenya summit declared winners of the Konza ICT innovation awards in the housing and urbanization category.
The Disrupt Friday meet-ups are aimed at inspiring creation of a vibrant startup ecosystem in Machakos. Beside following inspirational journeys of innovative entrepreneurs, the meetup offers a platform for other entrepreneurs to build their social capital. It presents networking opportunities for youthful professionals and entrepreneurs based both in Nairobi and Machakos. Disrupt Friday also has a session for participants to pitch new ideas for feedback and co-founder searching.
The first Disrupt Friday Meetup held on 29th May featured the entrepreneurial journey of Martin Kasomo. Martin is the CEO and founder of Lipisha, a Kenyan company providing a software switching solution for international mobile money payments. Here is an abridged report on first edition of the meetup held at Gelian Hotel.
[dropcap color=”#1e73be”]E[/dropcap]ntry charges are Shs 350 per person – a fgure currently subsided by convenors of The Disrupt Network. To secure an attendance slot, interested participants may register through the meetup’s event brite page. Signing up on event brite for the meetup also helps organizers determine needs for car pooling for participants attending from Nairobi and other towns among other logistical considerations. Questions about the meetup may be channeled via email to info<@>disrupt.co.ke.
Due to unavoidable circumstances, the meetup scheduled for June 26th was moved to 3rd July. We regret this and apologies for inconveniences caused to those who had registered on the basis of 26th June
The first Edition of the Disrupt Friday meetup was held in Machakos on 29th May 2015. This was the first in a series of meetups that will be held monthly. The meetups are envisaged to stir up creation of a start-up ecosystem in Machakos and its environs. This first edition was held at Gelian Hotel – a new establishment in Machakos town. Organized by The Disrupt Network, the meetup aimed at bringing together innovators, entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and start-up supporters in Machakos; to learn together, network and share opportunities.
The format of the 4pm-7pm meetup included networking and sharing of innovative ideas for potential execution. One session included participant’s reviews of aid and development agency effectiveness. Participants’ views were juxtaposed against prospects of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship among Machakos residents. The session was primarily informed by insights shared by journalist Andrew Mwenda through his TED talk titled Aid for Africa, NO thanks of 2007. Diverse opinions were shared on relevance of development aid as regards alleviating poverty. The general sentiment was in favor of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth as a viable path for sustainable development.
As previously announced, the main feature of the May meetup was a talk by Martin Kasomo, CEO and founder of Lipisha on his entrepreneurial journey to date. Kasomo, an emerging entrepreneurial success story who is also pursuing a PhD in Social Entrepreneurship fielded questions from Eric Kitetu, Co-convener of the Disrupt Network. Topics covered in the interview included Kasomo’s approach to entrepreneurial challenges such as (a) product development and customer discovery, (b) market sizing and targeting (c) co-founder search and talent management (d) business partnerships and collaborations, and (e) start-up fund raising and investor relations.
The session with Martin Kasomo created a rich conversation and inspirational moments as regards entrepreneurship, its challenges and its prospects for amplified economic impact. Participants competed for opportunities provided to direct specific questions to Kasomo. In due course, we shall publish video clips and reflections on specific aspects of the interview. The session was considered very insightful by participants.
There were over 30 participants in attendance at the inaugural Disrupt Friday meetup in Machakos with the majority having traveled from Nairobi. Prica Wambua, a co-convener of the Disrupt Network also led the participants through reflections on how to improve future monthly meetups. This elicited rich and valuable insights on how to create a vibrant startup ecosystem in Machakos.
The objective of the meetup to foster networking and social capital creation among participants was largely achieved as many left the Gelian hotel after 8.30pm – well after the planned 7pm closing time. The next edition of the Machakos monthly meetup will be on Friday June 26th 4pm-7pm. Further details will be shared on this website and will also be announced through the Disrupt Network’s twitter and facebook channels. People interested in following up on future meetups and start-up activities in Machakos are encouraged to sign up to our mailing list on the home page.
Do you have an idea or innovation you’d like to make a business out of? Would you like to be an entrepreneur? Are you an entrepreneur searching for a business model that works? If one has a yes to any of the above questions and they can Make their way to Machakos on Friday 29th May 2015, this month’s edition of Disrupt Friday is meant for them.
[dropcap color=”#1e73be”]O[/dropcap]nce a month, Disrupt Friday brings together innovators, entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and startup supporters in Machakos. They learn together, network and share opportunities. In May we feature the entrepreneurial journey of Martin Kasomo, Co-founder & CEO of Lipisha – a local company that has developed switching software for international payments. Apart from a session where participants hear from Martin on his entrepreneurial journey, other sessions will include structured networking to build participant’s social capital as well as pitching of ideas.
Gelian Hotel – Machakos is the venue for the May meetup. Arrivals and registrations will happen before 4pm which is the kick off time. Invited participants are expected to have an even mix innovators, entrepreneurs and professionals living in Nairobi and those living in Machakos and its environs. There will be an entry charge of Kes. 350 which is a rate subsidised significantly by the organisers. Participants must register through the meetup’s eventbrite page and payments are made through Lipa Na MPESA till number 597438.
[dropcap color=”#1e73be”]D[/dropcap]isrupt Friday is organised by The Disrupt Network, a social enterprise promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and disruption of the market place status quo in various industries in Machakos and its environs. The mission of the Disrupt Network is to foster creation of high growth enterprises that disrupt the status quo in entire industries through promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship in Machakos, Kenya and beyond.