Young entrepreneurs with best innovative business ideas to be incubated at ACEESD’s GIIH for mentorship, coaching and funding

20 septembre 2020

Young entrepreneurs with the best innovative business ideas are poised to be incubated at the African Centre of Excellence in Energy for Sustainable Development’s Grid Innovation and Incubation Hub (GIIH) at University of Rwanda in a bid to inspire and mentor innovation-based entrepreneurship with the view to create environment where development of start-up enterprises can be inspired and supported.
Grid Innovation and Incubation Hub is a World Bank- funded project, which is meant to discover, nurture, and potentially fund exceptional youth’s business ideas that are innovative, scalable, and have huge transformational potential.

Pascal Nyiringango, the Head of GIIH believes that exceptional ideas and exceptional founders should be matched with exceptional support. “Grid Innovation and Incubation Hub seeks to discover amazing, out-of-the-box, disruptive, highly innovative, scalable, and potentially transformational ideas from youth interested in different business but mostly focusing in renewable energy”, he said.

The Hub offerings are designed in a way that increases the chances for the incubated startups to develop and grow beyond what they could achieve on their own. The value-adding services are the key to enable our startups to spin out in to the community and create jobs and prosperity in Rwanda and beyond.

Incubatees will benefit from Assistance with prototyping, Patent drafting and IP, Mentoring, Coaching, and Access to seed funding among other services.

So far 40 start-ups with innovative business ideas have expressed interest in being incubated among which 25 were selected to the final phase of selection. In a one-week pitching exercise, 25 innovative ideas owners were given opportunity to showcase their ideas and explain how these innovations would benefit not only themselves but also the community at large.

During the official launch of fist edition-online pitch event, Dr Emile Bievenu, the UR Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Accademic Affairs and Research commended everyone who came up with innovative ideas and said promoting innovation and entrepreuneship is the main concern of UR.

“I was impressed by different ideas that were proposed. Although all of them will not be selected to receive funding, we are very committed to supporting innovations. This is in line with the global vison of UR. We want to produce young graduates equipped with entreprenship and employability skills”, he said.

He reminded the contestants that “entrepreunship is about inventing and innovating. To be entrepreneur is to be willing to devote yourself fully to make your business idea a reality...it is about creating a competitive environment”.

Among 25 contestants, 15 best ideas will be incubated for a six - month period getting mentorship, coaching and funds for the implementation of the project.

Story by
Jean Damascène NIYITEGEKA
Communication & Marketing Specialist
University of Rwanda
African Centers of Excellence Project (UR-ACEs)