The Nairobi-based incubation lab, Nailab, is soliciting applications specifically focused on mobile, web and hardware solutions. YourStory caught up with Nailab’s Josephine Mwangi, who says, “It is quite an exciting time for us as we have had great learning’s and have seen the program transition over the years since 2011.”
“It’s our pride to see startups develop and grow in Kenya, and we appreciate the support you give us as an incubator to help spread the spirit of entrepreneurship.” Josephine says the portfolio startups in founding group are now operating on profit margins. Here is our coverage of six startups that joined the accelerator earlier this year.
YS: What should startups expect when they apply for Nailab accelerator?
JM: A six month intense program focusing on growing their ideas by bringing in different resources that will help with training, mentorship and coaching on both product development and business development.
YS: What are the three things you wish founders knew before applying to Nailab?
- Being an entrepreneur is not cool, neither is it easy.
- Realize and accept that you don't know and the only way to learn is to be surrounded by like minds.
- What you see has a story and a journey behind it, don't be fooled by the facade of ‘success was as easy as ABC’.
YS: Could you share anecdotes that you've come across in the past four rounds?
JM: We have some great memories but one that is special to all of us and that have been told to us many times is the programme made the startups realize how much they did not know.
YS: When founders come to you what is the most commonly shared problem you've observed?
JM: Most founders are in a honeymoon phase of business and excited about the prospect of having a business, and they do not think much about the skill sets they bring to the table. Most of them are based on friendships and over time as the going gets tough, then some tough calls have to be made for the business sustenance, and this is a trying time for any startup.
YS: How has Nailab grown from the time it accepted its first application till now?
JM: As an incubator, our program has grown. Our criteria for entry are stronger now. The team is larger and well put together, the curriculum is concrete and the partnerships we have acquired over time that help train and mentor is immeasurable in value.
YS: What stage startups do you solicit applications from?
JM: Early stage startup, those that are either in idea or prototype stage.