Kenya: Cisco & Seacom unveil start-up hub in Mombasa

Cisco Systems, Seacom, and the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) have partnered to create a technology hub in Mombasa. The hub, which has been named SwahiliPOT, has been created to target software developers from universities based in the coastal town.

The report reveals that MNK has donated office space, while SEACOM is preparing to provide 40 MB of its high-speed Internet service for free. Cisco, according to the report, is providing computing hardware.  Despite being a landing station for undersea fibre optic cables from Seacom, TEAMs, Eassy and Lion, Mombasa town has no start-up technology hub.

Seacom will provide hosting services for the hardware provided by Cisco, which was brought on board by the ICT Authority. The US company will also boost the hub by landscaping the area and providing Wi-Fi equipment.

So far, Nairobi houses most start-up hubs, including iHub, iLab Africa, mLab, and NaiLab. Some of the more than 3,000 software developers have come up with mobile and PC-based software applications. The apps are designed to solve day-to-day problems, ranging from linking farmers with produce buyers, to monitoring if a patient is taking a prescribed drug, to locating a restaurant.

Innovations from the Nairobi-based hubs are turning out to be Kenya's latest magnet that is attracting global firms such as Nokia, Samsung, RIM as well as venture capitalists