The Chandaria-BIIC is named after Manu Chandaria, a leading Kenyan Industrialist and businessman, whose foundation, The Chandaria Foundation, donated the bulk of the seed capital that has financed the construction of the Centre. The program was launched in July 2011 to support new and innovative Kenyan ideas. In line with Kenya's Vision 2030 and Kenyatta University's current Strategic and Vision Plan, Chandaria-BIIC focuses on supporting up to 100 innovations per year (70% KU students and 30% non-KU students). It aims to blend academic research with innovation through the establishment of companies. The program also aims to incline university students and the general population towards a culture of job creation, rather than a culture of job seeking.
The Chandaria-BIIC program is run by a board of professionals from both public and private sectors. Admission to the program is on a rolling monthly basis. Innovators are required to submit their innovations for consideration following set criteria. A panel of experts sits every month to review new applications and pick out those that meet the set criteria. Innovations can be categorized into any one of several phases: the idea phase, the research and development phase, the prototype phase, the start-up phase, the market phase, or the scale-up phase. Popular sectors with innovations in this program include Agribusiness and Agriprocessing, ICT, Energy, and Health and Nutrition. The incubation period lasts for a maximum of 12 months, although this period can be shorter if the innovation meets a success threshold before the 12 months are over. If, however, after 3 months the innovation does not meet the expected success milestones, it is exited from the program.
Depending on the needs of each innovation, there is a menu of possible support services that the innovators receive in order to nurture their businesses. These support services include assistance with business development, premises, telecommunication, and stationary. These services also include administrative support (provided by a full-time administrative assistant, engaged by the Centre, with a background in business administration and accounting) and professional guidance and mentorship (provided by entrepreneurs, who are regularly invited to speak with innovators, and by a selected team of professionals from relevant disciplines at Kenyatta University, who are available on a daily basis to offer advisory support).
Additionally, while in this program, innovators undergo comprehensive business training. Innovators learn presentation skills, business etiquette, business regulatory compliance, technology commercialization, and intellectual property management. Innovators are also provided with easy access to bank loans and loan guarantee programs in the course of the 12 months.
The program promotes a culture of innovation among Kenyan youth by providing mentorship and entrepreneurial training, as well as access to loans for business start-ups.
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CEI approaches in actionStudent supportMentorship/internship/job placementFinancingSkills for Work21st century skills (soft skills)Vocational/technical skills
Model details2013Not-for-profitEntrepreneurship skills21st century skills (soft skills)Vocational/technical skillsActiveFree service or product60
The University has formed partnerships with corporate bodies and foundations that donate the funds needed to run the Centre. This ensures that access to the Centre is not restricted by the income level of the innovator, as the service provided is free. The University also has partnerships with successful business individuals who give their time as mentors and advisors to the beneficiaries undergoing the program. KU lecturers at the also donate their time.
The Centre is actively fundraising and seeking more partnerships with individuals and organizations from all sectors in order to expand the capacity.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
The Chandaria-BIIC uses the innovation acceleration form as the primary monitoring tool. It is filled weekly by program participants and monitors the progress of their innovations. Supervisors also maintain close contact with the graduates to ensure that innovations are on course.Internal assessment performanceCost effectiveness/value for moneyNo