SYNERGY

Corporates and start-ups to link in the UK led initiative

The programme will give big and small companies a platform to showcase and leverage their key strengths in efforts to scout for better ways of working in harmony.

In Summary

•Qhala is supporting the corporates on the program to identify their challenges and the start-ups to create market-responsive products that meet those challenges.

•The programme managed to link Britam Holdings, known for ensuring assets, and Bonfire Adventures, a tour company.

L-R: UK Kenya Tech Hub Director Sheena Raikundallia, Director, Qhala CEO Dr. Shikoh Gitau, Kenya’s Ambassador to Belgium Prof. Bitange Ndemo and Nicole Gregory, Counsellor (Science, Tech and Innovation) and Head of People to People at the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) during the launch of iHelix in Nairobi./HANDOUT
L-R: UK Kenya Tech Hub Director Sheena Raikundallia, Director, Qhala CEO Dr. Shikoh Gitau, Kenya’s Ambassador to Belgium Prof. Bitange Ndemo and Nicole Gregory, Counsellor (Science, Tech and Innovation) and Head of People to People at the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) during the launch of iHelix in Nairobi./HANDOUT

 The British Government through the UK Kenya Tech Hub and digital innovation firm Qhala, has launched an exchange programme to bolster partnerships between corporates and start-up companies in Kenya.

Dubbed, iHelix, the programme will give big and small companies a platform to showcase and leverage their key strengths in efforts to scout for better ways of working in harmony to unlock billions of shillings in untapped opportunities in the digital economy.

''Corporate-startup partnerships can be a win for all, especially the innovative start-ups in this country that are doing amazing work," said Sheena Raikundallia, director, UK-Kenya Tech Hub.

Qhala is supporting the corporates on the programme to identify their challenges and the start-ups to create market-responsive products that meet those challenges, as well as go-to-market strategies.  

The programme managed to link Britam Holdings, known for insuring assets and Bonfire Adventures, a tour company.

In this partnership, Britam will provide cover for travelers insuring them against accidental injuries, illnesses and deaths at a cost of $1 (Sh 100) for a period of five days.

Travelers will also benefit from another cover insuring them for evacuation and hospitalization during their trip. 

“We want to ensure that Kenyans have peace of mind when creating memories with their loved ones; both individually and collectively,” said Evah Kimani, Britam’s director for Partnerships and Digital.

Nation Media Group is reviewing potential partnerships and is in talks with both food entrepreneur Nonnie of TryCooked and car enthusiast Robert Mwirigi in a bid to bring innovative lifestyle content to its readers.

Sasini, one of Kenya's major tea and coffee producers has also paired with XRX Technologies for record-keeping solutions and Africa stalking for communication solutions.

Should they reach an agreement to collaborate XRX will provide communication solutions to over 17,000 farmers.

Meanwhile, Tropikal Brands Africa Limited has partnered with three start-ups including, Mzigo, Duqha and Ai Kenya to solve its end-to-end distribution mechanics for food products.

The start-ups have different core expertise including; warehousing, last-mile sales and distribution as well as artificial intelligence tracking with the provision of dashboards and analytics.

They will work together jointly to increase the speed and efficiency of distribution for a selected pilot brand of food products.

Speaking at the launch, British Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya, Josephine Gauld said the plan will see corporates and start-ups complement to offer solutions t market needs.

''This is a win-win initiative that will enhance products and services delivery in the market,'' Gauld said.