Kampala Innovation week usually brings together innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, government stakeholders, and development partners to discuss wins, misses, and opportunities for growth in the innovation space. There has been a major rebrand this year as the name has changed to Uganda Innovation Week, focusing more on countrywide innovations.
The rebrand was so quick that they changed all official names and all their social media platforms have since changed. I believe it is now bigger, better, and more inclusive.
The Event: Synopsis
Previously known as Kampala Innovation Week, Startup Uganda announced that the event has now scaled up to include participation from across the country, thus, rebranding to Uganda Innovation Week (UIW), with a focus on the entire country.
“The country’s innovation landscape stretches far beyond just the city of Kampala, and we thought it was high time the innovation week actively recognized that,” Jean K. Makki, the Vice Chairperson of Startup Uganda told the press at a media briefing held at Outbox Hub in Kampala.
The re-brand to Uganda Innovation Week represents an active effort to include startup ecosystem stakeholders from across the country in conversations on the future of entrepreneurship in Uganda. The context for such discussions will improve to include factors specific to entrepreneurs in some of the more rural areas, such as internet connectivity, access to infrastructure, and more.
The three-day event will identify some of these missing links and facilitate conversations on possible ways to eradicate these issues;
- Focus on links between academia and industry and highlight how a strong connection between the two has enabled startup ecosystems worldwide to thrive and progress.
- Highlight the current gaps in women’s entrepreneurship, such as the fact that despite recent statistics highlighting women as the larger percentage of entrepreneurs in the country, the number of women-owned businesses that scale up or attract funding remains significantly low.
- Explore the missing links in investment and financing for entrepreneurs.
Uganda Innovation Week has partnered with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), the International Trade Center (ITC), and Village Capital to hold the event. Uganda Innovation Week is welcoming more partners on board.
The event will also have panel discussions, workshops, and masterclasses where startup ecosystem stakeholders can contribute to the theme’s conversations. This will allow for peer engagement, partnership formation, and networking.
Outbox, which hosted the event was excited about this and mentioned that this initiative opens up opportunities for wider conversation and collaboration with other innovators and partners in programs such as HiInnovator which seeks to empower women entrepreneurs with business management skills.
Startup Uganda has announced it will host the Uganda Innovation Week (formerly known as Kampala Innovation Week) from the 22nd to 24th of November 2022 at Mestil Hotel in Kampala under the theme Uganda’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Unlocking the Missing Links.
As implied by the 2022 theme Uganda’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Unlocking the Missing Links, despite the growth of the startup ecosystem in Uganda, there are still several gaps to bridge in order to augment the development of viable, market-ready enterprises and the ability of relevant stakeholders to support said enterprises adequately.
In her remarks, our Vice President, Jean Makki remarked ‘The country’s innovation landscape stretches far beyond just the city of Kampala, and we thought it was high time the innovation week actively recognized that.
During the launch, nominations for the annual Startup Uganda awards were also opened. The awards recognize the most innovative startups in 2022 and are nominated and voted by the public.
Sectors for the innovators include health, education, creative industries, technology, and agriculture — in addition, they will also recognize the best university innovation and the leading support enterprises. Nominations are public votes and can be made through this link.
Details and more on this can be accessed at http://uiwug.com
Startup Uganda is running a video challenge that will allow shortlisted entrepreneurs from across the country to attend the event in person and engage with different thought leaders, mentors, and fellow entrepreneurs.
In the spirit of reaching entrepreneurs outside of the capital city, this challenge is only open to those outside the capital city and interested innovators can apply here.
This newly launched rebrand is looking to get startup ecosystem stakeholders from all across the country involved in the crucial discussions we will be having at Uganda Innovation Week, and this move towards inclusivity will assist with that agenda.