Across Africa, there are hundreds of technology hubs and incubators that are struggling to break even in more ways than one.
According to Erik Hersman, co-founder of Nairobi’s iHub, tech hubs are working to find ways that they can continue growing and gaining their support, internally and externally.
He continues to explain that despite their struggle, these tech hubs play a vital part in the development of the tech scene. Investors have a wide variety of hubs to invest in as there is a lot of talent and a larger target.
Within the last 18 months, iHub has also been undergoing a change in approach to stay ahead of the competition. Throughout 2016, iHub launched several initiatives, planning to monetize on the services that it offers.
The hub has recently announced the launch of an investment fund for startups across Africa.
The Zambian hub known as BongoHive has worked on turning itself into a product in and of itself; iHub is following suit. BongoHive has run many accelerator programs, however, it is important to note that this strategy should be part of a mix and not your primary source of income.
Donor funding has proved to be the key ingredient in the development of many African tech hubs. During their early stages where the hubs are unable to fund themselves enough to continue growing, this source of funding has especially helped them.
This source of funding is not permanent, however. Tech hubs need to find new long-term ways of financing themselves.