Ecosystem-building &

Startup Support

As one of its main activities, the Digital Transformation Center is dedicated to ecosystem-building and startup support. Young startups and new entrepreneurs often face the challenge of not only getting enough funding, but also lacking capacities in business modeling, market positioning or accounting and financing. Often, this gap and lack of collaboration determines whether the company survives in the market.
Therefore, the DigiCenter supports young entrepreneurs and startups to build a flourishing ecosystem. In particular, young entrepreneurs are being supported through incubator and accelerator programs to build and expand their businesses. On the other hand, they have the opportunity to exchange ideas on topics in a specific field and work together on projects in regular meetups and communities of practice.
Events at the DigiCenter bringing the tech-ecosystem together

LOOP Accelerator

Amplifying growth of high potential education start-ups

The LOOP Accelerator was hosted in fall 2020 and aimed to amplify the growth of high potential education start-ups with founders between 18-25 years of age. The program supported 11 startups through business management trainings, coaching and mentorship. Participants had their own coworking space and could join open sessions, speaker series, industry visits and a pitch event.

The LOOP Accelerator was implemented as part of Make-IT in Africa’s Partners in Acceleration (PiA) initiative. The PiA program targeted innovation hubs which have innovative approaches to take their acceleration efforts to the next level. The proposed programme needs to contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals. The candidates must leverage on the local networks or by collaboration of at least two ecosystem partners.

Insight into the LOOP Accelerator in Kigali Rwanda
Discussions at the LOOP Accelerator in Kigali Rwanda
Startups presenting their products and services at the Loop Accelerator in Kigali Rwanda
Contributing to the Sustainable development Goals at the Loop accelerator in Kigali Rwanda

Smart Cities Innovation Program

Smart Cities Innovation Program hosted in Rwanda
Smart Cities utilize digital technologies aims to improve the operational efficiency as well as promote economic growth. Smart Rwanda 2020 Master Plan calls for expansion in capacity and the use of ICT in seven sectors: health, finance, trade and industry, agriculture, education, state administration, and the strengthening the technological capacity of women and young people. Additionally, Rwanda’s vision is to establish the country as a pan-African hub for digital innovation.
To support on strengthening the local innovation efforts and activities on SMART Cities, GIZ with the support of the Government of Rwanda is currently conducting a Smart Cities Innovation program for African startups. The aim of the program is to accelerate and grow promising startups with social and environment impact as well as promote and connect African start-up innovations to the wider pan-African start-up ecosystem. The startups will be focusing on the following tracks: Smart Mobility, Smart Housing, and Fintech for affordability.


Since its opening in 2019, the DigiCenter has hosted over 90 events with the main objective being to build the capacity of individuals in the ICT sector as well as to create a space for people to network. These events have included meet-ups, panel events, expert talks, awards ceremonies, pitching events and many others.

Communities of Practice

The communities of practice at the Digicenter were formed in order to promote knowledge sharing and spark innovation amongst people working in the same field

Through these communities, people who share a common interest are able to not only share what they already know with each other but also come up with new solutions and innovations individually or as a team. In addition to that, these communities provide a space and opportunity for networking, allowing them to develop personal relationships which may benefit them in other aspects of their lives.
The existing CoPs include Blockchain, Internet of Things, AR/VR and Artificial Intelligence. Prior to Covid19 and its effects, these communities used to meet at least once a month at the DigiCenter, with some of them meeting twice. During these meet-ups, the CoPs host expert talks, hold panel events, showcase individual projects and network amongst members. The members of these CoPs now stay connected through the active WhatsApp groups and online meet-ups where ideas and projects being worked on are shared.

Beginning of 2021, the DigiCenter intends to start 5 other communities of practice which will comprise of:

Gaming Solutions

Cyber Security


Big Data & Analytics

Smart Cities

These communities will bring stakeholders from both public and private institutions together and encourage Rwandans who are interested in the above topics to innovate solutions to the existing problems.

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