Ecosystem Building & 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.


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’sPartners 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.
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
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 bring stakeholders from both public and private institutions together and encourage Rwandans interested in the above topics to innovate solutions to the existing problems.

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