About Incubation and Innovation Center

The Incubation and Innovation Center (I2C) equips graduate students and alumni with the tools and network to become a globally minded social entrepreneur, where the bottom lines are trifold: people, planet and profit. I2C at USIU-A is in the business of creating a better world, improving the lives of people, while building profitable ventures. I2C seeks to provide sustainable and social enterprise solutions to some of the most stubborn issues of our time including poverty, disease, malnutrition and environmental degradation. I2C envisions its incubatees to go on to create and operate for-profit and nonprofit startups, non-governmental organizations, and to work in multinational companies that champion social and environmental objectives while delivering solid returns on investment.

I2C operates distinctly compared to other Kenyan university incubators through its uniquely socially conscious orientation. I2C endeavors to convert research and scientific discovery into actionable enterprise solutions that improve lives across the globe. I2C turns theoretical classroom concepts into practical actions for students with tangible measurable outcomes. Instead of learning about what is entrepreneurship, journalism, information technology, or international relations, as examples, students apply practical principles in real world markets and graduate from USIU-Africa with an actual business, innovation, or NGO.

I2C History at USIU-Africa

The I2C, formerly the New Economy Venture Accelerator (NEVA), started in 2012 as a 24,000,000 Kenyan shilling joint initiative between USIU-Africa and Colorado State University (CSU) in partnership with USAID and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). I2C exists as a center under the United States International University - Africa (USIU-A) School of Graduate Studies. I2C provides entrepreneurship training, advisement, mentoring, linkages, and work space for student and alumni-run ventures. Selected business ideas are incubated for a 12-month period to develop the idea and to better position it for a successful launch. I2C endeavors to support innovators and to become an integral part of the East African entrepreneurship ecosystem by providing students with real-life experiences, mentoring, advising, connection to resources, and funding with the ultimate goal of creating self-sustaining, funding-ready ventures. I2C supports social business pre-incubation and incubation, entrepreneurship training and coaching, and fostering broad innovative thinking in the broader USIU-A and beyond.

The graphics below presents a comprehensive overview of the various initiatives that contribute to the vibrant innovation ecosystem at I2C. It begins by illustrating the "feeder initiatives," both formal and informal, that serve as entry points for students and alumni. Subsequently, it details the pre-incubation activities available, designed to equip and empower participants for the rigorous incubation process. Finally, the graphic culminates by showcasing the core incubation programming, representing the pinnacle of incubation and innovation opportunities offered on campus.