Dr. Kamau Gachigi is the Founding Executive Director of Gearbox, a non-profit organization that provides members with access to modern machines for prototyping and low volume manufacture. Gearbox also avails training, and incubation/acceleration services in order to broaden access to manufacturing in Kenya. Dr. Kamau was a key consultant in the creation of a science curriculum for the Faculty of Arts and Science at the planned Aga Khan University in Arusha, and the principal consultant in the creation of an engineering curriculum for the planned Kiambu University of Technology and Innovation. He also holds two government appointments, one as Chairman of the Board of the National Industrial Training Authority and another on the Board of the Numerical Machining Complex, a State Corporation. Dr. Kamau is also a member of the Consultative Advisory Group of the Partnership on Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (World Bank and select African Governments). He previously served as the Director of the University of Nairobi Science and Technology Park and founded the Fab Lab at the University of Nairobi, another in a low income area in Nairobi and is setting up a third in a Kisumu.
On this episode you’ll learn:
What was it like for Dr. Kamau to meet Mark Zuckerberg and why was he interested in what Gearbox is doing?
Why do a lot of companies looking to enter into Kenya have such a hard time and find that they need to partner with an organization like Gearbox to do so?
How does Gearbox scale what they’re doing?
What’s the funding environment for hardware startups in the incubator?