BUNI INNOVATION HUB
Buni Hub is an innovation technology space, established in 2011, as part of the TANZICT project, a four-year bilateral project between the government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Finnish government. The aim of Buni is to discover, nurture and mentor youths with innovative technological solutions to problems facing Tanzania. Thus, promoting innovation and technology entrepreneurship in Tanzania. The Buni hub was the first innovation space (tech hub) to be established in Tanzania.
One of the major roles of Buni hub is to nurture individuals with or without ideas at the earliest stage of the journey towards becoming entrepreneurs and owning companies.
Buni Hub is a home of over 350 young Tanzanians who are active members/USER of the innovation space whereby 60% are colleges and universities students from across the country. Since its launching, Buni has moved from being just a hub which offers a physical space and shared resources for people, to a useful hub which has clear programmes and activities targeting the community members. To date, Buni has received over 5000 registration requests from various Tanzanian youths to use the Buni innovation space for intended purposes such as developing software applications and hardware prototypes, attend training and events aligning to foster innovation and technology entrepreneurship and other related purposes.
Buni hub has five types of memberships; Interns- specific for University students who are using Buni hub to work on various projects & ideas and most of them are registered to Buni Internship Programme (BIP), Mentored Startups/ Individuals with ideas or products that are looking to transform their ideas or products to early stage businesses. Most of them are part of the programme called Buni Mentorship Programme (BMP) which is more of a pre-incubation programme. Another type is called Makers dedicated to individuals who are using Buni Mini Fabrication Laboratory to work on their different maker-tronics projects and ideas. Buni also hosts startups & freelancers individuals with their early stage ideas who are looking for the co-working space to work with their teams and meet with their clients. Buni Community Programme (BCP), the Buni hub conducts several community outreach activities aiming at nurturing innovations and technology entrepreneurship to Tanzanian youths. The BCP programme allows individuals interested to add value to the programme to register to Buni hub as Buni Champions.
One of the long-term plans of Buni hub has been to support the existing early stage innovation spaces and develop an online and offline innovation space toolkit with instructions on how to establish innovation spaces. The programme has been successfully implemented in more than 10 universities in the country. This includes: Dodoma University Innovation Space, Tumaini University, State University of Zanzibar, Zanzibar Teknohama Business Incubator, Mkwawa University, Mzumbe University, Nelson Mandela Institute of Science and Technology, Marian University College and Mbeya University of Science and Technology.
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