The success of an entrepreneur is pegged on finding solutions that put the needs of the user first and coming up with innovations that are marketable. This is according to the Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of Couture Africa Magazine, Ms. Olive Gachara, who was the chief guest during the Eighth Edition of the JKUAT Tech Expo that opened at the JKUAT Main Campus, Thursday, November 9, 2017.
“Your products and innovations have to provide solutions that are relevant to the market needs. Always focus on what works for the customers,” advised Ms. Gachara.
Ms. Gachara, the Serial Entrepreneur, opined that the future belongs to those who believe in their dreams and are persistent in their course. “Discipline, determination and drive are the key components for a successful entrepreneur.”
This year’s Tech Expo edition themed: ‘Changing Lives through Innovation’ showcased 28 innovations from students in the areas of Affordable and Clean Energy (1), Healthcare and Wellbeing (4), Agriculture and Food security (5), Productivity, Utility and Infrastructure (14), Quality Education (2) and Waste Management (2).
The Editor-in-Chief lauded JKUAT for coming up with the Directorate of Intellectual Property Management and University-Industry Liaison (DIPUIL) but urged the innovators to move their innovations to the next level and push them to the market. Ms Gachara pledged to support the top three innovations of the Tech Expo to fruition.
In a speech read by the Deputy Vice Chancellor in-charge of Academic Affairs, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, said JKUAT is focused on producing quality graduates with entrepreneurial minds. “In order to sustain the entrepreneurial culture, JKUAT introduced a compulsory Entrepreneurship Unit across all disciplines to inculcate a spirit of entrepreneurship among our students,” opined Prof. Imbuga.
The Vice Chancellor implored the innovators to be in the forefront of championing agricultural innovative technologies that will help grow and modernize agriculture. She said agriculture is the single largest employer in the world, providing livelihoods for 40% of today’s global population but lamented that Africa only accounted for 10% of global agricultural output.
“This shortfall is largely due to low use of modern agricultural tools, techniques and technologies. If our youth can invest their knowledge and skills in agricultural innovation there is no doubt that agriculture can be a profitable venture for our young generation and help communities thrive and prosper,” said Prof. Imbuga.
On her part, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mary Abukutsa, said the JKUAT Tech Expo strives to create a culture of job creation among the students at a time when Africa is viewed as the world’s most youthful continent.
She challenged the innovators and students to make it a culture to innovate and think through ideas, while mulling over ways of converting them into viable products. “The University’s ultimate goal is to streamline the innovation and entrepreneurship culture down the spine of each and every student, because it’s only through that, that real positive change will be felt,” said Prof. Abukutsa.
This year’s expo was also graced by Nova Pioneers, a secondary school whose mantra is developing innovators and leaders of the future. “In a bid to incentify an innovative and creative foundation among the young generation, this year we brought on board young and creative innovators from Nova Pioneer,” said Chairman, JKUAT Tech Expo, Calvin Kebati.