Since it was founded in 2013, iSpace has become a leading space for innovators, tech entrepreneurs, designers, developers, geeks and technology lovers in Accra, Ghana’s capital city.
iSpace provides an opportunity for tech enthusiasts in Ghana to gather and work together in a shared facility. In addition, local innovators are supported to develop their skills and ideas, participate in community led programs, events and training and to connect with mentors and investors.
iSpace is one four technology hubs in Africa that were awarded grants last year by The DOEN Foundation, Hivos Foundation and Indigo Trust in an initiative called the Joint Hub Fund aimed at catalysing the continent’s start-up ecosystem. The tech hubs are expected to facilitate collaboration among entrepreneurs and support the creation of applications and solutions that solve societal challenges.
According to Josiah Kwesi Eyison, iSpace CEO and Founder, the space has generated a lot of interest among local innovators. Some of the innovations that have emerged from iSpace include a peer to peer lending platform for SMEs, an e-commerce start-up for locally manufactured goods, a crowdsourcing platform for disaster information and an education platform for students to revise past examination questions that they would otherwise have to pay for.
“We also started a series called ‘Unlocked @ iSpace’, where we attempt to break down the various components of running a start-up business like product design, business development, marketing and much more. We’ve managed to invite industry professionals to come and share their expertise with the start-ups,” said Eyison.
“We partnered with the World Bank launching The Megawatt Challenge, a global competition on Energy Efficiency.”
The co-working space recently hosted a mobile apps and a pitching competition, aimed at allowing start-ups to show off their products and win a place on a four-month Dubai accelerator programme.
“The Tech Fund has been immensely helpful for our operations and programming. The start-up ecosystem in Ghana is still relatively new, making iSpace a hub for innovation, technology, creativity and networking,” said Eyison.
“iSpace is grateful for the Tech Fund, which is helping us provide programming, events, training, a speaker series, maker-spaces, reliable internet and a well maintained space to execute our goals.”
The Joint Hub Fund recently received a boost when Indigo Trust and Hivos injected 100 000 British pounds and 100 000 euros respectively. The Fund is currently looking to engage additional partners.
“This is the largest award that Indigo has made since we started supporting technology and development in 2010 and we hope that it can be used to catalyse the growth and development of Africa’s burgeoning tech hub scene,” said Dr Loren Treisman, Executive of Indigo Trust.
“It is our belief that technology hubs offer great promise in using technology to address some of the social and economic challenges faced by the communities in which they operate.”