BY HANNINGTON KINUTHIA
A colorful and electric launch event beamed the corridors of Daystar University Nairobi Campus after the long-awaited launch of the Daystar Innovation Hub. Very well designed, the school’s auditorium held the extravaganza. I-HUB is here to foster innovation and creativity among the Daystar community and beyond. It’s an opportunity for young people to place ideas on the table that will make a difference, solve a problem and in the long run of it all, earn you money!
I-HUB, an 18-member team, inclusive of DUSA President Walter, had a handful of their members appear on stage. The members shocked the audiences with mind-blowing ideas and strategies each had at the back of their heads for solving an identified problem.
Nairobi Campus principal and professor school of business and economics, Prof. Michael Bowen preceded with a splendid lively unison performance of the National Anthem, East African Anthem, and our beautiful Daystar Anthem by attendees, approached the podium to site his welcoming remarks and a word for the I-HUB launch. He recognized the presence of Irene Githenji, the chief guest (Program Manager Education Engagements- Microsoft Africa Development Centre), David Onundu (SME and Women in Business Specialist- ABSA Bank), James Ndoto ( Founder and CEO Mijinitech Ltd), Startinev Group, Guuru Energy, Timothy Gachucha ( Head of Strategic Partnerships, Young Investors Africa) Grace Wangeci ( Co-Founder and CEO, Meta G Academy and Agency), Sisule Musungu ( Managing Partner, Sisule and Associates LLP), the DUSA president Nalwa Walter, and the I-HUB team.
Prof. Bowen encouraged learners to understand the path to success is a rough and rocky one, failure is part of the journey, and one should expect to stumble, however, in the quest for greatness, giving up is not an option. In encouraging students, he urged them to engage in the club and stretch their mental muscles to be their leading generation of income in this new digital era. Taking in too much social media is hazardous to the brain. It makes the thinking organ unable to be a thinking space because it resides in fantasy. Bravely, he encouraged all to exercise their democratic rights in the nearing August 9th Polls and elect leaders of sober minds.
IHUB President gave a brief remark on what Innovation entails, also expressing her satisfaction with having the speakers present, for they will have a long-term impact on the club members upon the delivery of their speech.
DUSA President Nalwa Walter relayed his support to the birthed club, I-HUB. Mr. Nalwa encouraged students from both campuses of the distinguished liberal arts school to actively and seriously take part in school clubs formed like the I-HUB. He urged the students to find a gap and try to fill in the gap- solving a problem. Whether in school or outside school. Being the game changer.
Dr. Munyao stood in for Dr. Caroline Ayuya I-HUB patron. He said innovation is relevant for change in the world. It is a way of life about the world’s rapid evolution. increasingly, ideas are birthed in the university, a quote from Steven Jones he mentioned carried the day “Innovation does not come just from giving people incentives it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect”. Mobile banking, app developments- for collaboration purposes-, and the covid-19 testing among many are the notable innovations present in our country that are making a difference.
The keynote speaker Ms. Irene Githenji gave her remarkable life-changing remarks to the audience on innovation. She talked about how her group at Microsoft looks to foster ideas. She addressed the Microsoft garage where they ask students to jet in and create with their ideas. The idea to use the word “garage” was concerning Apple’s Steve Jobs and Microsoft’s Bill gates whose ideas were both formed while they were in a garage. She mentioned on having a growth mindset, is finding ways to deal with obstacles in life without them hindering your progress. Efforts from Africa Development to support academia and institutions are through platforms such as Hackathon- for purposes of building a technology portfolio for the students. A Framework workshop garage which helps one on how to ideate. According to Githenji, the group also looks forward to technical skilling for the untrained- giving training and certification vouchers for the learner. Microsoft also looks to get one with resources to have you started through the Microsoft startup hub -cost-free. Partnerships too, are also to grow talent and work together.
A panel moderated by Israel Lugadiru was engaged and also gave light to the Daystar Innovation Hub on what they needed to know in the field of innovation.