Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama, has said that he is ready to support innovation start-ups by staff and students. He was speaking as he distributed ChiroClean hand wash, a detergent that is manufactured by the Chemistry Department, College of Biological and Physical Sciences, Chiromo Campus.

Speaking during the distribution exercise, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama, pointed out that the time is ripe for the University of Nairobi to support entrepreneurial ventures, from staff and students and to spur innovation and creativity among students. “As the University of Nairobi and as the Vice Chancellor, my 5 point agenda includes; governance reforms, data reforms, finance reforms, curricula reforms and people reforms. I intend to add values to staff, students and our partners,” he said.

The Vice Chancellor pointed out that procurement bureaucracy don’t allow small business to thrive. “I am thinking of nurturing talents, celebrate talents and develop a system of innovations. Staff and students can nurture startups at the University. We shall give you a free space for a period of time, give you free internet, free market of 60,000 plus staff and students, free labour as you can use student interns , you are also free to tap into free consultancy and free advice from the professors,” he said.

Once the businesses are established, they can move out of the university and allowed to thrive. He recounted with nostalgia how professors at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, CAVS, begun by making wine at the backyard of their houses. “All big businesses started small,” he said. In deed all great multinationals like Apple Computers, Microsoft, Facebook, Disney, Virgin were all started at the backyard of houses and in garages before they became household names.

The 500ml ChiroClean hand wash that was distributed to staff was part of the larger consignment that had earlier been distributed to Council of Governors. The University of Nairobi  and BASF Chemicals distributed over 8000 500ml hand wash to the Council of Governors to be distributed to all the 47 Counties. This goes along way in curbing the spread of COVID19. The hand wash was made courtesy of a collaboration with BASF.

Prof. Francis Mulaa, the Principal, College of Biological and Physical Sciences, supported by the Dean, School of Physical Sciences, Prof. Leonida Kerubo, urged the Vice Chancellor, to work closely with Parliament to ensure that legislation is put in place, so that university Income Generating Units, IGUs can be enhanced and nurtured to commercial production of various products. “IGUs need to be enhanced to be centers of learning and marketing; and to be centers of excellence and commercialization,” he said.

The event was attended by Principals from all Colleges of the University of Nairobi.

I will support your Start-up ventures – VC tells staff and students
I will support your Start-up ventures – VC tells staff and students during the Handing over of Chiroclean