Nairobi has developed quite the reputation as a leader in the African innovation and startup scene over the last few years. From Obama confirming the city’s innovation prowess by hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi in 2015, to Microsoft also launching Windows 10 from Nairobi, the city’s place in the global startup landscape is firmly reserved.
This is thanks to all the great innovations that have put Kenya on the map – home to M-Pesa, Ushahidi, M-Kopa, Cellulant – Nairobi’s entrepreneurs have pumped out innovations that have surprised the tech community worldwide.
So on an average day in Nairobi, where do you go to find this innovation community in action? Where can you meet the entrepreneurs behind the magic?
Home-grown, with an international flair, Nairobi Garage is the destination for many of the great tech companies entering the market, for ventures scaling up, as well as for businesses looking to gain that edge in a quickly evolving and tech-savvy market.
With two workspaces already active in the city’s Kilimani and Westlands areas, Nairobi Garage recently added the jewel to its crown, opening its third location in the suburb of Karen. Now offering a network of offices spanning the whole of Nairobi, digital nomads, startup enthusiasts, and creative entrepreneurs, are able to drop in, and work and network in any part of the city.
Given the notorious Nairobi traffic, this accessibility is not to be undervalued. Rather than face a gruelling snail-paced drive in rush hour, members can pop into their nearest state-of-the-art workspace, order a coffee, open their laptop and wait out the traffic. And they might just bump into their next big business partner, doing exactly the same thing.
Designed specifically with its vibrant business membership in mind, Nairobi Garage has ensured each of the three locations has its own vibe.The Kilimani office is the largest space, and has the most laid back “startup” feel to it – hosting weekly events, Monikos cafe and over 50 growing businesses, across three floors. The Westlands space, with its more “corporate” feel, houses a number of fintech and insuretech companies. The city’s role as a regional business hub is definitely felt in this space.
The new Karen space – set in acres of lush green gardens – feels less like an office and more like a retreat from the city. The space has been carefully constructed to reflect the local lifestyle – a perfect blend of relaxation, functionality, and efficiency.
Pop-out on what’s hot around Nairobi
Whilst on your way around Nairobi, be sure to also check out local favourites, close by to the Garage locations – we recommend the following:
Kilimani – Home to a huge variety of eateries. Sierra Restaurant and wine bar, at Yaya Centre, is perfect for business lunches or romantic dinners. Nook Cafe, in Hurlingham, for a more bohemian lunch venue and food with powerful flavours. Both within a short walk of Nairobi Garage // Kilimani
Westlands – The epicentre of Nairobi nightlife, leave the office on a Friday and head straight to kick-off your weekend. A great spot to hang out, drink sexy cocktails and snack on yummy Kenyan-classics-with-a-twist: Nyama Mama. A two-minute drive up Waiyaki Way from NG // Westlands
In Karen – Enjoy the calm of beautiful Karen; weekends here are enviable and endless. Visit the Polka Dot Art Gallery, inside the Souk, and be inspired by the artwork of talented Kenyans on display. Down the road from Nairobi Garage // Karen.
Nairobi Garage // Karen
- Located in the Watermark Business Park, Ndege Road (opposite Karen Hospital)
- Fully furnished and serviced workspace
- High-speed WiFi and premium boardrooms
- Lounge spaces, shower facilities, Skype booths
- On-site bistro.
- Air conditioning throughout the space
- Complimentary tea and coffee service
What’s on Offer
- Daily pass // Ksh 2,000
- Monthly coworking desk space // Ksh 20,000
- Private Offices // From Ksh 120,000 a month, all inclusive