Improving the ecosystem for hardware inventor entrepreneurs in East Africa by providing makerspace, training and other support services
Gearbox is a professional engineering and prototyping space in Nairobi, Kenya, that was established in 2014 with the Foundation’s support. It seeks to address the gap in physical capital, such as facilities and equipment, and the technical talent required for prototyping, design and manufacturing in Kenya.
Gearbox enables invention-based enterprises and prepares Kenya’s engineers and fabricators for an innovation-based economy by addressing the following areas:
A community of industry professionals, artists, designers, inventors, entrepreneurs, engineers, makers, fabricators, potential partners and creatives within an environment deliberately designed for designing and building.
Allowing mastery in human-centered design, software tools for design, automated (CNC) machining, 3D printing and wood and metal working.
Offering rentable space, hot desks, shared workshops, boardrooms and event spaces.
It aims to improve the overall ecosystem for hardware entrepreneurship in East Africa by providing a range of services to inventor entrepreneurs, including:
- Flexible working space
- Shared prototyping equipment
- Training in manufacturing
- Fabrication and design
- Investment opportunities
- Community development
The organization has scaled from a Phase 1 facility of about 2,500 square feet with 30 members to a 20,000 square-foot facility that aims to have ten 10 times as many members.