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IP Management Clinics in Africa to Bring into Picture the Role of Intellectual Property in Agritech and Healthtech Startups in Africa

January 23, 2024

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) jointly coordinated the recently completed Kenya's first IP Management Clinic (IPMC) program during the 2023 Kenya Innovation Week. This initiative supported eight dynamic startups in the fields of Agritech and Healthtech.

Agritech startups were Radava Mercantile, Intelli-Wealth Limited, Geljir Technologies Limited, and Thorium Organic Foods, and in Healthtech ventures were Tawi Health, E-tiba, Snark Health, and Akili Sawa. The eight startups, underwent mentorship provided by experts in IP Management and Business Development.

Dr. Caroline Mwaura (IP Management) and Ms. Yvonne Njeri (Business Development) guided the Agritech group, while Dr. Victor Nzomo (IP Management) and Dr. Michael Nzungi (Business Development) provided mentoring to the Healthtech group.

Throughout the project, participants received personalized advice tailored to their operational needs, coupled with hands-on orientation regarding the various options offered by the IP system to support their businesses. The impact was significant, with some startups overhauling their business approaches to seamlessly integrate IP into their new strategies.

As a testament to the project's success, a highlight of the Kenya Innovation Week (KIW) was the opportunity for IPMC program participants to connect and network with other startups outside the project. In a grand finale, two startups, Akili Sawa and Intelli-Wealth Limited, were selected for the main pitching event, with only Akili Sawa taking the podium due to time constraints.

Mr. John Njiru, Akili Sawa co-founder, on the podium making his pitch at the Kenya Innovation Week
Mr. John Njiru, Akili Sawa co-founder, on the podium making his pitch at the Kenya Innovation Week. (Image: WIPO/KALANJE)

Looking forward, the WIPO IPMC initiative is set to expand its footprint across Africa in 2024, with projects in Liberia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania. This strategic move aims to bring intellectual property awareness closer to SMEs/Startups, motivating them to integrate IP into their business strategies for sustained success.