m:Lab is a regional mobile laboratory. There are currently only two in Africa (South Africa and Kenya). m:Lab is funded by an infoDev grant (with support from the Government of Finland, and Nokia) and is comprised of a consortium of four organizations (UoN, iHub, eMobilis, and World Wide Web Foundation).
Deliverables of m:Lab
- 40 trained students per year
- Physical space for incubation and shared services (Bishop Magua 3rd Floor)
- Pivot25 Competition
- Create 8 apps
- Create knowledge repository online
- Incubate 7 start-ups
- Launch a consumer insight study
- Test suite, certification and signing of apps
m:Lab is focusing on J2ME, PHP, MYSQQL, ANDROID, USSD, and SMS Incubation. m:Lab also has resources for incubatees to learn skills IVR, DOTMOBI, and business skills.
eMobilis is a mobile dedicated training institution that formed two years ago. eMobilis has a focus on mobile network infrastructure and mobile application software development. eMobilis is focus on entrepreneurship and has enrolled 300 students as well as IT managers. Nathan Eagle (Txteagle
) created the eMobilis curriculum.
eMobilis was formed because:
1. Safaricom overtook East African Breweries Ltd. (overtaking beer = a sign of the real ascent of mobile);
2. For every PC in Sub-Saharan Africa, there are 14 mobile phones;
3. App Stores: potential and market is there;
4. Telecommunication Industry growth – ther is high demand but lack of qualified individuals.
- Internet access through mobile devices rather than PC (implications for the kids of sites)
- Latent demand for mobile apps
- Low barriers to entry for developers
- Mobile networks: world’s largest distribution and communication platform
- Mobile phone services in Africa much more than 600 million people
- Innovative apps are developed in emerging markets that are serving as models for the rest of the world.