iHub Software Consultancy relaunch

By Mary Gicharu
  Published 19 Feb 2018
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We are excited to announce the “re-launch” of iHub software consulting(iSC).  It never really went away, but it took a bit of backseat as the move to our new space took center stage and the business focused on re-aligning it’s operating model.  

iHub began offering software consulting services to solve a critical challenge: that while there are many incredibly talented developers in our ecosystem, and great ideas abound, assembling a team to build a new product was time-consuming and costly.

iHub’s solution was simple. Keep a dedicated team that could quickly design and build software solutions.  Should these products gain traction, developers could spin off to work on these full time.  This approach was a solution for startups and corporates alike.

Unlike most consultancies who focus on retaining talent for their team, we see our role as developing talent for the ecosystem as a whole. It is a success when a software engineer hones their skills on our team and then launches as an integral part of a successful product team.

iHub Software Consulting designs and builds software solutions for startups, corporates, and NGOs. If you need help on a software project, drop us a line on consulting[at]ihub.co.ke

This idea led to us receiving a finalist award for the MIT Innovation Inclusion Challenge which I was honored to accept in Boston on behalf of iHub.

We are excited about the restructuring and refocus on iHub Software Consulting. Not only will this bring in the required talent to create the right solutions for organizations (large and small), but we believe the opportunities embedded will be of great benefit as we see more organizations embedding innovative methodologies to get to the right solution and at the right speed.

Mary, iHub's MD, and MIguel, iHub's board member, receiving the MIT Award on behalf of iHub Mary Gicharu, iHub's MD, and Miguel Granier, iHub's board member, receiving the MIT Innovation Inclusion Challenge award on behalf of iHub

Here is how it works. We build software alongside your team. As the product gains traction, we help you permanently staff that team.

Sky.garden, a mobile commerce startup, came to iHub with a challenge.  They needed software engineers to build their prototype and didn’t know where to start.  iHub made their prototype alongside them. Using that prototype, Sky.garden launched, continued development and recently raised $1.2 million to scale up.  We transitioned several of our consultants to join their permanent team. They now sit across the hall from us at the iHub, and we are cheering their success!

Most of the time, however, it is just more comfortable for the consultants to stay on our team. Project Concern International (PCI), a long-standing iHub Software Consulting client, recently launched Afriscout. Afriscout in an Android application that provides semi-nomadic pastoralists with satellite-powered maps that show the density of vegetation in their traditional grazing lands allowing them to locate pasture more efficiently.

We would love to work on your software project. Here is a list of our capabilities:

  • User experience (UX) research - most websites, apps, and software are built for stakeholders without the users in mind. The resulting output fails or is not as successful as hoped because it is not user-centric. UX research takes opinions and guesswork out of the equation. iHub Software Consulting applies research to give your customers what they want and at the same time meet your business goals. User Research focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies
  • Design sprint facilitation - Design sprints are a framework for teams of any size to solve and test design problems in 2-5 days. The idea of sprints originates with the Agile framework and design thinking. Design thinking advocates putting users at the center of the process while the agile movement pushes for continuous development and testing of software. Within five days you can move from an idea to a prototype that you can test with real users. To learn more about design sprints and their real-world application, please read the case study for one of our projects - Afriscout.
  • Software development - iSC creates digital tools that allow organizations to solve their problems. Our team can build software on USSD & SMS, web, and mobile (Android and iOS). Being a design-led consultancy unit, we emphasize on UX research and agile software development to ensure the products we build are not only usable but also useful.

iHub Software Consulting will run as an operationally independent entity inside of the iHub. We are honored to have Heath Arensen, Kennedy Kirui, and Mutugi Mnarobi lead this team.

Heath has worked behind the scenes at the iHub for the last two years assisting in our growth transition. He has more than ten years of experience running software services companies in the Middle East and Kenya, and we are excited to have him on the team. He will take on client relationships for our international project work.

Kirui was a founding member of iHub’s consulting team and will be leading service delivery of projects in Kenya.  He brings a strong background in UX and Product design to the team and will be influential in growing the team.

Mutugi has been in involved in technology and startups in Kenya since before it was cool. Founding a number of startups including the software consulting firm Tanasuk Africa and most recently as the founding member of Villgro Kenya, Mutugi will be leading operations while working closely with startups and investors.

With a defined focus on creating great software, iHub Software Consulting is looking forward to scaling to meet the software development and staffing needs of the community.

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