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Innovation isn’t only about having good ideas; it’s also about converting the mental into the physical. Unfortunately, the cost of materials and resources required to create a prototype can be exorbitant, and discourage many inventors.
In Kenya, Kamau Gachigi, engineer and the executive director at Gearbox, is changing the narrative. Gearbox is an innovation lab that provides entrepreneurs access to materials and equipment to bring their ideas to reality.
Laser cutting, 3D printing, and leatherworking are among the tools available to members at Gearbox. Since its establishment in 2011, it’s members have created several innovative solutions, including water-saving gadgets, solar-powered irrigation systems, and engine devices.
Gearbox also runs an equipment training academy, a contracting business, and a mentoring program. Gachigi says the ultimate goal of this initiative is to make industrialization a grassroots phenomenon across the continent.