Call for Applications: Innovative Healthcare Solutions

August 11 2016


  • Point of care diagnostics for infectious and non communicable diseases that are prevalent in sub Saharan Africa

  • Multiplex diagnostics for differential identification of commonly presenting ailments or closely related pathogens

  • Innovative medical devices of class 1 and 2 that are designed for use in poor resource setting health systems

  • Point of use water treatment/access to clean water and sanitation (hardware based innovations)

  • Off-grid, cold chain delivery solutions for vaccines, diagnostics etc (hardware based innovations)

  • Health/wellness related wearables

  • Hardware based health innovations that leverage internet of things for improved quality of healthcare or big data applications


Let us help you build your idea/innovation so that you can impact more lives. We at Villgro Kenya are working to inspire a new wave of innovative thinking towards the deep-rooted health challenges in Africa, through social entrepreneurship and impact investment

Our Incubation Program offers:

  • High-touch mentorship from industry experts, each enterprise is paired with a seasoned entrepreneur or business professional who provides strategic and business support

  • Guidance on all necessary aspects to grow your business from building a strong business plan to becoming investment ready

  • Support for regulatory approval for product launch

  • Access to networks that can provide seed funding opportunities

  • Access to industry experts and stakeholders for product development and market knowledge; and downstream investors

  • Intellectual property and business strategy

  • You are an entrepreneur/researcher looking to build a for-profit scalable business

  • You want to create large impact in East-Africa

  • You are creating solutions through innovation

Villgro Kenya is an early stage incubator that seeks to support startups with a global health impact in East Africa. Working at the interface of science and industry, Villgro Kenya is  pioneering social entrepreneurship in healthcare and life sciences in East Africa. The Villgro Kenya team has over 15 years of experience in R&D/academia and entrepreneurship in the region that is relevant to healthcare and life sciences technology commercialization.  Our partnerships and networks span across the R&D, commercialization and funding pipeline to leverage local and foreign investments for global health impact in the region.

#Okoamama Hack4Life Hack-a-thon

July 13 2016

Villgro Kenya in collaboration with Gearbox presents the #Okoamama Hack4Life hack-a-thon that would be held from August 19th to August 21st, 2016. 

The hackathon aims to bring the power of innovation to maternal and child healthcare using a multi-disciplinary approach. 

Across the globe 33% of people living in urban areas live in informal urban settlements (slums) and are often unable to access the health care that they need. This problem is especially large for expectant mothers and babies in slums. From lack of nutrition, to lack of education, to lack of ambulances, mothers and children face many different challenges in order to access health care.

Through the Hack4Life hackathon, we envision solutions that are technically feasible, socially responsible and entrepreneurially sustainable, will be developed.

If you know of any creative and innovative individuals who are excited to find solutions to some of these problems,encourage them to apply

We will need individuals from the following three sectors:

  • Health: Doctors, Nurses, Public Health Workers, Clinicians, Scientists ...
  • Technology: Engineers, Technicians, Designers, Inventors ...
  • Business: Entrepreneurs, Small Business Developers ...


Nine Innovators Show Off Hardware Solutions For All 7 Billion Of Us

July 07 2016

The nine teams of socially-minded tech innovators have been selected from a pool of applicants to demonstrate products that offer the potential to remedy environmental, economic, and social problems afflicting the globe. Three winners will share $50,000 in prize money from The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), which held the 2016 ISHOW event in India on April 28 and scheduled the final event in Washington, D.C. for June 15th (USA). 

“ASME launched ISHOW because research shows the lack of support for hardware innovators seeking entre into global markets,” said Julio C. Guerrero, president of ASME. “The products in the competition all demonstrate the potential for making a social and environmental impact, while showcasing the creativity and ingenuity of tomorrow’s engineering problem-solvers and business leaders.”

In the competition, the contestants showed prototypes and pitched their ideas to a panel of judges that included successful entrepreneurs, angel investors, business mentors, industry representatives, product designers and engineers. They outlined designs, market research, user testing, manufacturing plans and business models.

About ASME

ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world. For more information, visit

About ASME Innovation Showcase (ISHOW)

The ASME ISHOW is a global competition for hardware led social innovation. Applicants must have a prototype and be taking a physical product to market that will have a social or environmental impact. Finalists are invited to an ASME Innovation Showcases in India, Kenya or the USA and receive advice from industry experts and investors. Three winners are selected at each location to share $50,000 in cash and a design and engineering reviews delivered by industry experts. The ASME ISHOW is sponsored by The Lemelson Foundation and the ASME Foundation. For more information, visit

E4I Challenge - Health Novelty

July 06 2016

We are excited to announce the 6th Edition of the E4I Challenge-Health Novelty, to be held on July 22nd, 2016 at Tangaza University College. The Challenge is a special opportunity to engage the most creative minds in public health, medicine and technology, and explore ideas to solve the most pressing challenges in healthcare.

The challenge is an occasion for the final round candidates to pitch their business ideas or models in front of a jury composed of investors, Banks, business advisory providers, incubators, lead entrepreneurs and members of the academia to demonstrate the viability of their idea/ business model, innovation, scalability, strength of the entrepreneurial team and the social impact of the enterprise.

The competition will challenge you to stretch your thinking boundaries. The impact entrepreneurs in this field are building innovation hubs in the region, crowdsourcing humanitarian response, driving policy and using innovative technology to drive health service delivery. They are rethinking malaria prevention, or building medical devices out of broken toys and using boats, motorcycles, and mobile phones to provide health care. They are using film and photography to change mindsets, visualizing data to make people pay attention, and sharing their ideas, and designs to achieve great milestones in healthcare.

Put differently, it is a regional challenge of unparalleled diversity where innovators present original solutions to the most pressing local and global healthcare challenges.

Other than the Health care focus, the overall E4I Challenge will be clustered into five more categories: Agribusiness, ICT & Mobile Tech, Green energy & Waste management, Education & Training and Business Services.

E4I Challenge-Health Novelty appeals to a broad target audience including: Early-stage start-ups, health care entrepreneurs, Venture-funds, Health sector experts, Physicians, Hospitals, Healthcare insurance companies, Foundations, Non-profits, medical and Public Health Students.

E4I Challenge-Health Novelty Prize: The overall winner of the Challenge will win a full scholarship worth Kshs 420,000 for the E4Impact MBA at Tangaza, Incubation space at Villgro Kenya for the top 2 health finalists and Prize money award for the top 3 finalists by CFH.

Practical Information: Innovators are invited to register at:

Deadline being June 29th, 2016

If you would wish to attend this event as a participant register at Only 150 spots are available and registration will close soon as this number is reached.

About Tangaza University College:

Tangaza University College, a constitute college of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa is an institution of higher learning fully committed to high academic excellence with a strong praxis on Social Transformation. Through its entrepreneurship program in social entrepreneurship it is changing the education landscape in Kenya by training impact entrepreneurs with a triple bottom line: social, environmental and financial sustainability thus providing the much needed jobs to Kenyan youths and women. Learn more at

About E4Impact Foundation:

E4Impact Foundation, launched in 2015 by Securfin, Mapei, Salini-Impregilo, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and the Association Always Africa, has the objective of enhancing the sustainable development of fast growing economies by supporting the training of impact entrepreneurs and their businesses. Learn more at

About Vilgro Kenya:

Villgro Kenya is inspiring a new wave of innovative thinking to the deep rooted global health challenges in Africa. A franchise of Villgro Innovations Foundation that has supported over 100 invention-based entrepreneurs to create over 1000 jobs and impact over 6.8 million people in rural India through innovation, Villgro Kenya is bringing global health innovations to market through impact funding and social entrepreneurship interventions for market-led and sustainable health impacts in Kenya and the East African Community bloc.

Working at the interface of science and industry, Villgro Kenya brings over 30 years worth of experience in R&D/academia and entrepreneurship in the region that is relevant to global health technology development and go-to market strategies. Our partnerships and networks span across the product development, commercialization and scale to leverage local and foreign investments for global health impact in the region. Villgro Kenya is supported by the Lemelson Foundation. Learn more at:

About Capacities for Health:

Capacities for Health exist to tackle healthcare challenges in Africa through Trainings, Medical Placements, Innovations, and knowledge generation. Learn more at:


East Africa Innovation Workshop and Boot Camp

May 17 2016

East Africa is fast becoming recognized as a Continental leader in innovation. Our governments are looking to strengthen their economies by building capabilities in many areas of technology, information and culture. Similarly, the private sector is looking at competitive ways to succeed in local, regional, and global markets by developing innovations that provide solutions to drive improvements in communication, create efficiencies in healthcare provision and delivery, address challenges in agriculture and the environment. A number of research and innovation hubs as well as incubator organizations are leveraging the talent, innovative culture and increasing resources for knowledge-based industries in the region.

Learn more here

Call for mentors

April 07 2016

What do we expect from Mentors?

  • Villgro Kenya’s mentors are leading business professionals who offer their time and skills to help new entrepreneurs navigate their most pressing business challenges. From raising financing to ironing out the business plans to creating and negotiating term sheets, mentors play a critical role in supporting entrepreneurs who are working to create sustainable businesses that also improve the lives of those at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
  • Mentors will be challenged to put their know-how within the context of the cultures and businesses they will guide. The engagement can be a unique win-win for both the social entrepreneur and the mentor.

What do we look for in our mentors?

  • Experienced business professional: At least 15 years of business experience with proven success in specific sector/function.
  • Should have been an entrepreneur himself/herself.
  • Must commit to at least two hours per week.
  • Be willing to visit the entrepreneur in the field.
  • Comfortable with communicating via phone/email.
  • Must be located in Nairobi or preferably to close proximity to entrepreneur’s location
  • A strong motivation and stated desire to mentor early stage entrepreneurs.
  • A commitment to support and guide the social entrepreneur.
  • Actively explore and ask probing questions; listen to the entrepreneur and the business.
  • Help the social entrepreneur through practical solutions that are realistic to implement and achieve.
  • Ability to focus on the social entrepreneur; appreciate and value the social entrepreneur, their business and culture.
  • Should be positive and cheer on the social entrepreneur's growth and work.
  • Ability to challenge and push the social entrepreneur and their vision for scale and creating positive impact.

Health Care Innovation Challenge

November 12 2015

HealthCare Innovation Challenge (HCIC) brings together engineers, clinicians, designers, business people, students and others to tackle and build innovative solutions for the biggest challenges in health and healthcare. Organized by African Garage, UNISCOO and VilGRO Kenya, HCIC brings together the academic, industry, pharmaceutical, startup and student communities to collaborate to solve problems of immense importance.

Read the full article here

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you.

5th floor, Strathmore University Students' Centre,
Madaraka, Nairobi, Kenya.
View large map