Who We Are
We are an early stage business incubator and impact investor that seeks to support startups with a global health impact in the East African region.
Working at the interface of science and industry, Villgro Kenya is pioneering social entrepreneurship and impact investment in healthcare and life sciences in East Africa. The Villgro Kenya team has over 30 years’ 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.
The challenge is not in the lack of technology or know-how to solve these problems, but the lack of a convincing business case to warrant the effort. We work with entrepreneurs to develop and deliver/implement innovative solutions through a business model approach. This includes offering them funding, technical assistance, go to market, and investment readiness.
We believe that Africa’s development problems will be sustainably resolved through for-profit, innovative products & business models that are demand-driven and scalable. Such enterprises deliver social impact by creating jobs for Africa’s rural and urban poor or by meeting their needs as the target market.
To support global health innovation through social entrepreneurship
To de-risk impact investment for global health innovations through early stage incubation
To promote a vibrant healthcare and life sciences innovation system in Africa
What We Do Differently
Our incubation plan is custom-designed for each enterprise based on their needs at their current stage. We work with entrepreneurs to help them become ready for investment. We expect the investable enterprises to scale up their social impact as they grow after incubation.
Our strength is in healthcare and life sciences, this cuts across many sectors such as primary healthcare, mother and child health (MCH), non-communicable diseases (NCD), nutrition in agriculture, water and sanitation in environmental management, or safety & ergonomics in design of tools and products across various industries.
We provide high-touch mentorship and connect incubatees with mentors who bring with them years of experience in the industry and entrepreneurship.
We pride ourselves in being a pioneer health business incubator in East Africa.
Over the last 4 years we have worked with entrepreneurs who have developed a non-invasive malaria diagnostic device, a childhood pneumonia screening jacket, a solar powered phototherapy unit to treat childhood jaundice, set up an oxygen plant to provide affordable oxygen, micro-health insurance for informal workers, an emergency response system, a digitized clinical records management system and a digitized point of care system that helps local pharmacies source quality affordable medicines.
We pre select companies with a bias towards people living in poverty in the rural urban locations. We seek to target interventions to people who lack quality affordable healthcare as our ultimate beneficiaries. We work with young talented innovators with brilliant ideas to help them get to the market.
Partners and Networks
“Their understanding of and commitment to the health sector in Africa makes them a force multiplier for a small startup like Health-E-Net.”
Villgro Kenya has provided trusted advisors that have advanced our leadership because they are experts in their field and care deeply to see impact. As a result, they have helped us fundraise, redefine company offerings, provided a clearer road map to market, prepare for scale and connected us to the right partners for product design and development.
The Villgro Kenya team has been instrumental in helping us with healthcare specific contacts and advice, as well as operational support in Kenya, a market that they know extremely well.
“I appreciate the efficiency of bringing the capital in. For a couple of other organizations it takes a couple of months of diligence for a small amount of the funding to come in, which would inhibit a lot of entrepreneurs. I appreciate the process Villgro Kenya took because that capital is very instrumental to small and large organizations alike.”