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Posted By Humphrey Bwayo Posted On Comment (2)

Kikao64 Tech Hub: Connecting Eldoret to the World

The work culture is slowly shifting, and it’s not what it was a decade ago. With internet connectivity and a smart device, work can be done anywhere, slowly pushing the conventional 9-5 work-culture out of relevance. And it came as a surprise when this kind of work culture opportunity moved closer home to Eldoret Town, as – Kikao64.

A little bit of background information here.

Initially established as a settler’s farm “Farm 64” or “Sisibo” to the locals, Eldoret town has slowly and steadily grown into a commercial hub in the Northrift region, connecting the west and the north to agribusiness, universities, and a thriving arts, and athletic-sports culture district. It’s no surprise organizations like Kikao64 are taking a worthwhile leap to pioneer innovative working spaces in the region.

Let me be honest, my visit to Kikao64 was partially emotionally driven. See, I have been part of the gig industry for close to 8 years, and coincidentally, it all began in Eldoret Town.

So, what was my first impression? I’d hate to be casual about this, but it was mind-blowing! There’s definitely something here for the growing digital nomad/work from home community in Eldoret and its environs. What’s more interesting they source all their material from local enterprises like Unity Makers.

Kikao64 owners went full throttle with this one. For starters, it’s impossible to ignore its distinctive architecture, serene working environment, simplistic eco-sophisticated designed spaces, and the innovative ideas behind their co-working arrangements. The woody tones and tribal art offer a google campus-like feel that hypothetically puts one foot in San Francisco and the other deep in the African Savana underneath an Acacia tree. It’s nothing you will find anywhere in the country – more like iconic new-age ideas stirred in a pot of brilliance.

So, what’s Kikao64 all about?

I had a lengthy chat with their community manager, who filled me in on the details. In a nutshell, Kikao64 is a hybrid co-working space. It was developed to create a space where startups, young professionals, entrepreneurs, and students could have access to conducive working spaces and the chance to meet up with like-minded individuals.  It also offers access to investors, industry experts, legal, tax, accounting, and grant opportunities with companies such as Advance Consulting that are provided free to members.

The founders chose Eldoret town in response to its growing community of digital nomads, university students, freelancers, digital creatives who lacked a space to explore their skills. One of its founders, who has a background in education, and history in the region, is certain Kikao64 has an opportunity to nurture innovative ideas, readership, research, advanced tech, and informational communities to spur growth and breed a new crop of talent from the Northrift region.

What Resources Do They Offer?

Apart from enjoying free Wi-Fi, serene working spaces, and an opportunity to meet, greet and mingle with innovative minds, Kikao64 has a bookshop, library, café, multi-faceted working and meeting spaces, facilities for small groups, individuals, and corporations. The spaces are segmented based on user experience. It’s more than your conventional innovative hub or playful workplace library.

Hot Desks: Kikao64 offers hot desks dedicated to on-demand access to their shared spaces, with provisions for Wi-Fi, charging docks, desk lamps, and standing desk facilities.

Dedicated Desks: With the dedicated desk subscription, members can access the common areas, Wi-Fi, printing, and parking. This subscription also offers 4hours of meeting access on dedicated conference rooms and facilities.

Meeting Rooms: Ideal for four individuals but with provisions up to 8, it’s a space that’s convenient for small meetings and is equipped with HDMI cables, Flip charts, printing services, and whiteboards.

Private/Lettable offices: Ideal for individuals looking for a dedicated area to focus and work with small teams. These sections are furnished (completed with shelves, three desks, and a whiteboard), soundproofed, and draped for privacy.

Outdoor lounge: Perhaps my favorite spot, great for innovative conversations, mini-events, and talks. It’s furnished with eco-friendly recycled wood, an organic garden, calm mellow outdoorsy vibes perfect for yoga, meditation, casual meetups, and brainstorming innovative ideas.

Kikao64 Perks for Northrift Innovators

Kikao64 has set up monthly Fireside chats (Tedtalks) events for entrepreneurs, students, and creatives to share, brainstorm, and breed ideas. These monthly sessions will have guest speakers from leading key industries who’ll engage members in worthwhile transformative and educative discussions.

Members can also access free literature from an in-house library with various genres, including African literature, DIY, Fiction, and Non-fiction books. They also get access to printing services, a modern café, soundproofed talk booths in case of urgent phone calls (a wholesome experience).

Kikao64 also offers fast, reliable, uninterrupted Wi-Fi and power for members looking to work long hours on dedicated projects. 

Pros

  • • Minimalistic architectural design, a lot of effort was taken to create an atmosphere that champions innovation, focus, and creativity.
  • • Fast, reliable internet speeds ideal for research, presentations, conferencing, and events.
  • • Motivated, helpful and informed staff.
  • • Free legal, accounting, tax, and grant opportunities for members.
  • • One hundred working spaces that are clean and pandemic friendly, segmented for different working styles.
  • • Eco-friendly, quiet, serene spaces with indoor and outdoor spaces ideal for focus.
  • • State of the art workstations, and more importantly, standing desk provisions.
  • • Wide variety of literature from the library
  • • Access point for investors, and young professionals, and entrepreneurs.
  • • Promotes local enterprises.

Cons

  • • It might be a little pricey for young professionals, local entrepreneurs, startups with tight budgets, students, and novice freelancers.

My Take

There’s no doubt that Kikao64 offers a unique working, innovative meetup atmosphere in a region that’s been technologically marginalized. It’s an innovation hub I’ll keep frequenting and has more perks, especially for a gig-culture professional like myself. Eldoret is ripe with creatives and digital innovators who can benefit from access to grants, free legal, accounting, and tax services Kikao64 offers to members through collaborating with its partners.

N/B: This is not a paid review. All data presented in the article was collected personally by the author.

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