Report from the field: 7 new creative ventures!

As part of AKE program, participants have developed 7 new creative ventures and small start-ups. They are all now in the Kenyan government’s registrar of companies and therefore are all official legal business entities. During the last phase of the program, the AKE lab will work as creative incubator and help them develop their business plan and activities.

During the past days I have had the fortune to follow some of their work and learn about their ideas here at the AKE hub in Nairobi. It is interesting to see how much the teams have grown and what breath of ideas they are working with. All the ventures are based on strong team work, except for Makossiri’s who is a solo venture based on her artistic image is any way based on collaboration with other artists. All of them aim to offer professional services that could help grow the creative industry. Some of them like Artari and VerbHouse have already concrete product development projects. Many of them like Kiwo films have done or will be doing commission for big names.

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AKE creative ventures

While there is still work to do to fine tune the business plans and models and develop how they communicate their ideas, this is no doubt  a big step and a very concrete result of AKE work.

Through conversations, some Finnish chocolate and joint brainstorming,  we have draft the following preliminary presentation texts which they will be using in the up coming showcase next week. Let me introduce you to this 7 promising ventures:

Artari Kreations and their SAUTI product

SAUTI, an online voice audition and sound database offering the most complete sound and voice resource in Africa (website and web app). We connect the creative industry with the best samples, by the best talents aiming to be the “Getty Images” for African sound and voices. SAUTI is designed and developed by Artari kreations an African techno-artistic startup company offering a wide range of design and development services.

Kiwo films

Kiwo films produces video, documentaries, commercials as well as music and soundscapes for spaces and environments. We are also well versed in photography and on- location sound recording. We aim to be the best and number one operator and producer of premium Local Cinematography. KIWO films has worked for brands as BBC, UPS Parcel service, Vice Media, Scanad Group, Comic Relief and Media Hub Africa. The company has a multifaceted team talented in creative arts.

Makossiri Enterprises

Makossiri is an emerging African singer and creative entrepreneur. Makossiri Enterprises brings Makossiri’s music, fashion and stories to different channels. We combine creative technology and artistic self-expression to the organization of events and live performances where fashion and music intertwine.

 For doing this Makossiri works with digital artists, musicians and fashion designers to bring you African stories with a global touch.

Pamoja Gamers

Pamoja gamers designs and develops technologies that provide solutions for real problems in the real world with a playful attitude.  Our team has expertise in mobile application, web and game development as well as graphic design. We specialize in solutions for the african educational sector, the business sector and we also provide services for other creatives.

VerbHouse and their Mbulu product

Mbulu is a subscription based online streaming channel for video on demand. Mbulu features African short films, documentaries, music, animation and games that are suitable for streaming on small devices like mobile phones or tablets. We aim to create a market and an audience for African stories that can transcend borders. Mbulu is being designed and developed by Verb House a creative entertainment company offering a wide range of audiovisual services.

Tripletouch

Triple touch is an innovative Kenyan youth led business. We offer public address systems, Disc Jockeying, audio/visual production and event management services. Our mission is to provide lasting solutions to existing societal problems.

Crystal Quad

Our specialty is in creating advertisements and marketing strategies using games and mobile applications, animation and sound design skills.

 

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AKE participant working on her start-up marketing material at the AKE hub

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Creative team work at the AKE lab

 

 

 

 

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Participant Interview – Artari kreations

Artari kreations is one of the several media ventures under development by AKE participants right now. They describe themselves as a techno-artistic company that specializes in music production, sound design, animation, web design and mobile development who are harnessing all the learning and skills they have been developing during AKE program. The team behind Artari hope they can have a full fledged startup by December as they have already started doing projects and have received many requests for their services. We spoke with Maurice Makau and Wilson Andika, 2 of the members of the team, who shared with us some thoughts on Artari and their story so far.

Q: Your venture seems to be precisely at the essence of the GESCI-AKE programme, could we ask you to tell us about your experiences? How the Artari Creations came to be?

A: We are glad about the compliments you raised over the existence of our small venture that is yet to grow. The set up for Artari Kreations was drafted on February, early this year. We wanted our venture to address challenges in four artistic areas: music design & production, animation & motion graphics, web design & application development and finally graphic design & illustration. After realizing that we had among ourselves what we needed, the real formation came to be. The team came together during the first stages of the AKE up-skilling face when we started doing things to prove that it could work and that we could deliver the right things to the first clients we encountered. It’s a good experience having this venture, although there exists a few challenges here and there. For a start we are good to go.

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Members of Artari Kreations with other fellow participants of AKE2016 during a showcase event completing the AKE skilling phase at the GESCI Office in Nairobi (Image by GESCI)

Q: What are the most pressing issues now? Where are you putting effort these days?

A: Artari Kreation is just in its genesis phase, we should grow and develop. Like any other business, marketing and sourcing for clients is an inescapable hurdle. Fortunately the challenge gradient has been less steep for us because of the strong network and friends of the team members. Also, we believe we have an interesting mix of multidisciplinary thinking in our team. This allow us to come up with productive and commercially feasible ideas that can easily make sense to our clients and that we can sell.

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An interactive visualization of the skills of Artari team made for their website. (Image by Artari Kreations)

 Q: How are you getting the word about Artari out there?

We already have our website launched (artarikreations.co.ke) and are now busy working in a couple of job requests. We have developed a strong social social media presence on networks like Facebook , we created a youtube channel, and constantly work to fine tune things like google search. We are working under the concept of ”artari creative brothers”.

We are still exploring more mechanisms of instilling more marketing features into our branding system at the same time that we try to utilize all the already available resources and information.

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Artari team members at work, creating!

Q: What is the most pressing issue for the future of Artari?

Improvement and quality! It is our dream and desire both for the whole AKE program (and your research), and also our clients and our business as well.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.52.38Artari creations is a joint creative effort of: Francis Ndambuki, Maurice Makau, Wilson Andika, Pharis Mukui and Kennedy Njeri Wangombe

They are joined by Chela Nancy and Edna Taabu as special guests.

 

It seems AKE program is managing to provide an inspiring place where like-minded and complimentary skills meet to learn, try out things and help each other.