Microsoft Pop up labs Kenya


June was an exciting month for Kenya’s tech scene where we got to host some big shots from the Microsoft team to interact with and learn a bit from them at the Industrial area where the heart of industrialization in Kenya once thrived(-not so long ago). The event was sold out and the venue was the newly refurbished Gearbox head office, a modern fabrication laboratory that allows individuals( You and me in this instance) who is interested in using their workshop from doing laser stuff, 3D printing, PCB(polarized circuit boards) design and manufacture and the most fun part tech young kids how to do robotics.

Ms Nairobi

MS team Nairobi, Kenya offices

The core focus of the Microsoft and gearbox combo was to tackle the topic AI(artificial intelligence) being fused with IoT(internet of things).

Gearbox has seen quite a number of builders that have passed through this space which is under the former University of Nairobi Lecturer Doctor. Kamau Gachigi and is currently being managed by Felicity’s team that also includes female techies. Felicity is into robotics and Dr. Kamau is into 3D advancement and fabrication labs.



Gearbox as a space has now been successfully operating and dishing out real talent to the Kenyan startup industry. They just recently finished showcasing their innovations on the #ishow and you should look that up on twitter kenya for more on those ideas if you are into their vybe. Gearbox is an advancement of the once famous BELL labs in the USA that were exclusively meant for the advancement of the telephone cable lines and the founders of the “internet”. The lab has positioned itself in the market as a competitor for the traditional workshops by letting you the user to design a product based on your specifications.

IoT, The internet of things is something that has been a bit of a fuss lately where everyone is looking to make that whole experience of inter-connectivity between devices work for them and make their day to day operations really easy. some IoT innovations work but one will have to ask why they would need that type of innovation in their day to day life. The Microsoft Azure developer Jan…

Jan schweda

Jan schweda takes the gearbox audience on the ones and twos of cloud computing

…was trying to convince us in the beginning to  get to understand the main purpose of using Azure as a platform for running your innovation and it became really simplified in the sense that the Microsoft platform should be looked at as a hardware or Software that lets you store anything from programs to software applications that allow you to run them anywhere Microsoft operate. That has an advantage compared to your traditional (Website) hosting services for example because Azure has already hosted the program for you everywhere.


AI, Artificial intelligence on the other hand has other dynamics my friends. from the definition and what exists as AI, its a bit wanting information for me to share. But we are in luck, do not fear. Here are a couple of points the developers who know these things can pick up from:

  1. Contribute to the Github repository and remember to signup and follow what you are comfortable doing. nowadays Microsoft azure uses the C# programming language but c++ can be a start
  2. Engage the community of developers on the intelligence systems out there to see if they pass the test.
  3. Edit written documents and programs in the communities you follow
  4. Upload stuff for a reason
  5. Attend at least 3 locally organized meet ups on technology and startups or even art
  6. Write and write more stuff.





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