METTĀ expands its global footprint, opens iconic flagship location in Africa FeaturedWritten by LEDUM PRINCE
Mettā, a community for entrepreneurs and innovators, has opened its second flagship location in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The new home for entrepreneurs in East Africa is a pioneering networking platform that supports founders and enables them to connect with leading ecosystem players both locally and internationally.
The inaugural club launched in Hong Kong in May 2016 and within the first six months signed up more than 800 members consisting of entrepreneurs, investors, small businesses and multi-national corporations, according to e-statement made available to The Neigbourhood signed by Muthuri Kinyamu, Head of Communications and Programmes, West Africa.
According to the statement, with the opening of Mettā Nairobi, local entrepreneurs will gain direct access to Asia’s thriving start-up economies, connecting them with investors and new business leads that provide opportunities to scale into new markets. “Entrepreneurs’ club opens in Nairobi linking local founders, investors and corporate innovators with the international start-up ecosystem”, it added.
The Nairobi club will follow in the footsteps of its Hong Kong-counterpart and host regular events curated by its members to drive thought leadership and encourage collaboration on topics around business and innovation. Mettā’s physical locations complement the digital-first platform that promotes meaningful connections on a global scale, in particular through ‘plugging in’ nascent innovation ecosystems to the global entrepreneurial grid.
Mettā Nairobi is strategically located in the premium international business complex housing the Dusit D2 hotel and a number of global corporations including VISA, SAP, Pernod Ricard and Nielsen. The 3,500 sq.ft club designed and fitted out by Kenya's luxury building and interiors supplier, The Tile & Carpet Centre, is the ideal environment for entrepreneurs to engage in open dialogue and connect with some of the most influential members of Kenya’s start-up and business communities. The space also features a café - BrewBar by Ki.Chen - serving famous Spring Valley Artisan Coffee from Kenya and a selection of food options.
Maurice Otieno, Head of Operations and Ecosystem Development at Mettā, said “Events at Mettā stir up purposeful conversations, great learning and connections across cities to relevant people. Since our soft opening two months ago we have hosted 66 live events, over 150 members signed up and over 2,000 people are part of our community. We look forward to supporting the growth of Kenya’s vibrant ecosystem and are excited about the prospect of giving talented founders access to opportunities across the continent and globally”.
He continued: “Through Mettā we can connect different ecosystems across the globe and share learnings and insights to form transformative partnerships and open innovation agendas”
While commenting on the partnership with Mettā, Ankit Sanghrajka from Tile & Carpet Centre said, "Kenya is on the frontlines of innovation and entrepreneurship. But despite the creative and driven talent in Nairobi, significant difficulties remain for entrepreneurs. Mettā, an ecosystem for start-ups will make it possible for ideas to become a reality. The location - 14 Riverside, an established business address - coupled with a wealth of experience from Hong Kong, ensures Mettā will attract the right start-ups and investors to grow our vibrant ecosystem. We are excited to be part of the story– ‘an entrepreneurs' club that connects people, ideas and resources’."
Launched in May 2016, Mettā is a community-driven entrepreneurs’ club that connects people, ideas and resources. The platform, which was invested in and backed by Nest, has been created to bring startups, innovators, influencers, and companies from around the world closer together and support them on their path to success.
Mettā is built around three principles: community, live events, and a space that the global entrepreneurial community can call home. A member can use any Mettā space in the world, access an internal social network of all global members via an app called Metta Connect, and attend meaningful events. Members that demonstrate value to the startup ecosystem are welcome to be part of the community but must also be referred by an existing member.