Norrsken House launches new facility to accommodate more innovators, entrepreneurs
Since 2019, the Swedish co-working space and investment fund has been running an entrepreneurship hub in Kigali, aimed at providing a collaborative environment where education, innovation and entrepreneurship join to generate scalable growth and development both in Kigali and beyond.
“With this new building, the total number of people we can host in this place is 1000,” said Pascal Murasira, the Managing Director of Norrsken East Africa.
“The reason we are investing in this infrastructure is that there are so many people, especially young ones, with brilliant ideas not only in Rwanda but across the continent but don’t have the capital they need to implement those ideas,” he added.
Norrsken House Kigali’s total budget for physical infrastructure is $20 million, and so far, some 15 million of this has been already spent.
According to Murasira, by next year, another building will be completed to take the hub’s hosting capacity to 1500 people.
“Our philosophy is that if you build something that is truly amazing like this, in a city centre - a place where action happens, it will attract young people. If you attract those brilliant young minds to come to this place, then all institutions that want to support them, for example investors, governments and donors, will have a singular place to which they can go to find brilliant ideas,” Murasira said.
He noted that he believes that Kigali is a “perfect location” for such facilities because it has the potential to be one of the leading tech ecosystems on the continent.
The new building has office space, conference areas, open space for co-working, a media hub where things like TV shows can be done, a theatre, among other things.
In addition to all that, the facility is eco-friendly, as 90 to 95 percent of the energy it uses is solar.
Murasira expects that with such infrastructure in place, people across the continent will be coming to Kigali to raise capital, innovate or house their innovations here.
Arnaud Michel Nibaruta, an entrepreneur who works with Dot Pharma, a health tech startup that has benefited from Norrsken’s space since last year, and mention that the establishment of new infrastructure at the hub is really important in encouraging innovation and connections.
“Entrepreneurs always need a sane environment where they can receive visitors, discuss deals with investors and partners, and so on. Norrsken has been providing good space for this,” he noted.
Norrsken was founded by Niklas Adalberth in 2016. Norrsken’s portfolio consists of Swedish and British companies, several of them with operations in Africa. Norrsken aims to scale this with the opening of Norrsken Kigali and invest directly in African companies.