Housing Finance Bank hosted the official kick-off event of the Open Innovation Program at its headquarters in Kololo. The Program, an initiative commissioned by Make-IT in Africa, a project by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), aims at advancing innovation that promotes smart cities and bridges the gap between private and public sector needs by allowing early-stage innovators and entrepreneurs to take their technology-driven solutions to the next level. Housing Finance Bank, alongside their partners StartHub Africa, KaCyber, NITA Uganda, and Jumia Uganda, will support the 15 tech startups in co-creating innovative solutions in the field of smart cities.
The Open Innovation Program is designed to build capacity for startups, refine smart city innovations, establish long-term partnerships, and empower startups through personalized venture development and business modelling.
During the kick-off event, Mr. Micheal Opira, Chief Operating Officer of Housing Finance Bank, emphasized the pivotal role of technology in creating sustainable real estate and smart cities. He stated, “Alongside a host of partners, we are excited to kick off the Open Innovation Program, an initiative that empowers entrepreneurs to develop transformative tech-solutions that will revolutionize cities, enhance the quality of life, and contribute to sustainable development of our country.”
The program will foster digital solutions that enhance housing affordability, accessibility as well as support businesses to reach and engage consumers and improve citizens’ access to public services.
Participants in the program will gain access to a comprehensive range of resources, including partnerships with esteemed organizations, coaching and mentorship, learning workshops, investor meetings, and a supportive community of entrepreneurs. These opportunities will empower the startups to refine their ideas, scale their businesses, and make a lasting impact on the future of smart cities.
Housing Finance Bank remains committed to driving innovation and sustainability in the real estate sector. Through collaborations with startups and key industry stakeholders, the bank aims to pursue its purpose of enabling sustainable home ownership and financial independence for the people of Uganda.