BearingPoint & Scenarium support start-ups in Kenya

21 August 2015

Impact Week, run in July this year, was a week-long event which was hosted by Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi, Kenya. The event created a space in which entrepreneurs met with experts from around the world, as well as providing a launching ground for start-up incubators. Of the 17 ideas developed at the event, 8 received seed funding as well as scholarships to the university’s incubator. The event was supported and organised by a wide range of organisations, including two consulting firms, Scenarium Group and BearingPoint.

To help young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs from all walks of life, several partners in Kenya earlier this year joined forces to organise ‘Impact Week’. The week-long event allows a group of people from around to world to unite under the goal of developing sustainable business models using different innovation techniques. This year was the first Impact Week, with the projects long term goal the development of a rich start-up scene for the local economy. This year’s event was held late July at Africa Nazarene University (ANU) in Nairobi, Kenya.

BearingPoint & Scenarium support start-ups in Kenya

As part of this year’s event, the conference was also used to develop a start-up incubator at the university. The event saw 17 concepts for start-ups developed with the support of alumni of the ANU and the team of 20 innovation experts from Germany. Of the 17 concepts, 8 were selected by a jury of experts to receive seed funding as well as one-year scholarship to the newly founded ANU Incubation Centre which provides among others, mentoring support.

The event was supported by a number of (global) organisations, with main participants coming from Germany and Kenya. These include McCann Worldgroup, Hans Sauer Stiftung, Meal Mates, Profilwerkstatt and Inju as well as consulting firms Scenarium Group (a Berlin-based advisory founded in 2012) and BearingPoint. As co-organiser of the event, BearingPoint was active throughout and its team of advisors will accompany the Kenyan entrepreneurs as well as the operation of the incubator over the next year through a range of follow-up events in 2015 and 2016.

Reflecting on the event, Kiumars Hamidian, Partner at BearingPoint says: “Entrepreneurship and innovation are an integral part of our DNA. We operate an innovation platform and an incubator at BearingPoint, within which we promote ideas, concepts and methods for creating start-ups and the optimal environment for entrepreneurship. Our aim is to pass on the lessons we’ve learned from these projects to those who urgently need them and to provide start-up structures that provide opportunities.” 

Kiumars Hamidian - BearingPoint

Lukas Bosch, co-organiser of the Impact Week, remarks: “In Africa, as in Europe, that sparkle in the eyes when an idea suddenly becomes tangible seems to be a constant. The team is always the most important. Only if everyone pulls together can an idea be turned into a true innovation. It’s necessary to work together and to accept right from the beginning that it’s only possible if everyone sees eye to eye.”

In September last year McKinsey & Company opened an office in Nairobi, Kenya.


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Event explores the future of project management

03 April 2019

Dada Enterprises, a business consultancy based in London, recently featured on a panel of speakers to explore the key forces impacting on future projects and organisations at the University of West London (UWL) Claude Littner Business School. This was as part of a special evening organised by AK Optimize to commemorate the inaugural West London Project Hub. 

This packed event pulled together dynamic speakers who explored topics facing the future of project management in the UK. The diverse topics included artificial intelligence, project management apprenticeships and future talent management, how to deliver a major project like Thames Tideway, PMOs delivering strategic value, project leadership and Brexit and its implications for project managers.

The event kicked off with an opening address from Amerjit Walia, Director of Project Programs at AK Optimize, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the Association of Project Management (APM). Walia explained that the inaugural event was part of a strategy which aims to make the UWL Claude Littner Business School a centre of excellence for project management. 

Jonathan Norman, Knowledge Hub Manager at the Major Projects Association, then introduced the Major Project Knowledge Hub. This Knowledge Hub aims to improve major project initiation, delivery and innovation through the sharing of knowledge and best practices as defined by an active, global user community. It is an open access source of insight, activities and events designed to encourage knowledge-sharing, collaboration and better planning, initiation and execution of major projects within the UK.

Event explores the future of project management

Sachin Melwani, Managing Director of Dada Enterprises, author of ‘How to Brexit Proof Your Project Strategy’, gave an overview of the constantly shifting Brexit timeline, the various Brexit options available and the potential project delivery impacts. Sachin then shed light on the operational impacts of Brexit, and the practical measures that firms can take to mitigate them. He argued that impact assessments are a major priority, and companies should seek to push ahead on them sooner rather than later. Failure to do so could also leave firms exposed to heightened contingency planning and transition costs as they scramble to be ready – and the cost of contingency planning at the last minute inevitably comes with a sizeable premium.

The event, which coincided with the National Apprenticeship Week 2019, was set-up by Caspar Bartington, Education Manager at the Association for Project Management (APM) – Europe’s largest professional body for project management. 

Steve Wells, acclaimed futurologist, was also on hand to explain the core question of how humanity can be kept at the centre of the AI story in the face of powerful technological shifts reshaping the world and straining the old social fabric. Steve put AI in the context of the other highly disruptive changes happening in parallel which are creating a more complex and multi-faceted business world (e.g. trade tensions, data security, war, terrorism, natural disasters).

Richard Lewis, Client Programme Manager at Tideway London, provided a dose of reality by explaining how topics like apprenticeships, Brexit and AI were not just theories but ‘real’ issues that had to be dealt with at Tideway London to secure the resource base and improve safety management and construction planning. As Client Representative for the Tideway programme (valued at £3.4 billion), Richard reports to the COO and is responsible for the performance of the Programme Management Contractor. Acting as the key client representative to programme-wide external stakeholders, Richard chairs the Alliance Management team consisting of three joint ventures. Richard gave an overview of the Tideway programme, outlining its pioneering engineering initiatives and value for London.

Finally, Stuart Easton, CEO of Transparent Choice, an expert in project prioritisation, explained how companies should constantly measure strategic alignment. This enables businesses to eliminate waste from their supply chains and eliminate the subsequent costs they incur, while allowing for heightened focus on key projects. Easton explained that an AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) is "the way" forward, and no shortcut will work in its place.

Related: Dada Enterprises event explores Brexit impact on project delivery.