Ideas Festival 2023


Creativity flows ceaselessly in our world, brimming with impulses and motivations to spark ideas in our everyday lives. Often, we experience a fleeting thought that appears brilliantly promising, only to let it slip away into the recesses of our minds. It’s a common occurrence to later encounter news or developments that make us exclaim, “But I had this idea first!” 

However, it’s important to recognize that having great ideas and entertaining dreams of success during sleepless nights is just the beginning.


This is where the Ideas Festival came into play. Recognizing the gap between ideation and realization, the Research and Innovation Office, last year (2022), introduced the inaugural Ideas Festival at Strathmore University. Its mission? To:

🔬Nurture innovative and entrepreneurial solutions.

💡Expedite positive metamorphoses & play a role in enhancing the world we inhabit.

🤝Foster interdisciplinary research & collaboration.

2023: Ideas Festival

This year, the Research and Innovation team swung into action preparing for a bigger and better Ideas Festival. With the call for submissions released at the beginning of August, a wave of enthusiastic students eagerly signed up to participate. In response to this theme, ‘Caring for People and Planet’🌍🌿 our exceptionally talented students submitted a plethora of innovative ideas, showcasing their dedication to making a positive impact on society and the environment. Some innovative ideas included: Homey Systems with an energy management solution for tracking usage, automating functions, and optimizing electricity to reduce wastage’s impact; and Go Green team offering industrial factories with CO2 monitoring devices and a clean energy initiative platform to reduce emissions. 

It was truly inspiring to see our #SUAlumni actively participating in the Ideas Festival.  Mr. Livingstine Odero, for instance, innovated the idea “Weqonekt”, a digital hub that seeks to link farmers & businesses in agriculture, employing tech to match organized farmer groups.

Masterclasses for Mentorship and Skill Enhancement

Taking a different approach this year, the Ideas Festival incorporated masterclasses as a means of mentorship and skill enhancement. These masterclasses provided a unique opportunity for presenters to delve deeper into the intricacies of their respective fields and learn from seasoned experts. This addition was aimed at further empowering students to develop their ideas and solutions.

The Masterclasses encompassed a range of key topics essential for students’ skill enhancement while nurturing their ideas. These topics included: “How to Pitch Your Idea and Present It” facilitated by Kimathi Ikiao; a session on “Legal and Intellectual Property” conducted by Dr. Melissa Omino; and an exploration of “Product Design” facilitated by Davis Waithaka, among other pertinent subjects. These sessions were carefully curated to equip students with crucial skills and knowledge as they worked on refining their ideas and solutions.

Flea Market

Innovation and entrepreneurship are like two peas in a pod.  Entrepreneurs take innovation and run with it, turning ideas into gold in the market. On the flip side, innovation kicks it up a notch when it’s hustled through the entrepreneurial journey, turning dreams into reality.

During the Ideas Festival Flea Market, budding entrepreneurs had a platform to exhibit both their products and their entrepreneurial acumen. This event not only celebrated innovation but also offered a significant opportunity for these student entrepreneurs to transform their creative ideas into successful market ventures, showcasing the powerful synergy between innovation and entrepreneurship.

You can innovate

“With the #IdeasFestival, we are telling you, you can and you should. Take something out of thin air and turn it into something concrete.” ~ Dr. Vincent Ogutu, Vice Chancellor, Strathmore University.

After weeks of presenting their ideas and impressing the judges, progressing from the initial knockout rounds to the quarterfinals and advancing to the semifinals, the culmination of the 2nd Ideas Festival Finals took place on Friday, September 1st, 2023, at the Microsoft Auditorium.

To start the crisp Friday morning, Prof. Izael Da Silva, DVC Research and Innovation, encouraged and reminded the students in attendance of the University’s commitment to prioritize research and innovation, which is one of Strathmore University’s fundamental pillars.

The keynote speaker, Mr. Jackson Obare, Regional Manager at @ForumCivHubESA, echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing that innovations across various fields are imperative to tackle the challenges we face and safeguard the well-being of both humanity and the environment.

The key areas of innovation that contribute to sustaining the future for people and the planet are: 

☀️Renewable energy sources, 🔁Circular economy,🌱Sustainable agriculture,🚌Green transportation, 🏡Human settlement/habitation, 🌊Clean water and sanitation,🦏Biodiversity conservation,🌵Climate adaptation and resilience,📱 Digital solutions for sustainability, 👩‍🏫Education and awareness and💡Social innovation.

Ideas Fest Triumph

Notably, the students brought on board their A-game, showcasing their utmost creativity and sparking curiosity among the audience. The awards are as follows:

#SUIdeasFest23 winners🏆- ReFabriCrafters by Diljot Dhindsa and Yashvi Bhadania

💡The global spotlight now shines on sustainable production of goods, harmonizing with nature. Volumes of discarded textiles clog landfills and cause pollution when burned.

1st runners up🏆- Go Green by Brian Karuga and Trevor Osborne

💡The team offers industrial factories CO2 monitoring devices & a clean energy initiative platform to reduce emissions; inclusive of hardware installation fee & subscription for energy analysis & carbon footprint reporting.

3rd position🏆- TBC by Arnold Ochieng , Emmanuel Kenga, and Elisha Kiprotich

💡Sustainable IT lab model for rural areas.

💥Their initiative focuses on cost reduction via an automated system that powers down idle computers and optimizes energy usage for network devices.  

4th position🏆- Weqonekt by Livingstone Odero

💡A digital hub linking farmers & businesses in agriculture, employing tech to match organized farmer groups. 

💥Goal = facilitate transparent trading for sustainability.

5th position🏆- Homey System by Andrew Nzioki, Fridah Muna, and Andrew Nderitu

💡Homey Systems offers an energy management solution for tracking usage, automating functions, and optimizing electricity to reduce wastage. 

Try and do something, something ambitious even if you fail. Every time you try, you get better and better and one day you’ll hit that jackpot. – ~ Dr. Vincent Ogutu, Vice Chancellor, Strathmore University.


This article was written by Jemmy Kamau. 

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