Industry Innovation Lab

The Industry Innovation Lab (IIL) is a tech incubator at Carnegie Mellon University Africa. Established in 2020, the IIL supports CMU-Africa students, alumni, and other entrepreneurs in the innovation ecosystem to develop ventures utilizing 4th Industrial Revolution technologies. The incubator seeks to develop innovations that result in new products, services, joint ventures, spin-offs, and startup companies. The IIL supports entrepreneurs in accelerating product development, launching their companies, and growing their businesses while working with industry partners and Carnegie Mellon's global community.

Get involved and learn more
  • Contact us to get involved in the IIL. We welcome partnerships with organizations, corporations, and startups. You do not need to have a Carnegie Mellon affiliation.

Support provided to IIL entrepreneurs

12 month personal, business, and technical development support including:
  • $5,000 USD in Amazon Web Services credit and $1,500 in Amazon Web Services consulting services
  • Available milestone-based funding
  • Introductions to angel investors, incubators, accelerators, venture capitalists, CMU-affiliated companies, and alumni startups
  • Incubator co-working space and facilities
  • Invitations to attend and participate in workshops and events
  • Access to Carnegie Mellon University's global mentorship and coaching network
  • Privilege to use the CMU-Africa and IIL brand
Second Life Storage at Hanga PitchFest

Source: Flickr, H.E. President Paul Kagame

Second Life Storage, a CMU-Africa alumni startup hosted by the Industry Innovation Lab, won second place at the 2021 Hanga PitchFest. The win came with a $20,000 prize.

Current projects supported by the IIL

Inter Connect Point: Agri-tech and agri-industry process automation company with a focus on delivering innovative solutions leveraging the Industrial Internet of Things n Africa. They have developed a tea “eNose” and analytics platform, which supplements current tea processing procedures using low power sensor devices and a data analytics engine to determine optimum levels of tea processing to:

  • Increase tea quality and consistency
  • Increase incomes and regularity of payments to processors and farmers
  • Improve tea factory design

Watch their pitch video

Hepta Analytics: Their solution Keza, is an electronic platform that facilitates catalogue management and customer journey management via a virtual artificial intelligence system and 360-degree analytics for subject matter experts in Africa without them needing to learn about technology or underlying frameworks. This includes both subject matter experts in urban and rural areas. Subject matter experts only need to plug and play enabling their visibility and connection to the rest of the African continent through our network of trusted partners such as logistic companies and addressing companies in Africa.

Second Life Storage: Second Life Storage is a purpose-driven company tackling the challenge of e-waste with the goal of building customized energy storage systems from used lithium-ion batteries to provide secondary energy to homes and businesses that do not receive the reliability they need from their grid connection.

By extending the lifespan of the battery cells through repurposed battery packs, Second Life Storage offers clean, reliable, and affordable energy. The company hopes to apply data science and logistical system design to not only produce energy storage at low cost but also address maintenance and supply chain anxieties of customers through a service model. 

Aurora Tech: Aurora aims to transform and disrupt logistics in Africa by providing a platform with state-of-the-art technology powered by AI and machine learning. Aurora connects shippers (importers and exporters) and carriers (truckers and freight-forwarders) with an open market model that allows the shippers to request bids, have alternative routes or carriers (vetted), facilitate payment, and most importantly ability to track the status of the shipment at the comfort of their smartphones. Carriers also have similar opportunities to bid for shipment, tracking, locating and fuel monitoring, ability to easily manage and pick up loads, guarantee payments, and facilitate operations.

Explore more about the IIL

The IIL is located at CMU-Africa in Kigali Innovation City. Learn more about our location.