Industry Innovation Lab

Carnegie Mellon University Africa (CMU-Africa) Industry Innovation Lab (IIL) works with industry partners, 4th Industrial Revolution Technologies, and CMU's global community of faculty, staff, alumni and students. We seek to develop new innovations that result in new products, services, joint ventures, spin-offs, as well as new startup companies.

We accept entrants to the IIL on a rolling basis depending on resources and space available.

Organizations and corporations can sponsor an Industry Innovation Lab project by submitting a request.

Startups or entrepreneurs with ideas that are seeking collaborators from CMU-Africa are also welcome to submit a request.

We are not presently considering agricultural, informal employment, handicraft, or other web-based marketplace platforms. 

We welcome innovative ideas that are based on exciting technologies in collaboration with industry partners.


Supported projects receive:

  • $10,000 USD of credit and training from Amazon Web Services
  • Allowances for founding teams – as per funds available
  • Office space and facilities on campus at CMU-Africa 
  • Business Development Support – from faculty, staff, and other identified resources
  • Access to CMU’s Global Mentorship Network 
  • Shared Services support as identified and needed
  • Ability to use CMU IIL brand, and participation in events and marketing
  • Support for onward fundraising & funding
  • Additional support and services as they become available


IIL supported projects are selected based upon resources available and include the following criteria:

  • At least one CMU graduate or alumni in a leadership position 
  • Alignment with the missions of CMU-Africa and the Government of Rwanda Proof of Concept Hub Strategy
  • Must solve a tangible, economically viable, Pan-African problem
  • Must have substantial effort invested prior to acceptance into the IIL which includes an analysis of competitors, alternatives, and substitutes to your proposed product or service

If you have interest in collaborating with the IIL then please send an email with a summary of your proposed collaboration or startup idea to the Industry Innovation Lab, at



Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have a corporation or startup that doesn’t yet have a CMU-Africa affiliation?

We can consider assisting you by linking you with students and alumni for further consideration


How long do you provide support for startups?

We anticipate supporting startups for 12-18 months or less if we are able to help them secure funding


Where is your location?

Our Industry Innovation Lab is inside of the CMU-Africa campus in Kigali Innovation City (map link)

How can I apply to receive support?

By sending an email to with your proposed idea and details of what you have and what you believe you need.