Kenyan Innovator Awarded Ksh2 million for Special Wheelchair 

  • Linccel off-road wheelchair
    Linccel off-road wheelchair designed by Lincoln Wamae
    File
  • A local innovator has received acclamation for his electric wheelchairs designed to withstand rough terrains. 

    Lincoln Wamae, who hails from Githurai won a cash prize of Ksh2 million for creating electric wheelchairs that can be driven through portholes and untarmacked roads. 

    The founder of Linccell Technology also bagged three months of technical dedicated support to scale up his innovation through the Innovate Now Accelerator Programme. 

    Wamae, who has sold more than 12 electric wheelchairs in Kenya, is looking to expand the innovation through the prize money and the support.

    The wheelchair is also convenient for indoor use.

    Linccel off-road wheelchair
    The Linccel off-road wheelchair on display
    File

    Innovate Now Accelerator Programme, which is implemented by Amref Enterprises Limited and Global Disability Innovation Hub, alongside local ecosystem partners and is part of the UK aid-funded AT2030 programme contributed to the prize.

    "Involving people with disability at every stage of the innovations is a sure plan to break discriminative barriers that limit the potential of many. I was glad to note all the projects had a strong user-centred approach to their product development,” Josephine Gitonga, social development officer at DFID, who was one of the judges noted.

    The winner was announced during the virtual Demo Day of Innovate Now where five finalists in Cohort 1 pitched their businesses and products to a panel of judges.

    Linccell Technology is a startup that is leading in the electric personal mobility industry in Kenya and is based in Nairobi's Githurai 45 estate.

     "When I started LT a year ago, our mission was clear -we wanted to provide effortless, durable and affordable electric personal mobility for all in Africa. To-date we are on course with that mission and have designed, built and delivered more than a dozen electric wheelchairs, bicycles and scooters in Kenya," Wamae stated.

    Rear tyre suspension of the electric wheelchair
    Rear tyre suspension of the electric off-road wheelchair
    File

    The finalists, who have undergone a six-month acceleration programme, have gained exposure to international investors and opportunities to co-design and test their products with persons with disabilities.

    The free accelerator model combines mentorship, workshops, guest lectures and hands-on disability expertise to help startups reach product-market fit and become investable and scale ready.

    The programme uses an innovative active learning model and live labs to provide support to innovators by helping them overcome barriers to scaling assistive technology.