Written by: Entrepreneurs Profile

Morris Mbetsa, the Trailblazer Putting Kenya on the Innovation Map

Morris Mbetsa
Morris Mbetsa, innovator par excellence

Morris Mbetsa has come a long since his days as a primary school kid in a sleepy coastal village.

He was used to playing tricks using his knowledge of electricity; it often got him into trouble.

Little did he know that his knowledge could be harnessed. It could be turned into commercial applications and transform his life.

He is today a successful entrepreneur making money from his innovative solutions.

Morris Mbetsa’s White House Invitation

Morris has worked for some of the biggest names in technology but quit to set up his outfit. He has been invited to the White House, has attracted attention on a global scale due to his brilliance.

He has come a long way to now become a successful entrepreneur. Morris Mbetsa aims to put Kenya on the map in coming up with innovative solutions.

Mbetsa has been to China to study as well as the US, and he has also set up shop in Nigeria. This is a person who is not afraid to spread his wings only in what is familiar.
He has come up with a drone taxi that works and is still working on making it look better.

When you mention Kenya, Morris Mbetsa is one of those who want it to be synonymous with innovations.

The Rural Lifestyle Mbetsa Encountered

Mbetsa is a person who did, at his age, what many consider to be a genius. He used ordinary tools to make practical solutions for his then rural lifestyle.

At about seven years, he had used a bicycle dynamo to come up with a miniature generator. Some of his other exploits read like a sci-fi movie.

What can you say about a kid who used his knowledge to come up with a transmitter that interfered with the signals at a video den to gain free entrance?

The owner of the video den had no alternative than to let the ambitious kid in for free. It was better than losing money.

Morris Mbetsa’s High School Exploits

During his time at Chala High School, his pranks became more pronounced. At the schoolmate’s prodding, he came up with a device that could shut off the electricity supply for his school. They would not have evening preps.

In a school setting, this was a serious blow to the normal order of routine activities, and an electrician had to be called in.

The expert brought in couldn’t be able to pinpoint the problem. Mbetsa offered clues as to where the issue was.
Once it was resolved, his goose was cooked.

The electrician reported his mischief to the principal, and this saw him get expelled.

He was forced to do his KCSE exams as an outsider. He passed his exams and got admitted to the Technical University of Kenya to do electrical engineering.

Quit School

For a man who used to come up with practical solutions, it seemed that his course at the university was majoring on the theoretical side.

He says that some of the things he was being taught were part of his computer studies as a high school student. He had to quit.

He came up with a car security system after a carjacking incident that involved one of his friends.

The car security system could enable the car owner to stop it remotely.

Media Attention

It gave him a lot of attention from the media.

Then boss at the National Council for Science and Technology Prof Shaukat Abdulrazak saw the potential in the then 19-year-old innovator.

Prof Shaukat gave him support and mentorship.
Mbetsa went on a three-month-long trip to China to learn all he could and sharpen his skills.

He registered his business and worked on producing more solutions.

His car security system innovation earned him a Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Mandela Washington Fellowship.

He got a chance to spend another three months now in the US at the University of Notre Dame.

Working for Tech Heavyweights

He landed a job at IBM soon after and worked on it. He quit after he felt he was not being challenged. He was working on the same thing daily, the same part of the business.

He came back to Kenya and worked at yet another tech heavyweight Microsoft.
Soon after, he quit and set on his own path under his own outfit as an entrepreneur.

With no capital, he used to do work for Chinese companies. In place of payment got the much-needed machinery.

From the car security system as a teenager, he has grown as more knowledge and experience comes his way.

He now produces speed governors, thermometers and other electronic devices at his Mombasa Road factory. He operates as Numeral IOTand has hired more than 70 people to keep it running.

Morris Mbetsa also came up with a passenger drone that he plans to finetune. If you think innovators such as Elon Musk only reside in America, you are very wrong.

In Morris Mbetsa you have a Kenyan paving the way for many others to follow.

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Last modified: October 14, 2020