Gearbox (based in Nairobi, Kenya) has been a key hardware development incubator hub in the East Africa Region helping to local engineers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and startups. Founded in 2014, with a mission of ”building things that matter”, Gearbox has helped to solve the challenge of developing hardware innovation by providing access to equipment, skilled resources and the engineering methodology required to turn ideas into market driven solutions. Many of these solutions are built on Industry 4.0 technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT), Automation, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.
In 2021, Gearbox Europlacer, a joint venture between Gearbox, Parable trust and Wellers impact was launched as the next step to scaling these high-tech hardware innovations, by providing world-class electronic manufacturing services, locally. The capacity to manufacture electronic devices right here in Kenya, is a great value addition to electronic hardware developers by reducing supply lead times, immediate aftersales support, and the ability to scale in a sustainable manner.
To leverage on this growing technological capacity in East and Central Africa, Raspberry Pi, the worlds leading low cost computing provider, has approved Gearbox Europlacer as an official Raspberry Pi Approved Design Partner. Launched in December 2020, this program is dedicated to connecting developers who want to integrate Raspberry Pi with a selected list of hardware and software design companies who can support their industrial applications. Every Approved Design Partner is reviewed and approved by Raspberry Pi to ensure that each has the technical and commercial abilities to design products to industry requirements.
As a Raspberry Pi authorized design partner, we get direct support from Raspberry Pi, and offer technical knowledge and expertise in designing and manufacturing any custom products that use the Raspberry Pi Modules. We will also create local programs to support local developers with any custom design solutions based on Raspberry Pi.
Since the covid pandemic started in March 2020, the electronic hardware industry has struggled with supply chain issues especially related to microchips. The result has been 10x price increase of the regularly used chips and modules, which has had a major impact on the electronic hardware market. As a Raspberry Pi design partner, we guarantee the developers with a predictable supply and cost of any Raspberry Pi products such as the RP2040 microchip among others. We ensure that we have an adequate supply of any Raspberry Pi components ready for assembly to your custom PCBs.
We can provide any information and data you require on any of the Raspberry Pi products. We are also working with the local hardware community in organising events such as the open hardware meetups, and support specific projects that build the experience among the young developers who want to use Raspberry Pi in their projects.
Read more about this partnership here.