Matthew Papakipos is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He is currently an Engineering Director at Facebook, where he works on Facebook WiFi. At Google, he started and ran the Google Chrome OS project. He also ran the HTML 5 Open Web Platform efforts for the Google Chrome web browser. He and his team shipped the fastest WebGL implementation in the Chrome browser. He was the founder and chief technology officer of PeakStream. He was the first Director of Architecture at NVIDIA, where he and his team created the first programmable GPUs. He is the author of more than 60 U.S. patents on processor architecture, compilers, system software, and mobile applications. He has also been a Snibbe Studio and Eyegroove board member.[divider type=”nomargintop”]

1-Andreata MuforoAndreata Muforo is an Investment Director at TLcom Capital Partners, a London and Nairobi based venture capital firm, investing in technology-enabled fast growth businesses across Europe, Israel and Sub-Saharan Africa since 1999. Andreata has extensive experience in corporate finance, venture capital, private equity, and M&A transaction advisory across Africa. Prior to TLcom, she was an Investment Manager at Horizon Africa Capital and an Investment Officer at the African Development Bank where she was in charge of deal sourcing, screening and analysing investments. She is passionate about working with entrepreneurs and is engaged in local partnerships with accelerators and incubators for mentoring and deal flow generation. Andreata holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Economics from Grinnell College in Iowa, USA. [divider type=”nomargintop”]

Johnni Kjelsgaard has been working with business start-ups in East Africa since the late 90’ies as an entrepreneur, consultant, investor, adviser and mentor. Based on this accumulation of know-how and his elaborate academic background, Johnni and his team has developed a unique framework dubbed “Innovate for Impact” (I4I) for supporting social enterprises from the ideation stage through to the pre-growth stage, which includes an extensive peer-to-peer methodology and proprietary learning tool (The Value Compass™) aiding entrepreneurs in their planning and decision making processes, leading them to understand their business better and more holistically, addressing issues that maximizes growth and success, and focuses on the most impactful aspects at different development stages of their start-ups. Besides begin the group CEO of GrowthAfrica, Johnni advises for a number of investment funds and sits on several boards in growth enterprises across the region.

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SiddSidd Goyal is a technology specialist with over 15 years of experience in developing innovative technology solutions in a range of industries- consumer web, enterprise sales, publishing, and labor markets. Currently as CTO of TinyURL, the world’s first link shortener, focuses his energy on architecting large scale systems for realtime data aggregation and analysis. Prior to TinyURL, Sidd was co-founder and CTO of Assured Labor, a mobile marketplace for jobs in emerging markets, that combined the power of SMS and web based technologies to bring efficiencies to informal labor markets in developing economies. Sidd also was a founding member of Isovia, sold to JP Mobile, an enterprise software company that brought sales and customer data to mobile devices through wireless and mobile synchronization technologies. An expert in product strategy and design, Sidd holds multiple patents in the area of mobile synchronization technologies, and graduated from MIT with Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science. [divider type=”nomargintop”]

grayGray Robinson is the Global Recruitment Manager for Village Capital, responsible for managing scouting and recruitment processes to drive a high volume of qualified candidates for each Village Capital program. Before stepping into this role, Gray served as the Recruitment Director and Program Manager for Village Capital VentureWell – Louisville and as a Frontier Market Scout in Istanbul, Turkey. Prior, she was an intern for Innovations for Poverty Action’s Small and Medium Enterprise initiative and a founding member of the Davidson Community Entrepreneurial Fund, an organization providing microloans and business development services to small business owners in Davidson, NC. Gray graduated from Davidson College in 2012 with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Economics.[divider type=”nomargintop”]

jochenJochen Baumeister runs a German based consultancy. His basis for StartUps goes back to his work within futurology for Mercedes Benz in 2000. This experience brought out a lot of creativity. From 2001 to 2005 he established Mobile Ticketing in public transport in Germany with his second company. Since 2006 he supports others in the development and implementation of business ideas and new products. Jochen Baumeister holds a master degree in urban planning and a degree in telecommunication. He executed projects in China, Germany, Nigeria, Slovakia and UK.[divider type=”nomargintop”]

88mph_Team_NikolaiNikolai Barnwell is the program manager at 88mph which invests in web/mobile startups that target African markets. He runs program & operations in Kenya. He previously started a +$1m hotel business and  brings hands-on knowledge on how to get tech products off the ground in Kenya.[divider type=”nomargintop”]

Mbwana Alliy is the founder and managing partner of Savannah Fund, an Africa focused Technology Venture Capital fund. He is passionate about product development and launching new ventures in technology. He is an experienced Product Manager within consumer web, enterprise Software & SaaS. He is originally from Tanzania and has lived and worked in 3 continents (USA, Europe and Africa). He has a Bachelor’s Engineering degree from Bristol University and an MBA from Stanford Graduate school of Business.[divider type=”nomargintop”]

Erin Connor has served as the Kenya Country Manager for Grameen Foundation (GF) since 2011, overseeing GF’s programs in Financial Services, Health and Agriculture, leveraging mobile technology to increase access to financial and information services among the poor. Erin joined GF in 2005 to help launch and manage its Post-Tsunami Microfinance Initiative, in response to the December 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Over the course of her time at GF, Erin has managed programs and partnerships across Asia, MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa. Erin holds a bachelor’s degree in Chinese Studies from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in International Development from American University.[divider type=”nomargintop”] sarahSarah Ngamau is an eclectic business enthusiast, helping to grow sustainable SME’s through private equity. Sarah is currently the investment manager at TBL mirror fund. Prior to that, she was the senior investment analyst, where her role involved: deal sourcing, screening and evaluating new investment opportunities on technical, financial and economic viability, analyzing and appraising financial information and preparation of financial models and management of the investment process and consequently management of the portfolio. She has worked with KEMSA’s finance department and is also a mentor at the GrowthHub.[divider type=”nomargintop”] nina-300x300Nina Werner  joined Mara Foundation in November 2012 as Regional Director, Tanzania to establish the Mara Mentor and Mara Launchpad programmes. In July 2013, Nina became Regional Director and is now also responsible for Mara Foundation’s operations in Kampala. Previously, Nina was the Head of Planning & Development at World Trade Center Dar es Salaam. Nina holds a BSc in Bioengineering, School of Life Sciences and Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland and a MSc and a MSc in Management, Technology, and Economics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. Nina is based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.[divider type=”nomargintop”]

Jonathan Levi

Jonathan Levi is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and INSEAD MBA from Silicon Valley. After a successful exit in 2011 and a stint in venture capital, he shifted his focus to social entrepreneurship. Recently, Jonathan has been tasked with business development and strategy at nFrnds, a company specializing in mobile solutions for the BoP, and is researching opportunities in tech education for developing markets. Jonathan is a top-selling instructor on Udemy, a Board Member & Investor at Wiser and KUTOA, former President of Entrepreneurs’ Organization Silicon Valley, and Principal of Lucid Path Consulting. He is based in Tel Aviv.[divider type=”nomargintop”]

isis Branded as one of ‘Africa’s Top 20 Youngest Power Women’ by Forbes, Isis Nyong’o has made her mark scaling media and digital businesses across the continent over the past decade. Isis is a founding principal of the strategic advisory firm Asphalt & Ink. Prior to this Isis led InMobi’s Africa team, specialized in mobile and local content partnerships at Google and led MTV Network’s commercial entry into Africa. Isis holds degrees from Stanford University and Harvard Business School. Among other accolades, she was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. [divider type=”nomargintop”] erik Erik Hersman facilitates a host of web, mobile and community projects through organizations like the iHub, a tech innovation hub which brings together entrepreneurs, hackers, designers and the investment community. He co-founded Ushahidi, which allows users to share breaking news through text messaging, and continues to revolutionize and empower journalists, watchdog groups, and everyday people around the world. He is also the founder of the BRCK, a backup generator for the internet, and is a general partner in the Savannah Fund. He is one of the founding organizers of Make Faire Africa, an annual event to showcase the inventors around Africa. He is a board member at m:lab and Akirachix. He is also a TED Senior Fellow and a PoP Tech Faculty Fellow.[divider type=”nomargintop”] PhilPhilipp Kandal is General Manager EU of Telenav / skobbler. Before that he was co-founder and CTO of skobbler, which was successfully sold to Telenav in 2014. Skobbler is one of the few profitable consumer app companies and has won various prices such as the Navteq LBS challenge 2009 as the most innovative European LBS start-up and currently has over 4 million users. The company’s headquarter is in Berlin but has the majority of the team in Cluj, with more than 60 people. Philipp is in charge of the Romanian development team and the German product team. You can follow Philipp on Twitter @apphil  or connect with him on LinkedIn. [divider type=”nomargintop”] Joe HurdJoe Hurd’s expertise lies at the intersection of business, policy, and the law. Currently, he is the Vice President, Global Public Policy and Corporate Affairs for UniversityNow, Inc ( In addition, Joe is the Managing Partner of The Katama Group, LLC, a consulting firm that provides international expansion and strategic advisory services to start-up companies. Prior to joining UniversityNow, between 2009 and 2012 Joe was a political appointee in the Obama Administration, advising U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and his successor, John Bryson, on the National Export Initiative, export promotion and trade policy issues.[divider type=”nomargintop”] timthumbYaron Kniajer is Managing Director of Rhodium, an investor in early-stage technology driven ventures in Israel, New York, and Silicon Valley. Yaron possesses extensive operational and investment experience both in Israel and internationally. Prior to joining Rhodium, Yaron worked in London as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers’ Telecom & Media Group, where he was closely involved in several M&A and financing transactions.Before joining Lehman, Yaron was the CFO of Mediagate, which was acquired by an Israeli telecom company. Prior to Mediagate, Yaron was a Manager at Ernst & Young, where he focused on tech & telecom companies.Yaron serves as a member or observer on the Board of Directors of, GreenSQL, Yotpo, CaptainUp and (up until its acquisition by Facebook). Yaron holds an MBA from the London Business School (Distinction), and is a Certified Public Accountant. Yaron is passionate about working closely and partnering with entrepreneurs and early stage ventures. [divider type=”nomargintop”] bahniman_hazarika Bahniman Hazarika is the Director of Investments at Gray Ghost Ventures, an Atlanta based,  emerging markets focused investment firm. He is involved in all aspects of the deal process including sourcing, transaction negotiation and execution, and portfolio company oversight. Prior to joining Gray Ghost Ventures, Bahniman worked at Viscogliosi Brothers, LLC (VB), the first venture capital/private equity and merchant banking firm dedicated to the musculoskeletal and orthopedics sector of the healthcare industry. While at VB, he executed several transactions, including the largest ever private equity investment in an orthopedics company in the US at that time. Prior to VB, Bahniman worked as an Investment Manager at Navigation Capital Partners, Atlanta. He also held positions with Wachovia Securities, New York (Consumer & Retail Investment Banking Group), and Ernst & Young Advisory Services, New Delhi, India. Bahniman holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from SRCC (University of Delhi) and an MBA with a concentration in Finance and Accounting from Emory University, Atlanta.[divider type=”nomargintop”] christinaChristina Tamer is currently the investment analyst at Invested Development. Prior to that, she was the marketing and research manager at the same company. She is tuned to trends and research in technology (agriculture, communications, mobile), alternative energy, international development (particularly in Africa), social enterprise, and early-stage investing. She’s been recognized for Excellence in Marketing and have experience designing, implementing, and maintaining marketing strategies, with an emphasis on branding and social media marketing. She is also a strong researcher and communicator (oral and written). She has also worked with Village Capital as the Boston program Manager and Project Have Hope. [divider type=”nomargintop”]


Eric Osiakwan has over fifteen years of ICT industry leadership across Africa and the world. He has worked in 32 African countries establishing, businesses, ISPs, ISPAs, IXPs. He serves on the board of Bulltagger, Clak Impressions, Kuzima, SMSGH, VC4Africa, Seed Engine and Appfrica. He co-authored the “Open Access Model”, “Negotiating the Net” – the politics of Internet Diffusion in Africa and “The Internet in Ghana” with the Mosaic Group. He is a fellow of TED Global, Poptech, University of Maryland and Stanford University. He is also an affiliate of Media Lab, MIT and visiting fellow at the Berkman Center, Harvard University[divider type=”nomargintop”] henriBefore starting in 2013, Henrik Albertsen was the Managing General Partner of Nordic Venture Partners for 12.5 years managing more than 400 mill USD of institutional money and signing of more than 350 Venture deals. From around 15 years of Venture experience, Henrik helped out building up and exiting numerous successful IT companies. Henrik holds an M.Sc. in Engineering, Computer Science from the Technical University of Denmark and an E*MBA from SiMi.[divider type=”nomargintop”] JL CHF photo Based in Nairobi, Jason Loughnane works on Grameen Foundation’s Capital Markets team, where he is responsible for reviewing and conducting diligence on social enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa for potential investment by Grameen Foundation’s Pioneer Fund. Prior to joining Grameen, Jason was a Financial Analyst on the Development Finance team at Global Communities (formerly CHF International). He received his Masters in International Relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and prior to that was an investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs in New York. Jason has previously worked on microfinance engagements in Tanzania, Colombia, Honduras, Ecuador, Vietnam, and the Philippines.[divider type=”nomargintop”] avator-icon Rajeev Shah M.A. (Oxon), M.B.A. Geneve was born in Mombasa in 1958. He is a graduate of Oxford University with Masters in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and also an M.B.A. from the University of Geneva. He has worked in the Steel Industry in Kenya and Nigeria as well as worked in Hong Kong and China. He built a multi-national organisation, headquartered out of Hong Kong, spanning several Asian and Australasian countries including Australia, Papua New Guinea, India and China. The group was active in manufacturing, trading,M and A, property and financial activities in these countries with a sales turnover of circa USD50 million.In 2004 he relocated to London and is now active in Property, Manufacturing and Portfolio Investments together with business advisory services in mergers and acquisitions. [divider type=”nomargintop”] 5-Mr Maurizion Caio-35Maurizio Caio is a founder and Managing Partner of TLcom Capital LLP. His current board positions include Movirtu in the UK and South Africa; PacketFront in Sweden; TheBlogTV in Italy; Medial Lario in Luxembourg and the US; and Topica in the US. He was previously a board member of Netscalibur in Italy and RDFMedia in the UK. He was a founding partner of Bain & Company in Italy and was – until April 1999 – a Director of Bain & Company. Previously, he was with McKinsey and Company in Europe, focusing on technology and growth strategy. He has spent 15 years advising CEOs and senior management of European and Silicon Valley telecommunications and technology companies on strategy, operations, commercial development and partnerships. He also serves as Deputy Chairman of Progetto Continenti, an international cooperation NGO working with local communities in Central America, East Africa and South East Asia, where he leads social entrepreneurship and income generating programs.[divider type=”nomargintop”] rodrigezRodrigo Martinez is a Chilean entrepreneur that consecutively conceived, created and successfully sold two of the world’s largest Internet companies: STI, Brazil’s 4th largest ISP, and hpG, the world’s largest free web hosting service in the portuguese language WITHOUT A SINGLE DOLLAR from investors. STI was built over the course of 7 years. After exiting STI, he applied all the lessons he learned to create and sell hpG in only 18 months with a valuation 3 times bigger than STI. Among others, his current investments include, a social dating network where no fake profiles are created and JFDI.Asia, an accelerator based out of Singapore. He is a success oriented, natural pattern finder, problem solver and self-made autodidact that is passionate about success and obsessed with obtaining the maximum results with the minimum investment in time and money. [divider type=”nomargintop”] hichamHicham Haddouti is the Financial Associate of PGS Invest, an investment fund in Africa focused on Agro-business, Education, Clean-tech, Healthcare and Construction. He is also a member of the Due Diligence Committee of Beyond Capital Fund, an impact investment fund and he previously worked for Endeavor and helped setting up its third office in Africa. Endeavor, a non-profit organization, was formed with the purpose of promoting entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Prior to his MBA, Hicham developed a career in strategy consulting and finance, working for many companies in Europe and Africa. [divider type=”nomargintop”] svein Svein Mork Dahl is currently CEO of Frolandia and  Managing Partner of Inventure Management Ltd. He has co-founded several companies including Inventure Management Ltd., and has a long experience working with international SMEs and startups.He is known for his strong command of international business protocol and experience conducting business with foreign governments and executives across the globe with more than 10 years experience from the financial industry sector. He holds a Master of Laws (LL.M) from University of Oslo, Norway in corporate law. He is a sought after lecturer and speaker on entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship and responsible investing.[divider type=”nomargintop”]

Nathan Gonzalez is an investment officer with Venture Lab, leading the team’s work in East Africa. Prior to joining Accion, he worked at McKinsey & Company for four years, where he spent the majority of his time embedded on client projects and leading research efforts in the areas of payments, consumer financial services, and financial inclusion. At McKinsey, Nate developed an in-depth knowledge of the payments space, including both strategy and operational aspects for both bank and non-bank industry players. Specifically, he focused on the adjacency between payments and efforts to provide affordable financial services to undeserved populations both in the US and developing markets. Nate received a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

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