Happy International Women’s Day

Women will continue to be crucial to Africa’s development.

In June 2019 I wrote a piece outlining why I believe this to be true and how we at Impact Africa Network are setup to fully capitalize on female talent as a key strategic advantage.

Since then, we have proceeded to intentionally execute against this strategy and by International Women’s Day this year, we have a total of 7 out of 10 leadership roles occupied by women across our organization.

Meet the women of Impact Africa Network(5 mins)

The fundamental thesis is that women are in general better equipped to nurture…


Two Year Traction Report

January 2021 marks our two year anniversary; and even we, have been surprised by what we have accomplished so far.

We launched IAN around my apartment dining table in Nairobi with 6 wide eyed interns who were the very first cohort of what has evolved to become our Innovation Fellowship program.

How it started

The idea is to create an environment that can absorb Africa’s most abundant resource, her young talent, and immerse them in a crucible that shifts their mindsets and while imparting world class execution skills by putting them on the front lines of developing ideas into early stage startups.

It…


I posted an article on my experience as a black person in Silicon Valley and it got some attention. Some tech CEOs were moved to action. This particular piece is a call to action for those moved enough by the original piece to support the work we are doing with Impact Africa Network to bridge the genius / opportunity gap for young talented Africans.

The last thing one expects on a Sunday morning is an email from a successful Silicon Valley CEO acknowledging what you have written, and informing you that the Executive Chairman at LinkedIn has posted your work…


Dedicated to the memory of all those killed for being black

I don’t remember the specific moment when I fully accepted that my life in America was structurally compromised, that there was a glass ceiling along with four constricting walls to opportunity.

That not being a highly gifted athlete, artist, or celebrity of some sort whose job is to entertain the American public meant that in the American collective conscious I was surplus to requirements, a problem to be tolerated.

However, I do remember the specific moment when I realized that America was killing me. It was late 2016. I lived in Oakland at the time, where I had moved after…


*Tupac voice*

Africa’s startup ecosystem has a diversity problem. Believe it or not this is a snapshot of the entrepreneurs getting funded in Africa.

Image sourced from a tweet sent by an individual who happens to be a white male, living in London whose salaried job is to, believe it or not, judge African startups for grant funding. The tweet was adoringly accented by one of those blond haired emoji’s behind a laptop. I mean how tone deaf can a supposed educated human being be?

What does this mean? Is Africa utterly incapable of producing homegrown entrepreneurs capable of co-founding investable…


The secret to Silicon Savanna’s future

More than most, my life has been disproportionately influenced by women.

I was raised by a single mother who had me at 19. She had four sisters, whose presence loomed large over the first couple of decades of my life, shaping my worldview and cultivating a deep connection to the feminine.

From my mother I learned what style, professionalism, and resilience when facing incredible odds looks like. I had more than a front row seat to witness a woman curve her path through a male dominated world, which at the time I couldn’t appreciate but today stand in awe.


This is slide #1 on our fundraising pitch deck. Wish us luck!

In 2019 life offers more possibilities for more people than at any other time in recorded history. But still, nowhere close to equitably.

Lyft, the other more huggable ride share startup from San Francisco IPO’d yesterday. Two college friends who started offering rides on campus via a Facebook app less than 10 years ago are now newly minted billionaires, and in their success wake dragging a cackle of over the moon billionaires, multi millionaires, and millionaires.

Before ride sharing the taxi industry with it’s prohibitively high capital requirements…


This morning I came across a super insightful blog post by one David Ventzel titled; “Why most European startup accelerators are dead,…..” which for the life of me I now can’t find to link back to :(

The main takeaway from David’s post was that any accelerator must have atomic level specificity into what they do to collapse space and time for startups.

I arrived in Nairobi a year ago on a mission to duplicate the value and wealth creation I had known in the Bay Area as a path to our societies economic development.

While the vision remains solidly…


“Where there is no vision, the people perish”

What is Silicon Savanna’s vision? What are we trying to become? What does success look like when it finally arrives?

Nairobi’s startup ecosystem cannot be divorced from the broader national context in which it exists. Indeed, it is a microcosm of that larger narrative. If we are to understand Silicon Savanna we must step back and consider the country.

What is Kenya’s vision? Where are we going? What do we stand for? What would success even look like for us?

Without concrete and specific answers to these questions it is impossible to expect anything from citizens beyond a survivalist, short-termist…


Executive Summary

In December 2018, Impact Africa Network conducted a survey with entrepreneurs in Nairobi with the aim of understanding perceptions of, and experiences with startup accelerators. The questions we were seeking to answer were:

  1. Are entrepreneurs in Nairobi experiencing accelerator fatigue?

2. Beyond help fundraising do entrepreneurs see any value in accelerators?

3. How well do entrepreneurs understand accelerators?

4. What are the top ecosystem gaps entrepreneurs struggle with?

Click here for the report

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