Founded by a team of enthusiasts, iRise Hub is the first collaborative workspace in Mogadishu, Somalia. With CEO Abdihakim Ainte at its helm, the center aims to become the premier hub for the exchange of new ideas and solutions that can create a sustainable ecosystem in Somalia and beyond.

Since its inception in 2016, iRise Hub has implemented several initiatives aimed at strengthening and building a sustainable local ecosystem. These initiatives range from local governance to the Rise Academy coding school, which aims to invest in the next generation of software engineers. Each initiative offers a unique solution that combines innovation and social impact.

With its core mission being to boost access to information, iRise Hub works with all players in the community, whatever their economic or social status. It takes a person-to-person approach, builds partnerships then designs personalized programs that enable each startup to immediately enter the market. 

Some of its initiatives include the Mogadishu Tech Summit, an annual event designed to showcase local technology talent and recognize the merits of technology.

It has also initiated the Kobciye Program, a 10-week mentoring program designed to transform ideas into businesses or startups in their early stages to gain traction through deep mentor engagement, rapid iteration cycles, and fundraising readiness.

In terms of achievements, iRise Hub has empowered over 3,000 young people, incubated over 100 entrepreneurs, organized over 50 events and more than 10 programs. It has also impacted over 150 startups. 

Its partners include the UNFPA, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, the Somali Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education, Funzi, and SOS Children's Villages Somalia.

Melchior Koba

Posted On mardi, 03 octobre 2023 13:13 Written by

She has over 20 years of experience in the fields of information technology and information security. She leverages her expertise to help organizations protect their data against cyber attacks in Africa.  

Betsy Mugo Bevilacqua (photo) is the co-founder and head of business strategy at Tabiri Analytics, a cybersecurity company based in Rwanda. Born in Kenya, she moved to the USA to pursue her higher education, earning a Bachelor’s in Information Systems and a Master’s in Business administration from Canisius College.  

In 2018, she co-founded Tabiri Analytics with Edwin Kairu, Victor Kagimu, and Savannah Kadima. Through that cybersecurity company, she provides affordable and effective cybersecurity monitoring for organizations in underserved markets, particularly in Africa. Her company uses hardware sensors, open-source software agents, and cloud computing to quickly detect and respond to cyber threats that might otherwise be ignored by IT staff focused on other tasks.

Since January 2020, she has been the vice president of information security at Chainalysis Inc., a company that provides blockchain analytics and investigation solutions to governments and financial institutions worldwide.

Between 2011 and 2014, she was the Senior Manager of Information Security Risk Management for online retailer eBay. She was later hired by Facebook (now Meta), where she successively held the positions of Information Security Policy and Risk Manager and Head of Information Security Programs and Operations. 

Melchior Koba

Posted On mardi, 03 octobre 2023 13:00 Written by

His entrepreneurial career is a testament to his commitment to social innovation.  His achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, making him a leading figure in the field of social entrepreneurship.

Kelvin Ogholi (photo) is the CEO and one of the co-founders of Cotrust Equity, a finance and credit company that offers unique credit plans to small and medium-sized businesses (both banked and unbanked) in the rural and peri-urban areas of Nigeria, and sub-Saharan Africa in general. 

Born in Nigeria, he began his academic career at Abia State University, graduating with a Bachelor’s in statistics, in 2012. Between 2015 and 2016, he trained in social entrepreneurship and community development at Cambridge University, England.

The social entrepreneur co-founded Cotrust Equity, in 2021, with his partners Alero Sandra and James Okeiyi. Through that credit company, he assesses customers' creditworthiness and offers credit solutions tailored to clients’ needs and culture. Cotrust Equity aims to give over 40 million African businesses the financial means to develop their activities.

Before Cotrust Equity, Kelvin Ogholi co-founded AgroVie, serving as its CEO from 2017 to 2018 and as a non-executive board member for the following three years. AgroVie is a social enterprise that recycles food waste from breweries, catering organizations, and farms into low-cost animal feed and bio-fertilizers. 

He is recognized as an influential and innovative young leader on the African continent. In 2015, he was one of the winners of the Queens Young Leaders Award, making him one of the young visionaries impacting life in Commonwealth countries. In 2020, his company AgroVie was one of the seven finalists of the Elevator Pitch Contest organized by UNITLIFE and Sight and Life.

Melchior Koba

Posted On lundi, 02 octobre 2023 13:10 Written by

IncubMe plays a key role in the advancement of innovation in Algeria and Africa as a whole.  It contributes to the creation of a dynamic, diversified, and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem, supporting project leaders on their entrepreneurial journey.  

IncubMe is a pan-African incubator founded, in 2018, by Algerian entrepreneurs. It supports project leaders by offering an ideal environment that helps them turn their ideas into businesses. 

The incubator offers personalized incubation services that give project owners access to advice, guidance, recommendations, and new, formative, and inspiring experiences. It offers growth and acceleration programs to boost the performance of startups and help them expand into national and regional markets.

Some of the programs it implements include the Summer Break Challenge, a competition for university clubs across the country. There's also Africa By IncubMe, a 3-6 month incubation program designed for both early-stage, advanced startups from several countries. The program offers mentoring, collaboration, and financing opportunities, as well as access to the Algerian and African markets.

IncubMe offers financing opportunities to help startups develop and scale their projects. It also has a network of investors and an investment fund dedicated to African startups.

In addition to its programs and financial support, IncubMe has developed a platform that connects startups with stakeholders in the African entrepreneurial ecosystem. It organizes events and hackathons, offering opportunities to meet, exchange, and collaborate with other entrepreneurs, innovators, experts, and industry players. The incubator regularly organizes themed events, workshops, training courses, and competitions. To date, it has supported over 42 startups and organized more than 20 events.

In 2022, the Algerian Ministry of Startups named it the best incubator nationwide.  

Melchior Koba

Posted On vendredi, 29 septembre 2023 15:06 Written by

He leverages facial biometrics to thwart identity theft and guarantee a high level of confidentiality. His innovation earned him several awards and recognitions. 

Yassine Mountacif (photo) is a young Moroccan-born entrepreneur. He began his studies in Morocco, where he finished his classes (CPGE) in 2011. He then entered the French engineering school Mines Nancy, graduating in materials engineering in 2013. In 2017, he also graduated from Ecole Polytechnique with an engineering degree. He then attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a Master’s in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. 

In 2017, he decided to embark on an entrepreneurial adventure and set up his own company, Unissey where he serves as the CEO. Through the tech company, he offers a facial biometric authentication solution that gives everyone unique and intuitive access to everyday services using only their facials as the authentication method.  

Unissey relies on cutting-edge algorithms that combine live detection and facial comparison, to thwart attempted identity theft and guarantee a high level of security and confidentiality. The company has positioned itself as a major player in facial biometrics in France and abroad. Its clients include well-known companies in the banking, insurance, e-commerce, and healthcare sectors.

Unissey's success is underpinned by a talented and passionate team of experts led by Yassine Mountacif, a visionary and ambitious leader attached to his home country. 

A former research and development engineer (2015) at French automotive supplier Valeo, Yassine Mountacif has been celebrated for his works and innovation. In 2019, he was listed on the Forbes France 30 Under 30 list. 

Melchior Koba

Posted On vendredi, 29 septembre 2023 15:04 Written by

Acelera Angola is an important supporter of change and innovation in Africa. Through its programs and initiatives, it continues to transform the Angolan and African entrepreneurial landscape.

Acelera Angola is a Luanda-based startup accelerator that promotes entrepreneurship and drives creative business in Africa. Founded in 2017 by its managing partner José Carlos Santos, an Angolan entrepreneur, its mission is to support innovative startups with high growth potential, offering them training, mentoring, networking, and financing services.

Under the management of José Carlos Santos, Acelera Angola has set up a series of programs and activities to support startups at different stages of their development.

These include the Clube do Empreendedor, an event organized jointly with the US Embassy in Angola and Unitel, offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to exchange experiences. There's also Acelera Mentoring, an event that offers free mentoring to startups at different stages and gives them the chance to collaborate with specialists.

In addition, Acelera Angola has launched several specific programs such as FEMTECH, a four to six-month business acceleration program for women entrepreneurs, BETA-START which aims to promote entrepreneurship in Angola, and ReStart, a fully digital program for Angolan women entrepreneurs who want to innovate and accelerate the growth of their businesses. Application for the sixth edition of that program was opened on August 1, 2023. 

Since its creation, Acelera Angola has trained over 750 people, launched more than 22 programs across at least 18 target provinces in Angola, and supported more than 362 startups in various sectors.

It has a network of local and international partners who contribute to its development and that of its startups. These include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Angolan government, which has supported several incubation and acceleration programs, and Total Energies.

Acelera Angola is therefore a benchmark accelerator in Africa, contributing to the continent's social and economic transformation through innovation and creativity.

Melchior Koba

Posted On jeudi, 28 septembre 2023 17:04 Written by

Through Voyc AI, his client management compliance research company, he offers companies the possibility to supervise customer interactions and improve customer experience. 

South African Matthew Westaway (photo) is the CEO and co-founder of Voyc AI, an Amsterdam-based start-up that uses artificial intelligence to analyze telephone conversations between companies and their customers. Through that company, he helps companies meet compliance standards and improve customer experience.  

The CEO graduated from the University of Cape Town with a master's degree in computer vision and photogrammetry engineering in 2015. Matthew Westaway is driven by the vision of securing trust between companies and their customers by ensuring consistent quality and care in every interaction.  In 2017, together with his friend Lethabo Motsoaledi, he came up with the idea of creating Voyc AI, after noticing the difficulties companies were experiencing in manually listening to and analyzing recordings of interviews with their customers. The project was launched the following year.

Since then, the former beneficiary of the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa program has attracted dozens of call centers in various regulated sectors in South Africa and England. The startup enables them to reduce compliance risks, improve operational performance, measure customer satisfaction, and identify customer vulnerabilities.

In September 2023, the entrepreneur was selected for ScaleNL Accelerator West Coast 2023, a 12-week immersive program designed to help startup founders enter the US market.

Prior to Voyc AI, the entrepreneur co-founded 3D Power, a company specializing in 3D printing, in 2014. In 2016, he also co-founded Hello Baby Prints, a startup specializing in baby technology, known for its 3D ultrasound printing product, Hello Baby 3D Prints. Matthew Westaway also co-founded Motsoaledi & West, a design-led innovation agency, in 2017.

Melchior Koba

Posted On jeudi, 28 septembre 2023 14:04 Written by

The innovation center WETECH contributes to the empowerment of women and girls in the digital sector. It demonstrates that women can be key players in social innovation and sustainable development in Africa.

WETECH (Women in Entrepreneurship and Technology) is a Cameroonian innovation center that aims to promote tech entrepreneurship and innovation among women.

Founded in 2015 by Crescence Elodie Nonga, a seasoned entrepreneur, WETECH aims to create a network of dynamic women leaders by providing access to opportunities and resources that will help empower women through entrepreneurship and technology.

The center designs and develops coaching and mentoring programs for African girls and women. It also offers them training in entrepreneurship and technology. Among the programs organized by the center is WETECH WILE, which detects, trains, and supports high-potential women entrepreneurs to support their growth and access to investments.  

The center also offers the WETECH WIC (Women in Code) program to teach web and mobile development to women over the age of 18. With the support of the Canadian High Commission in Cameroon, WETECH is developing the FundHer program, which aims to provide women with resources to help them improve their access to financial products and opportunities.  

The latest program it launched is the #eSkills4Girls initiative, which has already enabled 115 young Cameroonian girls to learn computer coding and web development. Present in Cameroon, Senegal, and Togo, WETECH has already supported over 30 projects, organized more than 10 programs and activities, trained over 600 women, and impacted more than 2,500 women.

In 2022, the center won the Joint Innovation Challenge, an international competition organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the International Trade Centre (ITC).

Melchior Koba

Posted On mercredi, 27 septembre 2023 13:44 Written by

After launching two businesses that unfortunately failed, he turned to technology, offering a fintech solution that enables small and medium-sized businesses to manage their accounts and access financial services.

Emmanuel Emodek (photo) is a Ugandan entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of ChapChap, a startup that helps small and medium-sized businesses keep their accounts and access financial services.

After graduating from high school, he opted out of university to help his mother and brothers earn a steady income. For that purpose, he launched two successive businesses which unfortunately failed. Then he met one of his former school teachers, Monica Kiconco Asiimwe, who asked him to come up with an idea for a solution that would help entrepreneurs.

"Monica saw something in me. She told me that she knew I could think up some kind of solution that would help small business owners stay afloat," Emmanuel Emodek indicated in 2019.

Following his former teacher’s advice, in 2016, he launched ChapChap. His co-founders in that endeavor are Monica Kiconco Asiimwe and James Alituhikya, a software engineer and at the same time one of Monica’s former students. ChapChap is an app that enables entrepreneurs to manage their inventory, sales, expenses, and profits and also gives them access to loans, insurance, and markets.  

Since its launch, ChapChap has enjoyed remarkable success. In Uganda, the company already offers its services to over 20,000 micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. In 2019, its CEO was chosen from among eight entrepreneurs to receive the HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneurs Prize awarded by Unilever and Cambridge University's Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Emmanuel Emodek worked as a cabin crew for Air Tanzania Company Ltd from 2005 to 2010. Between 2007 and 2012, he was an independent distributor for QNET Ltd, a lifestyle and wellness company that uses a direct sales business model to offer a wide selection of products.

Melchior Koba

Posted On mardi, 26 septembre 2023 14:34 Written by

She is an inspiration to all those who aspire to create a positive impact on society and the planet through technological innovation. Through her company, she is making Africa greener and cleaner.

Ugwem Eneyo (photo) is a Nigerian engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur. She is the CEO and co-founder of SHYFT Power Solutions, an energy technology company offering innovative Internet of Things (IoT) and software solutions to intelligently connect and manage distributed energy resources in emerging markets, particularly in Africa.

The Nigerian-born entrepreneur completed university studies in the United States, graduating in 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The following year, she entered Stanford University to complete a Master's degree and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

In 2016, she co-founded Solstice Energy Solutions, which was later rebranded SHYFT Power Solutions. The company enables users to reduce their energy costs, carbon footprint, and exposure to toxic gases.

SHYFT Power Solutions has experienced remarkable growth and garnered many prestigious awards. In its inaugural year, the company clinched the MIT Clean Energy Prize and emerged as a finalist in Demo Africa—an esteemed competition hosted by the African Technology Foundation (ATF) that recognizes innovative African enterprises.

Before launching SHYFT Power Solutions, Ugwem Eneyo worked as a trainee environmental and regulatory consultant for ExxonMobil in 2011. In 2013, she was appointed Environmental, Socio-Economic, and Regulatory Advisor for the same company. After completing her master's degree, in 2015, she completed an internship, again at ExxonMobil, but this time as an environmental engineer.

Ugwem Eneyo is recognized as one of the leading figures in the energy sector in Africa and worldwide. Named one of the Forbes 30 under 30 in the energy sector, she has been invited to speak at several prestigious events.

Melchior Koba

Posted On lundi, 25 septembre 2023 13:51 Written by
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