Say Hello to Paulin Dementhon founder and CEO of Drivy. Drivy offers occasional drivers a better alternative to car ownership, while allowing car owners to cut down on car expenses. They are a community of neighbors and travelers who share their cars and like to use their resources more efficiently. They have over 2 million rentals a day. Prior to Drivy, Paulin founded Quivaou. Quivaou was a dynamic ridesharing project. The objective was to match drivers and passengers in real time for short urban rides, using smartphones. It was both technically too complex for a beginner, and marketing-wise had no solution to the critical mass problem.
Julius Odai is Cofounder and Chief Product Officer for Devless. DevLess is a platform that allows developers to easily build robust backends for your web and mobile applications by piecing together plug and play backend modules in as little as 10 minutes. Devless, has been in the MEST incubator since 2015 and is one of the very few African startups with a product targeted at developers.
Say hello to Ashwin Ravichandran, GM of MEST Accra. Ashwin is from India, and has been working with startups since he graduated with a Computer Science degree in 2011. He has worked with startups in the recruitment, lifestyle, education and data + social impact sectors. Ashwin has worked in almost every vertical in a company because he believes every single member of the team counts and their skills can be utilized in every way. His favorite being user experience/user interfaces and customer journeys. Ashwin fell in love with the African Tech space when he joined MEST in 2015. It showed him the true scope and potential of the space here. The challenges faced by Africa are many and each solution is extremely disruptive. He like's the simple fact that technology can be involved in every step in this solution. Be it in the financial, lifestyle or social sector, technology is going to be the backbone.
Neku Atawodi has extensive experience as a self-starter entrepreneur, having spear-headed the launch-to-market of companies in various sectors under her watch. She is also the founder of Malaik, an impact-focused approach to equity crowdfunding in Africa, which gives investors access to the continent’s opportunities, and mediates its risks through a very thorough due diligence process. Previously, Neku worked as a Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, where she developed the FCT’s revolutionary File Tracking System. Neku is passionate about empowering African entrepreneurs through tech, and was a member of founding team for Africa’s pioneer Impact Investment Tracking Platform. Neku is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, and a Clinton Global Initiative Lead Mentor. She holds a Masters Degree in International Business from the European Business School, London, and is an avid equestrian in her spare time. She was recently named as one of Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30.
Meet Ammishaddai Ofori, CEO and Co-founder of Flippy Campus - a social app for tertiary students. Ammishaddai is excited about technology and how it can improve the lives of everyday people. He consult's for start-ups and companies on their branding and go to market strategies. His love for tech got gim co-hosting on Citi Trends, a weekly podcast on Citi 97.3 FM on technology trends from around the world. When He's not being a tech nerd, Ammishaddai write's and perform's poetry and MCs for weddings and professional events. Flippy Campus is a social application that helps students get updated on what is happening on their campuses. On "Flippy", students can get to know other people on their campus, department and halls, they can also discover trending hot topics as well as events happening on campus. Announcements from departments also live on Flippy Campus so students don’t need to visit any notice board for information. It also now allows students to interact with students from other universities.
Say hello to Kelechi Udoagwu, Head of Communications at MEST and Cofounder at Skrife. She's a mentor/coach focused on African graduates and young adults in transitional phases in their lives. Skrife is an online platform that provides brands, startups, digital agencies, entrepreneurs with quality written content by leveraging on an exclusive curated community of freelance writers and editors. In 2016/2017, Kelechi worked with 20+ startups/teams and over 60 individual entrepreneurs to launch and execute dig-marketing and communications strategies to build solid online visibility and grow into sustainable businesses. She contribute's career advice and thought pieces to True Africa, She Inspires Her, For Creative Girls and Bella Naija; and mentor's young entrepreneurs/professionals via The MasterCard Scholars Program and For Creative Girls.
Meet Chris Schultz the founder and CEO of Launch Pad, a startup community and workspace for entrepreneurs, creatives and professionals. Launch Pad was born in New Orleans and is on a mission to help people across the country be successful building their businesses and careers while working in a community where they feel like they belong.
Chris is an active angel investor through Voodoo Ventures, investing in a number of rapidly growing companies in New Orleans and elsewhere including Lucid, 86co, and Neighborland, and Niko Niko.
On this episode you'll learn:
How can coworking spaces differentiate themselves in such a saturated market?
How did New Orlean’s tech scene help rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina?
What is the most effective exchange of value between startup ecosystems?
What startup categories is New Orlean’s strongest in?
Say hello to Albert Stepanyan, founder of Develandoo. Albert is an A.I. Evangelist and Entrepreneur who loves code. He has an entrepreneurial mindset with a passion for coding. Currently, he acts as the CEO and lead strategist at Develandoo. Develandoo is a software accelerator that is changing the way companies build products. His experience includes acting as CTO of a Munich-based Startup accelerator, lead engineer at various enterprises, and lead engineer or technical co-founder on more than 50 high-profile projects. Albert Stepanyan saw two fundamental problems in the way that software products were being developed. 1. Companies were struggling to hire and build teams in house. And 2. Hiring an outside vendor was risky and didn’t always look good to key stakeholders. Albert created Develandoo’s new model to include mixed teams and the ability to hire your team as full-time employees after the project. This model was immediately adopted by startup accelerators and companies such as Kichink, MoneyPark, Swiss Startup Factory, WeLocalize and more. In the first few years of business, Develandoo went from an idea to a million dollar business receiving investment capital. They are operating globally with locations in California, Mexico City, Munich, Berlin, Armenia.
On This Episode You'll Learn:
What are the biggest differences in Western European vs’ Eastern European’s entrepreneurs?
Are AI’s current capabilities being over-estimated by the market?
Why has Berlin overtaken Munich as Germany’s startup hub?
Where in the world do the most successful companies in Develandoo locate to after the program?