PIVOT East judges 2019

Esther Mwikali, Head of Community, Memberships & Operations at Mettā Nairobi

Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Esther Mwikali is passionate about impact investment, entrepreneurship and innovation. Helping spur change in the Kenyan and regional ecosystem, one start-up at a time as the Head of Community, Memberships & Operations at Mettā Nairobi (Nest Group Africa).

Nest Group Global operates corporate accelerator programmes, invests inseed to growth-stage startups, and runs an entrepreneurial community called Mettā. Nest has built an innovation ecosystem to connect the fast-growing markets of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Chandi Tome, Director of Lake Hub

Chandi Tome has 8 years experience as an entrepreneurship across East Africa. In the last 4 years he has actively been involved in shaping the technology ecoystem in Kenya as a director of LakeHub, Western Kenya’s first innovation and technology hub. He has also been involved in other small ventures across the region in Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. He currently works from Nairobi and is actively involved in setting up a new venture and advising a new consultancy on strategy.

Mercy Kimalat

Mercy Kimalat has 6 years + experience in design, delivery, implementation and evaluation of blended learning programmes. Her background is Business and Information Technology from Strathmore University. She is passionate about the use of innovative learning technologies which breaks down the barriers of traditional training and enhances the learning experience of the individual which leads to competency development and improved business performance. Currently working at the E4Impact, she brings the wealth of knowledge and experience on implementation of impact based programs.

Amelia Hopkins Phillips, Founder & Executive Director SOMO

Amelia Hopkins Phillips is founder and executive director of Somo. She started working in Nairobi in 2012 with educational institutions in Nairobi informal settlements. Amelia launched Somo’s initial training cohort in 2014 and full-time Nairobi operations in 2016. She has since established design thinking and entrepreneurship programs in Bujumbura, Mexico City, and New Delhi. She leads operations in Nairobi while also working on Somo’s expansion with partner organizations in Mexico City and New Delhi.

Donald Odhiambo, Social Innovator

Donald Odhiambo is a Researcher, Monitoring & Evaluation Expert, and Public Health Nutrition Specialist with a good background in Information Technology spanning over 7 years of experience as a Consultant for various NGOs, government institutions, social enterprises, and other Enterprise Support Organizations (ESOs).
He has supported various clients in implementing community-based participatory action research, results-based monitoring & evaluation (RbM&E), impact evaluation and communicating impactful stories, data & information management, mentoring & coaching youth-led startups and MSMEs entrepreneurs to create social change.

Donald is a passionate Social Innovator & Entrepreneur who is dedicated to using research data, lean innovation and human-centred design thinking approaches, transformational leadership, process management and advocacy; for co-creating and accelerating impactful, market-driven, and sustainable socio-economic transformation in evolving ecosystem.

Carol Kimani, Country Director at YGAP Kenya

Carol Kimari is a self-proclaimed Kenyan serial entrepreneur, Carol has started several businesses in different sectors, which led her to fall in love with social entrepreneurship. As a book lover, reading has always been a passion and an escape that led her to start Grab a Book, a social enterprise that sets up libraries in the toughest slums of the country and schools, with an aim to bringing back the reading culture and library services to thousands of Kenyan children. Known not to shy away from finances, Carol is a former Sock Broker on the Kenyan Stock Exchange. With over ten years of experience as an entrepreneur, she brings a wealth of knowledge on East African social enterprise. Carol is a YGAP entrepreneur, an Unreasonable Institute fellow and the Country Director at YGAP Kenya.

Jason Musyoka, Head of Finance & Administration Associate

Jason Musyoka is the Angel Network Manager at Viktoria Ventures, which syndicates local and international investor capital into seed stage investments in tech startups in East Africa. Prior to at Viktoria Ventures, he was working at Farm Capital Africa as the Head of Finance and Administration operations. He has also worked as the Project Manager for Arriscar Ventures responsible for client engagements and company  projects, and at Apex Communications as the Finance and Administration Associate charged with streamlining their financing operations. As part of the capital campaign team for Strathmore University, he participated at different negotiations stages to established partnerships between Strathmore University and corporate enterprises.He graduated from the University of Nairobi with a degree in Economics and an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) professional course qualification.

Andrew Gwadiva Heads Investor Relations at GrowthAfrica

Andrew is responsible for building and nurturing relations with local and international investors from angel investors to VC funds aimed at connecting ventures in Africa to the right, matching investors. Point lead on present financial trends, competitor behavior, shareholder issues, and anything else that could impact a venture.

He has worked as the Head of Investment and Portfolio management for a leading family owned business in Sub Saharan Africa where he built collaborative communities around entrepreneurs and their ventures improving opportunities for growth and success. His experience spurs across Africa’s top performing pension schemes, banking, insurance and investment firms. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science as well as a Masters of Science in Finance and Investment from University of Nairobi.

Kevin Barasa, Senior Software Engineer SafeBoda

Kevin is a Software Engineer, Social Innovator and Technical Mentor with passion for African entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem demonstrated by the seasoned mentorship contribution to the the African entrepreneurship narrative by mentoring on various pan-African programs such Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program.

In Software Engineering, his interest is in lean project management, product development and seamless user experience. He believes in creativity, critical thinking, integrity, commitment and teamwork.
He currently works as a Senior Software Engineer at SafeBoda, a motorcycle ride hailing company in Africa. 

Sarah Kajuju

Sarah’s passion lies in Entrepreneurship Development, Customer Service, Intra-personal and Inter-Personal Mastery and Communication, Organizational Development, Leadership Development and Effectiveness. 

She holds a Bachelor of Education Degree, Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management and a Master of Science (Entrepreneurship) Degree.

Prior to establishing herself as a Trainer and Coach, Sarah enjoyed a successful career in Banking specifically in Customer Service and as an Entrepreneur in an Art and Crafts based business. Her nearly 12 years of Training and coaching spans working with Government Parastatals, mid-sized agencies, small tech start-ups and Start-up Accelerators and her own successful consulting firm.

The exposure she has had throughout her career to an array of global business dynamics, professional demands and personal growth opportunities helps Sarah relate to each of her clients in unique ways. Combining her corporate customer service and entrepreneurship experience, with her passion for coaching and development, and other core strengths, Sarah is dedicated to taking her clients on the journey to realize their vision and greatest potential. Sarah goes for challenge and seeks new innovative ways of doing things with a keen eye on value adding activities. 

Sarah runs The Consilium, a program targeting Kenyan youth of between 18 and 35 years of age who are looking to settle in a business of their own or are looking forward to being employed. It empowers them to unleash their talents, build their confidence and hone the skills they need for a successful career in a job or as an entrepreneur.

She is an adjunct lecturer at St. Paul’s University (Limuru Campus) Kenya, in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Communication and Business.

Chepkemoi Magdaline, Founder and CEO, Eldo Hub

Chepkemoi Magdaline is a computer scientist who is passionate about using technology and entrepreneurship to transform African youth. She leads EldoHub, a technology and innovation hub, which empowers and supports young people to identify problems in their communities and apply different technologies to solve those problems. She has over 6 years of professional experience in software development, networking, ICT4D and education. Chepkemoi holds a master’s degree in Mobile Telecommunications and Innovation from Strathmore University. Chepkemoi also cofounded Techstarlets Kenya to empower and support women and girls in rural Kenya in STEM. She is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow for young African leaders, an initiative by the US Department of state. She was featured in 2018 among 20 faces of science in Kenya by Next Einstein Forum, during the Africa Science Week.

Martin Oloo, Founder and Managing Director of Fablab Winam.

Martin background is Social Work which I had done for along time, working with communities to bring social change. I have been part  of formation of various Social impact projects including Kenya Change Agent, GVRC by Sagam Community Hospital. I have been in the board of Mindhine Polytechnic and also was Chairman – Arc Kenya I later went through international course on digital fabrication by Fab Academy and became their first Kenyan graduate on the same

KITAWA WEMO Founder, MAMA Ventures

Kitawa Wemo is a serial entrepreneur who is championing change for sustainable development in artificial intelligence in Africa. Since then, she has driven the growth of the company from a management consultancy for startups & communities to the globally recognized social impact venture builder that exists today focused on responsible leadership and social impact for profit in Africa.

Through its investments, MAMA has partnerships and affiliations over 10 countries globally insectors spanning from technology, education, healthcare and renewable energy. Kitawa continues to drive the social impact strategy, innovation and leadership at MAMA.

In 2017 and 2018, Kitawa was awarded as a Young Iconic Female Leader in Social Change by theWomen Economic Forum (WEF) in recognition of her success and leadership in driving social and economic change in Africa. Kitawa advises and mentors several young entrepreneurs in Kenya and is passionate about enabling, empowering and inspiring innovation.

Kinoti Gituma, CEO and Founder of Kingfin Enterprises Limited

Kinoti is an entrepreneur and experienced business executive who is highly skilled with over 20 years’ work experience. CEO and Founder of Kingfin  Enterprises Limited an IT firm that provides cutting edge solutions for our clients in order to align their business processes and resources for a competitive advantage in their industry.

Alphas Sinja,
 Founder  and Managing Partner at Prosum Capital

Alphas is an investment professional specializing in alternative investments with a major emphasis on Private Equity & Venture Capital. I mainly work with entrepreneurs in East Africa at the seed and VC stage to assist them with strategy and fundraise growth capital from institutional investors.

Mitchell Wulfman
Senior Associate, Sorenson Impact Centre

At the Sorenson Impact Center, Mitchell is a Senior Associate on the Impact Investing team leading due diligence teams and delivering deal presentations to the investment committees of both the Sorenson Impact Foundation and the University Venture Fund II. Mitchell currently also works with the Social Venture Fund as an Investment Associate in Nairobi. Prior to joining the SIC and SVF teams, he worked as a Full-Stack Web Developer and UX Designer at software startups before transferring to the University of Utah to pursue a degree in Business. Mitchell is also the Director of the student companies program at the Lassonde Entrepreneurship Institute, where he manages a startup accelerator of 20 student companies and mentors student founders. In his spare time, Mitchell enjoys training for triathlons and spending time with his three younger siblings.

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