Pitch Ethiopia 2019: Organizing a startup bootcamp and pitch competition in Ethiopia

When I was first approached about joining the organizing team for Pitch Ethiopia 2019 I was still adjusting to an intense MBA program, and learning to balance school and family. Despite my reservations about the timing, I accepted the role because I knew it would be a good way to stay plugged into the startup ecosystem in Africa, and to start applying some of what I had learned in my MBA already. Now that the week of Pitch Ethiopia events in Addis Ababa is over, and I’m back in Chicago, I can clearly see that saying ‘yes’ to this opportunity was a fantastic decision that I will cherish for a long time.

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The Next Billion: Africa’s Mobile Revolution

Stephen Ozoigbo at Mobile World Congress 4YFN

The recently concluded MWC Americas provided a unique platform for global mobile stakeholders to re-evaluate the continent’s incredible market opportunities

On a global scale, the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress brings together over 100,000 people representing mobile operators, handset manufacturers, content creators, and mobile technology innovators from over 200 countries each year. GSMA is an international trade association that represents over 800 mobile operators that organizes industry programs with the aim of scaling new mobile technologies.

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Accelerating Africa’s Mobile economies

Convening African Mobile Ecosystem Stakeholders at Mobile World Congress Americas

Africa is the fastest-growing mobile market in the world. The positive impact of the mobile industry on African communities has been discussed and proven in numerous studies and international media publications. From payments and commerce, to healthcare and agriculture, mobile’s impact has been as wide as its been transformational. In 2016, researchers from MIT found that access to the mobile-money service M-Pesa increased daily per capita consumption levels of roughly 2 percent of Kenyan households (194,000), lifting them out of extreme poverty (living on less than $1.25 per day) between 2008 and 2014. Safaricom’s M-Pesa is just one example of how mobile technology has achieved rapid adoption all over Africa and become the platform of choice for the continent’s digital transformation.

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African Entrepreneurs In The Halls of Silicon Valley History

Venture film on African entrepreneurs' journey

Driving up the 101 highway from San Jose is like watching a timelapse of the Silicon Valley hall of fame. On a sunny California day, the quick drive from San Jose to Palo Alto includes views of global innovation titans such as Microsoft, Dell EMC, Oracle, Intel and NASA. Absent from view behind the Redwood trees, but still within a bike ride distance, engineers are hard at work at Apple in Cupertino and Facebook in Menlo Park. Palo Alto is home to Stanford University’s beautiful sprawling campus, which played a critical role in the early semiconductor industry that formed near the campus and evolved into what we know as ‘Silicon Valley’ today.

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