4/23/14 – This recap was written by Josh Kabuage, an intern for the New Economy Venture Accelerator – Africa (NEVAA) at our partner university in Nairobi, United States International University (USIU). The plethora of activities that took place there not only represents the enthusiasm of our social entrepreneurs in the program, but also the energy of the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nairobi.
At NEVAA, we managed to set up an entire week of various speakers from different industries to come in and talk to the students. The special bit about it is that it had never been attempted before within USIU. As the pioneers of the event at NEVAA, we do consider it a success that we shall see year in, year out, from here on.
The different panels we hosted included:
- Investor Panel
- Incubator Panel
- Digital Branding Panel
- Agribusiness Panel
- Photography Panel
- Technology Panel
- Fashion and Beauty Panel
- Media panel
- Social Entrepreneurship panel
- Music and Entertainment Panel
Notable panelists from these sessions included:
- Heshan De Silva – A 26 year old investor with a net worth valued at 10 million dollars.
- Mark Kaigwa – A 25 year old CEO of a company known as Afrinnovate and named by Forbes as one of Africa’s successful entrepreneurs under 30.
- Amanda Gicharu – Head of marketing at Google Kenya.
After four days full of informative panels, we brought the week to a close by hosting a networking event at the Sarova Stanley hotel that included guests from the county government. Professor Scott Bellows emceed interactive games that engaged attendees, and resulted in better understanding their business backgrounds. Overall, this week attracted a deserving crowd and encouraged our students to look at entrepreneurship as a career in itself, and not to feel coerced to conform to the invisible boundaries that influence us into thinking professional careers are the only way to become successful.