Meet 15 founders and leaders around the world empowering women in tech

On the 14th of September, 2020 – we kicked off our one week virtual bootcamp for this year’s International Mentoring Program from our office in Berlin. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, we were determined to deliver the program and adapt the design of this highly interactive, personal experience to the restrictions of our current reality. Our first virtual mentoring bootcamp saw a variety of tailored activities ranging from one on one mentoring sessions to an interactive workshop on the power of Linkedin.

Currently, we have fellows in Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, Germany, Denmark and South Africa all working with dedicated mentors to develop a diverse range of businesses that empower women in tech.

Coming up this month, the mentors will meet up with their fellows to dig deeper into the individual challenges each business is going through at the moment and work on solutions to develop the business, the founders and the teams. Usually, our mentors visit their fellows in their hubs on the ground during this phase of the program. This year, we’re changing things around to prioritize the safety of our fellows and mentors – stay tuned for how the virtual experience will unfold this November.

For now, read more to learn about the 15 participants that are part of this year’s International Mentoring Program and their work.

Ahmed Sheikha
Co-Founder of Brimore

Ahmed is the Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer of Brimore, a social commerce and distribution platform that allows local suppliers to have nationwide access to  a network of individual distributors selling their products through all possible channels (Omni-channel).

Ahmed is working with a network of more than 10,000 individual distributors (mostly women), with a continuous growth of 10X in year on year and more than 50 local manufacturers listed, Brimore is aiming at transforming the traditional supply chain in Egypt to be more consumer centric, through allocating marketing, sales and distribution cost on people who buy and refer the product, this allows for smooth market access for local manufacturers despite poor infrastructure, and gives women a huge social and economic empowerment opportunity without the need to leave the house.

Ahmed has BSc. in Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering from Alexandria University, and currently a masters degree candidate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation management in the Royal Institute of Technology KTH in Sweden.

Alisha Golden
Founder of Plan A

Alisha Golden is the founder of Plan A, an ed-tech platform and start-up accelerator focused on catapulting the impact of African women leaders and those of the diaspora, globally. Plan A was born from a culmination of Alisha’s over a decade long experience driving strategic growth and impactful campaigns for clients, through her consultancy firm, combined with her commitment to gender equality. Plan A is on a mission to propel profit parity and start-up funding inclusion for the leading group of entrepreneurs around the world, African women, and the diaspora. 

Prior to launching Plan A, Alisha cultivated a client-base spanning 4 continents, while architecting media and growth strategy as primary mechanisms for scaling start-ups and brands. She’s worked alongside notable organizations such as NBCUniversal, KIND Snacks, The Pollination Project, Mashable, The UN Foundation, The World Economic Forum, and Airbnb. Additionally, Alisha’s media influence has placed her work + clients’ work in outlets such as Fast Company, INC, Wired, Forbes, Origin Magazine, ABC News, The Huffington Post, Techcrunch, Conscious Magazine, etc. 

Alisha believes ‘purpose’ is the necessary X-factor needed to bolster global solutions with the power to heal the world’s most broken systems. She is on a quest to inspire a global movement of personal-awakening and healing as a self-proclaimed rally-er of those rising to the calling of their lives.

Annika Kübler
Innovation and Knowledge Transfer at MonitorFish GmbH

MonitorFish GmbH developed a plug-and-play cloud-based, intelligent system for monitoring fish and their welfare. Its AI-based fish farm management software performs automatic analyses of fish growth and provides intelligent warning and reporting services. 

Annika Kübler holds a B.Sc. in Area Studies Asia/Africa and a M.Sc. in Integrated Management of Natural Resources, a study program dealing with human-environmental systems interactions, from Humboldt-University in Berlin. She gained experience in field research on the diffusion of sustainable agricultural innovations in Tanzania with the Leibnitz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research and Sokoine University of Agriculture and with her work in the German CO2-compensation sector. If she is not searching for sustainable innovations, she enjoys biking and climbing rocks.

Dalia Laz
Co-Founder of Esorus

Esorus is a web application community platform for interior and architecture,  helping all stakeholders of the designers and architects and consultants create profiles and can connect and communicate, bringing the design ecosystem together by gathering and verifying both designers, suppliers and manufacturer through developing an AI recommendation system to save more time and effort to bring them filtered and actual leads. 

Before starting her own business, Dalia was managing Interior Decoration at the One Furniture store, where she cultivated her passion for all things furniture. She’s an architect with 12 years experience in interior design for hospitality and high end residential projects, and a passion for combining business and design.

She started her Entrepreneurship journey with Founder institute, a global entrepreneurship support program based in Sillicon Valley. 

Daphne Kasambala
Co-Founder of Meekono

Meekono is a business-to-business sourcing marketplace that facilitates small-to-medium batch trading between sellers of African handcrafted and artisanal products and international wholesale buyers. For buyers, Meekono aggregates a wide variety of quality market-led products from pre-vetted sellers on a superior online sourcing platform with secure payment management. The Meekono seller community benefits from vital value-adding market information, virtual operational support and access to previously inaccessible markets as well as economies of scale and collaboration benefits.

Daphne is a former senior specialised finance professional with diverse experience in Africa and Europe. Recently, Daphne turned her passion to the African creative landscape, launching a platform for producers to access global markets, covering more than 100 in 15 countries. This initiative armed Daphne with a unique understanding of the pain points faced by sellers and buyers and the workings of the value chain. Trekking is Daphne’s favorite pastime, and summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro for charity is one of her proudest accomplishments.

Farzane Ahmadloo
Co-Founder of Grino Water Solutions

Water is not a privilege! Safe and affordable water is a human right. Grino water solution is a clean-tech start-up committed to providing sustainable access to clean and safe water for everyone!

Farzaneh is Co-founder and Project manager of Grino water solution company. She is an enthusiast about exploring innovative technology, and proposing it to the markets. She believes that implementing new technologies and using green energy is the most powerful strategy for solving global crises and driving a successful business. She has studied Elite -Advanced Materials and Processes Engineering, which helps her to get a comprehensive overview of the optimization of different processes. Farzaneh works as the interface between the technology and business section. 

Ibinye Jamaica
Co-Founder of WallX

WallX, is a social financial contribution platform designed to organize, promote transparency in collections and manage contributions towards a particular goal, for gifting, joint contribution, weddings, events, birthdays, corporate gatherings, parties, levies & dues collection. WallX empowers individuals to contribute more, contribute better, and contribute together.

Ibinye is a Co-Founder at WallX, where Ibinye coordinates, leads and manages teams who develop SaaS products and mobile apps in the FinTech space. She is very involved in the business operations of the company. Before starting WallX, Ibinye worked 4 years as a Product Manager. After a successful career helping unbanked and underbanked. Ibinye has included 13% of the Nigerian population that were financially excluded. Ibinye has worked with big brands such as Bank of Industry (BOI), Npower Government Program, Eyowo which has successfully empowered individuals and Businesses.

Olajumoke Oduwole
Founder of KJK Africa

KJK Africa is a Software Design and Development company based in Lagos, Nigeria. A technology firm that build viable tech products and deliver services to help businesses improve output, deepen customer relationship, enhance business visibility, and scale revenue.

Olajumoke is a Software Product Developer with years of experience in designing and developing digital products and software technologies for businesses in Africa.  Olajumoke leads a team of tech experts at KJK Africa, building technology products and services; she has developed the expertise and experience to help non-tech businesses venture into the tech space with ready to market products and services.

She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Systems Engineering, Major – Artificial Intelligence and was currently listed on Forbes Africa 30 under 30, 2020. She is committed to building Technology dreams so that the outcome, will shape the future of African businesses.

Lolade Oresanwo
Co-Founder of WestAfricaENRG

WestAfricaENRG is a renewable energy company focused on ensuring ‘Zero Waste’ to landfill in the communities they work in.

Lolade Oresanwo started her career in commercial banking, providing financing and business development advice to SMEs and Large corporates in the oil, gas and retail sectors in the UK and Nigeria.  She built a lot of credibility with clients on mergers and acquisition transactions/negotiations, Business Development and Renewable Energy Sales. She is an environmentalist with extensive knowledge of the renewable energy space. For over 8 years, treating waste in a sustainable manner, creating long term jobs, empowering women and eradicating poverty through sustainable waste management and renewable energy has been her and her company’s focus.

Marietou Diouf
Founder of Etounature

Etonature is an ecommerce site that connects international natural food and cosmetics  product enthusiast to Senegal’s very best natural products ranging from vegetable oils, shea butter, artisanal soaps, honey, herbal teas and infusions made from aromatic plants and medicinal products (Moringa, Baobab, Hibiscus, Graviola and others). Etonature is currently in  partnership with cooperatives and women’s groups in the promotion of local products. Etounature uses 100% natural products with ancestral manufacturer techniques that respect international quality standards, in collaboration with scientists and researchers of traditional African medicine. 

Marietou Diouf is the founder and director of Etounature. She  has Master in Mathematics & Finance from the Université Paris 13. After working in the finance field in Canada for over eight years, Marietou returned to Senegal in 2012 to set up Etonature in 2013.

Nabin Raj Gaihre
Head of Projects at Village Data Analytics

Village Data Analytics (VIDA) is an artificial intelligence (AI) and earth observation (EO) based decision-making software for investors in development markets. 

Nabin Raj Gaihre is the Head of Projects and Business Development at Village Data Analytics. Nabin has multiple years of experience in research, engineering, development and consulting in off-grid energy and digital technologies. He is an expert in using data analysis techniques to inform government donors and intuitions to better plan electrification of remote villages in Africa and Asia. He has engaged directly with multiple electrification projects, for DFIs and private sector organizations like the World Bank, IFC, PACT, USAID-PowerAfrica, PowerGen Renewable Energy and many others. 

Nathalie Feldman
Founder of Salvatio Push

Salvatio Push is a solution dedicated to fighting the violence women face  and other vulnerable groups of people. Salvatio was inspired by a personal experience of being sexually assaulted- since then, Natalie has dedicated her time to help women  to feel strong, empowered and safe

Nathalie is a passionate entrepreneur and gadgets, a motivator, a traveler, and a big dreamer. Natalie has an education in Corporate Trade and Sales. Professionally she has been on expatriate on international telecommunication project development in C.I.S. countries with local authorities at all levels.

Reham Yehia
R&D Manager of Baramoda

Baramoda is a company interested in preserving the environment by recycling agricultural waste and converting it into organic fertilizer that raises the quality of the soil. Reham leads a team of five women working to develop and improve the product. 

Reham holds a bachelor’s degree in Organic farming from Cairo University. She has more than four years of extensive experience in the field.  She is interested in the environmental issues facing our world and began her work as an R&D specialist in an environmental platform called (Environeur) which is the first of its kind in Egypt and was responsible for the research content in the platform. 

Samar Hamdy
Co-Founder of DevisionX

DevisionX is building Quality inspection Solutions for Manufacturers by using AI & Machine Vision Technologies.

Samar Hamdy is an Engineer & Entrepreneur. She used to act as a bridge between Tech products and their markets by using Engineering background and Marketing experience through a long Journey of 7+ years of doing marketing for Tech & B2B companies. She leads the Marketing & Communications Activities: Identifying Potential Customers, Building Strategies, directing, and coordinating marketing efforts, and leading Communications & Partnerships. She contributed in building “TUBA”, the latest innovation by DevisionX as a result of growing demand for a tool to facilitate applying AI for businesses & manufacturers. 

Vere Shaba
Founder of Greendesign

Greendesign was founded with the vision of accelerating the green transition of buildings in Africa to net zero existing buildings by 2030 and net zero existing and new buildings by 2050 as ratified by the Paris Agreement.

Vere Shaba is a multi-award winning green building consultant and mechanical engineer who has worked for multinational engineering consulting firms for over ten years. As a mechanical engineer who is passionate about high-performance green buildings that do less harm to people and to the climate and environment, Vere is experienced in green building and mechanical engineering design of commercial, hospitality, healthcare, education, residential, industrial and retail projects across African countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda and Cote D’Ivoire. Vere Shaba was selected as one of Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 in Business where she was featured on the cover of Forbes magazine.