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10 techies behind Kenya’s digital explosion

1.    Mike Macharia- Seven Seas Technologies (CEO & Founder)

He started his company in 1999 when he was 25 years and has grown it into an IT heavyweight. Macharia’s firm is an integrated business and technology solutions provider with a wide reach in Africa having hit major deals, especially in the telecos and financial sectors. Recently Safaricom showed an interest in acquiring a stake in the quickly expanding venture that operates along a wide portfolio and attracts top notch clientele such as Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation where they have carried out a multi-million shilling business information systems hardware upgrade.

2.       Sam Gichuru- Nailab (Co-Founder & Director)

This IT guru is so passionate about his craft such that he decided to set up a lab to cook ideas. Nailab is a leading accelerator in the region and has helped churn out influential start-ups by the loads that have gone ahead to revolutionise the space. Not so long ago, Gichuru who has wide knowledge in IT, was the host for two years in a Tech Show at Hope FM as a way of giving back to society and sharing information about growth of the Internet. He is an ardent mentor, coach and strategic planner.

3.  Jessica Colac’o- I-hub/ Brave Venture Labs (Co-Founder)

She is known as an African-start-up evangelist who has inspired many. From her days in school, the tech heroine has developed several mobile applications, which have seen progressive impact. The University of Nairobi alumnus is a co-founder of Kenya’s foremost incubator i-Hub alongside another tech enthusiast Erik Hersmann and overtime has continued to build a stable name in the industry.

4. Ken Njoroge-Cellulant (Co Founder & CEO)

At 23,  Njoroge combined forces with two friends to start a web development firm,  3mice. Later, he partnered with a Nigerian colleague Bolaji Akinboro to co-found Cellulant, a digital platform dealing with billing and commerce services on telcom networks. The company has grown exponentially since its inception in 2004. The firm operates in eight countries across Africa and has secured key contracts with major movers in the industry. It is focused on joining the elite Fortune 500 companies in Africa.

5.  Agosta Liko-Verviant (Founder & CEO)

He is the brains behind PesaPal, an electronic payment platform that is not only bridging the social divide, but quickly gaining traction with ordinary folk. He describes the product as an African tool that applies to the continent’s cultural conditions. Verviant saw a gap and went right in with hundreds of people using the service.

6. Anthony Wahome-Linksoft (Founder & CEO)

This firm is known to offer high level telecommunications expertise particularly on the networking front. Wahome has built a name over time for his incisive moves and ventures because he is not  afraid to spread his wings. Its commanding presence in the market has ensured that Linksoft Communications, formed in 1995 is amongst the most profitable outlets.

7. Aaron Fu-Nest (Managing Partner)

Aaron has more than eight years of experience in financial services and technology across Europe, Asia and Africa with Standard Chartered and Société Générale. He has led global, regional and local product and service launches, large-scale change projects and sustainable community impact initiatives. Driven by a passion for crafting experiences and growing start-ups, Aaron has also co-founded, invested in and advised businesses spanning industries including transport, hospitality and consulting. He joined Nest to extend its start-up eco system and accelerator programmes to the rapidly emerging innovation hubs in Africa.

8. Kamal Budhabati-Craft silicon ( Founder/CEO)

Kamal came to Kenya from his native India with a Computer Science background and in 2000 set up Craft Silicon. The software guruwho now runs a business covering about 40 countries in the software solutions spectrum has come of age, and steered his ‘’baby’’ to greater heights. From financial all the way to insurance organisations, Craft Cilicon has it covered to the full breadth. Kamal has ambitions to join the elite league by listing his firm at the London Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange given its growth momentum. He has often been compared to Microsoft’s billionaire owner Bill Gates

9. John Waibochi-Virtual City Group

He is the real version of a local mobile  techpreneur. John Waibochi’s “Virtual City” has become a formidable force in East Africa because it is not only transforming logistics management for big companies, but because it is addressing the real issues by pioneering mobile business management solutions for smaller traders. Acquiring high-level technological talent is what keeps him up at night.

10. Kariuki Gathitu- Zege Technologies

Quitting a banking job is not what many would envisage for a young fellow. But one Kariuki took the risk of doing just that and this far, his gamble has paid off. The 30-year-old Computer Science graduate runs Zege Technologies, a company that creates resourceful solutions in the mobile money business. Earlier on, he had developed a mobile payment management system for banks and other organisations that manage collection and distribution of cash via mobile money platform. His biggest break, however, was when Zege under his leadership, developed M-KESHO, a revolutionary mobile banking product.

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