Edtech: shaping Africa’s bright minds
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Edtech: shaping Africa’s bright minds
About the speakers
- Lise BirikundavyiManaging Partner at BKR CapitalLise Birikundavyi is the co-founder and managing partner for BKR Capital, the first institutionally-backed black-led VC fund in Canada. Lise is an innovative finance specialist who has worked with several international institutions, most notably the Jacobs Foundation for whom she managed an edtech impact investment strategy. Lise also mentors and supports highly promising and impactful start-ups in emerging markets. Lise began her career in the hedge fund industry in Montreal and her interest in mixing attractive financial returns with long term societal impact is what inspired her to transition to the impact finance sector. She has experience across the investment spectrum: from funds of funds and VCs, to being the transition CEO of a tech start-up. Lise is a CFA charterholder; she also holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance, where she wrote her thesis on impact investing, and a trilingual BBA from HEC Montreal. Lise is fluent in French, English and Spanish, and has a conversational level of Mandarin. She is a firm believer in using the forces of capital markets as a basis for more inclusive wealth creation and sustainable poverty alleviation.
- Kola AinaFounding Partner at Ventures PlatformKola is an established investor, insightful non-Executive director, and company chair passionate about seeing start-ups grow and improving the lives of ordinary Africans by democratising prosperity. He brings demonstrable success from leading investment in over 70 companies in Africa, India, and the US, including payments companies such as Paystack. He has established networks across the private sector, development partners, financiers, governments, and regulators. He is an entrepreneur, technology operator, and venture capital investor with vast experience working in Africa’s most significant economic market. He brings expertise across several sectors, including venture capital, technology, media, agriculture, infrastructure, publishing, and real estate, and a significant interest in the arts. He is a Tutu Fellow and a mentor with various programs, including - XL Africa, the World Bank Accelerator, and Google Launchpad Accelerator. He is also a board member and advisory board member of various organisations ranging from ARM Financial Advisers, Iron Global Markets, and Reliance HMO - to name a few. Kola is a passionate art patron, chairs the advisory board of the Yemisi Shyllon Art Museum, and is a member of the Africa Acquisitions Committee(AAC) of the Tate Museum. He is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organisation(YPO) and a fellow of the Aspen Institute USA (ALIWA). Kola studied Electrical Engineering and then secured a Master’s in Business Administration degree specialising in Finance. He has received further education from Berkeley, Harvard, and the Lagos Business School. Kola is passionate about mentoring and advising young entrepreneurs creating solutions for mass underserved -markets. This has put him on many local and international stages, where he has delivered speeches, lectures, and talks on technology, entrepreneurship, social change, and various other topics. He gave a TED talk at TEDxEuston where he spoke on the topic “Who will own our future unicorns?”. He also spoke at Techcrunch's first event in Nigeria, Techcrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2019. He has received multiple awards and has been featured in various lists such as The 20 most important people in Nigerian tech, The ten most influential people in Nigerian Tech and #YNaijaPowerList2018 for Technology and many more. In his spare time, he enjoys writing on topics he’s passionate about in his blog or on Twitter, reading books, and spending time with his family.
- Tobi OkeManaging Partner at V8 Capital PartnersTobi is the Founding Partner at V8 Capital Partners. Before founding V8 Capital Partners, he was the head of Intel Capital Africa. Tobi has been investing and partnering with global investors and corporates for close to two decades Tobi worked as a Director for Standard Chartered Bank Private Equity in Lagos and as an Investment Professional with HSBC Principal Investments in London covering Africa. He also worked as a strategy consultant with Booz & Company’s London Office, advising companies in Europe on transformational technology projects. He was a founding member of the software engineering team at Motorola that delivered first-generation telematics products across the globe. Tobi holds a Master of Engineering Degree in Information Systems Engineering from Imperial College, London and an MBA from the London Business School. He currently sits on the several company boards including AppZone Limited, Yemaachi, Marketforce and VerifyMe
- Gbite OduneyeFounder & General Partner at ODBAGbite is the founder and General Partner at ODBA, a pioneering early-stage VC firm that champions innovative founders catalysing improbable success stories through technology. ODBA's dynamic portfolio encompasses Edtech, Fintech, Healthtech, and Logistics startups, with 17 investments to date. Notable ventures include Kuda, Treepz, Awabah, Edukoya, and GFA amongst others. With multifaceted experience spanning over two decades across entrepreneurship, finance, and technology, Gbite's unwavering commitment is directed towards collaborative partnerships with enterprises poised for high-impact transformations. Drawing deeply from his journey as an entrepreneur in Africa, Gbite's hands-on engagement endows him with nuanced insights into the intricacies of operations and financial challenges that entrepreneurs navigate on the continent. Gbite's understanding is fortified by his successful establishment of businesses in Africa, amplifying his holistic perspective as both a founder and a perceptive advisor within a diverse array of deals. His professional voyage was inaugurated as a strategic consultant in the finance sector in London, leaving an indelible imprint across Europe and Africa. This strategic bedrock serves as the bedrock for his role as a beacon of guidance for startups and esteemed blue-chip entities alike.