GSE- World’s Largest Digital Accelerator Announces Speakers & Judges for Fall 2017 Africa Cohort

October 22, 2017, Accra, Ghana- The Global Startup Ecosystem (GSE) has announced the agenda and 10 speakers for the 2nd annual Africa digital accelerator. Founded by Forbes 30 Under 30 Entrepreneur, Christine S. Ntim, the Africa cohort features finalists from over 34 different countries.

Global Startup Ecosystem (GSE)  returns with the 2nd annual digital startup accelerator for entrepreneurs residing in or seeking to launch a company in Africa.  GSE digital accelerator programs are open to all small businesses, startups, and freelancers. Each application round is rolling admission until the top 100 are selected to complete the program. From the finalist pool, 10 will be selected to pitch investors and influencers on demo day. The top 3 are announced at the conclusion of the program to receive partner prizes, media features, and potential investment.

GSE digital accelerators are organized by 7 regional directors who will be hosting all programs this fall. Startups can apply for admission to a digital accelerator via our partner platform F6S.  The 2017 accelerator dates are:

  1. Caribbean October 17-19
  2. Africa October 24-26
  3. Europe October 30- November 1st
  4. America November 7-9
  5. Middle East November 12-14
  6. Asia November 14,15,16
  7. Latin America November 21-23

Speaker, partnership and sponsorship inquiries can be directed to the GSE team via

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Rofhiwa Madzena
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Check out the Agenda for the fall 2017 Africa Digital Accelerator! 

Day 1 – Oct 24

6:00-6:30 pm Welcome Remarks
6:30-7:00 pm Orientation + Benefits & Perks Post Program
7:00-7:30 pm GSE Ideation and Product Development
7:30-8:00 pm GSE Customer Acquisition & Growth Hacking
8:00-8:30 pm GSE Funding: How to Raise $250k+ in 6 Months
8:30-9:00 pm GSE Marketing: Press Hacking, Social Media, Content Strategy
9:00-9:30 pm GSE Closing Remarks & Q/A

Day 2 – Oct 25
6:00-6:30 pm Day 1 review
6:30-6:45 pm Speaker Keynote : Cecil NutaKor – Founder , eCampus (Self-Learning to your dreams)
6:45-7:00 pm Speaker Keynote : Judith Okonkwo – Founder, IMISI 3d (African Leadership for the future)
7:00-7:15 pm Speaker Keynote : Kwame Som Pimpong – Manager, Africa Business Fellowship (Building a Fireproof Network)
7:15-7:30 pm Speaker Keynote : Jamila Abass – Country Manager, WeFarm (Startup Failures)
7:30-8:00 pm Speaker Keynote : Jacquie Omotalade – Public Policy, Uber West Africa (The future of mobility)
8:00-8:15 pm Speaker Keynote : Segun Bash – Product Management, Google (Product Development)
8:15-8:30 pm Speaker Keynote : Nnamdi Ogbuagu – Entrepreneurship Coordinator, World Economic Forum Global Shapers (Building teams)
8:30-9:00 pm GSE Closing Remarks & Q/A

Day 3 – Oct 26
6:00-6:15 pm Day 2 review & Pitching 101 Workshop

6:15-6:45 pm GSE Regional Director Keynote/Workshop
6:45-7:15 pm Speaker Keynote : Bruce Wade (business narrative strategy)
7:15-7:30 pm Judge 5 Minute Introductions + Keynotes—>Rofhiwa Madzena (Forbes Africa), Lanre Oyedotun (PWC), Uly U. Ogwah (Singularity)
7:30-8:30 pm Top 10 Demo Night (Pitch) Each have 1 Minute to Pitch/2 Minute Q/A
8:30-9:00 pm Q/A Forum with the Judges/GSE Closing Remarks & Next Steps

Regional Director- Africa

Shaina Silva- is an ecosystem architect and venture builder who has dedicated her career to creating pathways to opportunities for entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Her regions of focus expand the Caribbean and West Africa, specializing in building capacity within startup ecosystems.  She is the founder of WoCo, a platform that facilitates asset-sharing in dense cities, and aims to catalyze urban resilience, reduce carbon footprint, and improve overall access to infrastructure for entrepreneurs operating in cities across the African continent.In recognition of her work, service and accomplishments, she’s been awarded the Institute of Caribbean Studies’ “30 under 30, Emerging Leaders Award”, Babson College’s ‘Nan-Langowitz Women Who Make a Difference Award’, and is a proud recipient of ‘The Shelby Cullom Davis Entrepreneurship Prize’.

Africa Startup Ecosystem Accelerator Co- Founder/ GSE Boot Camp Host 

Christine Souffrant Ntim is an award-winning Haitian-American entrepreneur & startup ecosystem expert for emerging markets. She was selected and featured in Forbes 30 Under 30, AdAge 40 Under 40, Haiti Changemakers 1804 List, Singularity NASA, Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post, Inc Magazine and more. She speaks on digital entrepreneurship, startup hacking, exponential tech AI, and personal branding at over 20+ global conferences a year- which includes former appearances at the US State Department Tours, United Nations, TEDx, SXSW, Startup Grind Global, SeedStars World, European Union Forum and more.  She started her career as the founder of Vendedy- a social network connecting people to street markets with the aim of digitizing a $10 trillion dollar black economy and centralizing the world’s 200,000 street markets. Today, Christine is the Director of Startup Grind Dubai Powered by Google For Entrepreneurs and a partner at the which hosts the largest digital online accelerator program in the world- graduating over 1000+ companies across 190+ countries a year.


Rofhiwa is a Wits University graduate with a BA degree in international relations and media studies. She has her honours degree in Journalism and media studies. She worked in radio for three years as a reporter and then as the on-air producer for news and current affairs. She was hired by the ABN Group, the holding group for CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa in 2015. Her duties include, online writing, live show production and magazine show production as well as presenting, reporting and writing. She was also an AidEx finalist for the Humanitarian and Development Journalism award for 2016. This was for an article she wrote about refugees for Forbes Woman Africa. In 2017 she won the Tabbie feature silver award for part 1 of the refugee series she wrote in Forbes Woman Africa’s 2016 Women’s month edition titled “The Nowhere People”.


Lanre Oyedotun. Experienced startup entrepreneur and developer. Ex-PWC Technology Consultant – Boston, Lagos, Nigeria. Technology expertise in payments and field operations in Africa. Almost a decade C-level experience turning ideas into businesses.
Uly U. Ogwah is an artist and entrepreneur who became an “Impact Fellow” with Singularity University for his initiative to leverage cutting-edge technologies to document Modern and Contemporary African art. In the field of innovation, Ogwah is the Founder and CEO of Youlohoo, a startup creating products that best transition the international art community to a technology-driven world. With products like African Art Archive which combines a database of African art + HSP, Blockchain, 3D scan & AI, Youlohoo is designing practical solutions to existing market failures.Most recently, Ogwah joined the leadership team of the SingularityU Lagos Chapter, a community-driven group of innovators and changemakers working collaboratively with Singularity University, a Silicon Valley institution that studies exponentially growing technologies, their ability to transform industries and solve humanity’s grand challenges. In the field of art, Ogwah has a portfolio of over 100 paintings and ten major stage production designs. He is known for promoting African art and empowering emerging artists globally. He has been on the executive teams of Artwyn & Craft, Orange Slice Studios, and Henbuog Art & Music Exhibition. He earned an undergraduate degree in Creative Art from the University of Lagos.


Bash is an experienced product manager at Google, with an obsessive dedication to user experience and design. Part designer, part developer, all business strategy, he’s led and worked in the trenches with cross-functional teams to bring innovative mobile and web products from doodles in an exec’s notepad to successful web and mobile apps. His experience spans from working with multinationals such as Panasonic to fast growing startups in e-commerce, local discovery, enterprise productivity, and entertainment, When he isn’t interacting with customers or pounding out immaculate product specs, you can find him scouring the globe for the world’s perfect gummy bear.


Jacquelyn Omosunbo Omotalade, Public Policy, Uber, West Africa

Jacquelyn Omosunbo Omotalade is heading Public Policy for Uber, West Africa.  In this role, Jackie focuses on the development and implementation of  Uber’s policy agenda across all of the West African markets. Jackie has been with Uber since March 2017 and previously worked as the former President of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment. Growing up in USA, Nigeria and Germany, she has a passion for tech, law/advocacy, communications and environmental and public health. She is a qualified attorney having completed a Juris Doctorate  from the University of Pittsburgh.“Jackie O.” is an innovative global leader that has successfully built and led organisations delivering complex services that serve thousands  She has been recruited to manage progressively larger organizations because of her deep expertise in developing winning strategies, building and motivating highly-engaged teams, crafting win-win partnerships and delivering complex services that serve thousands.

Topic – Building a Fireproof Network
Bio – Kwame Som-Pimpong is Manager of the Africa Business Fellowship, a partnership between Management Leadership for Tomorrow, the African Leadership Network, and the Econet Group, which sends talented American business professionals to work for top African companies. He is also editor of Black People Things, an digital media platform that connects high-powered black decision makers to the data, people, and ideas they need for the 21st Century.

“African Leadership for the future”

Judith Okonkwo was born in London and grew up in Austria, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Indonesia and Japan. She is a Technology Evangelist and Business Psychologist. In 2014, she moved to Lagos, Nigeria and spent a year helping Chan Zuckerberg Initiative investee Andela set up its operation. She sits on the Board of the European Organization Design Forum; is a guest lecturer at the Lagos Business School and University of Westminster, UK; and is the creator of the Oriki Coaching ModelTM. Judith is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. In 2016 she set up Imisi 3D, a creation lab in Lagos, focused on building the ecosystem for extended reality technologies. In November 2016, Imisi 3D held Nigeria’s, and Africa’s, first virtual reality hackathon.

Topic: Self-Learning to your dreams 

Cecil Senna Nutakor is a leading authority on the use of technology for self-paced education in Ghana. Combining a mix of self taught technology innovation skills and professional business development training, Cecil works with students and professionals like you to own your choices, own your life, and own your future. He developed an ICT certificate program in use by two universities in Ghana. He is a highly sought after public speaker, an advocate for Internet access as a human right, the founder of eCampus; an online education platform, and also the CEO of E I L (Equinox Intercom Limited), a technology application services company based in Ghana.Cecil holds an MBA in Global Business and Sustainability from the Catholic University of Milan, a BSc in Entrepreneurship and SME Management from Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and a Diploma in Computer Science from the National Institute of Information Technology.
Cecil has worked as a technology and business development consultant for the biggest brands you know, including Afriwave Telecom, Devtraco Plus, Royal Systems & Services, the Golden Beach Hotels, Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority, Electricity Company of Ghana, DiscoveryTel, Ghana Commercial Bank, Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Regent University College of Science and Technology, and Ghana Technology University College. His work has made him a multi-award winning social entrepreneur, He was named Africa’s Most Promising Entrepreneur in 2013 by Venture Capital for Africa (VC4Africa).

Jamila is considered as one of the champions of AgTech revolution in Africa. She is the current Country Manager for Wefarm Kenya, a free peer-to- peer service that enables farmers to share information via SMS, without the internet and without having to leave their farms. Prioir to Wefarm, she founded M-Farm – a company that helped smallholder farmers trapped in subsistence agriculture move into commercial farming by leveraging available mobile technology to provide needed real-time information and take informed decisions, resulting in improved farm productivity and access to market. This ingenious innovation won different awards including the praise of the US president Barack Obama during his visit to Kenya in June, 2015. Jamila is a 2017 Young Global Leader, an Ashoka Fellow, Aspen New Voices Fellow and a Quartz Africa Innovator. She is also an alumni of the recently concluded 2017 Global Solutions Program by Singularity University.

TOPIC: Know Your People – Building and Growing Your Team:

Entrepreneurship is a team sport. Solo founders don’t succeed. Find out who to hire, where to find them and how to build a killer team.

Nnamdi is a Nigerian entrepreneur and ecosystem enabler who has spent the last five years focused on helping startup founders build businesses that are local with global mindsets. Using knowledge from experience in the areas of entrepreneurship, business strategy, process management, and operations management, Nnamdi has been able to help new and growing businesses increase productivity and earnings. He is the founder of Indico, a twenty-first century management and technical consulting firm that thrives on the latest systems for business process optimisation, development and growth. Indico provides advisory services to clients in both the private and public sector.As a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community – Abuja, Nnamdi is the Entrepreneurship Coordinator, and has helped train young graduates on CV writing, interviewing skills, effective communication and cover letters; organised two career fairs that featured over thirty employers, and organised the Abuja Global Shapers’ Business Master Class Series that has admitted and mentored thirty startups in business growth strategies, bootstrapping and building investor-ready companies.

Bruce, an author, speaker, coach and entrepreneur, comes from a 15 year corporate technology career that ended in 1998 when he started his first business. Since then he has started, run, closed and sold many different businesses. Since 2004 Bruce has been involved in coaching and has to date assisted more than 650 small business to get off the ground and profitable. Bruce is the Chief Entrepreneur Officer at his company Entrepreneur and Management Solutions based in Cape Town. He holds the position of chair of the Cape Chamber of Commerce Innovation Initiative. Bruce is also the current founder of a number of startups and share holder in other innovation product businesses.

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