The 100: Tech Community Appreciation Awards

By Erik Hersman
5yrTechBash
  Published 07 Mar 2015
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There are certain people who have done amazing things, who have mentored people, who have built great businesses, who have sacrificed themselves for the greater good of the tech community in Kenya. All of the people on this list have given of themselves to make the Kenyan tech ecosystem one of the strongest in Africa. Here is the list, in no particular order, and made up of names that were both submitted by the community as well as people that the iHub Advisory Board added. Each was given an award, designed and created by the Gearbox team. To everyone on this list, THANK YOU for all you have done!
  • Michuki Mwangi - For being one of the first to get things started, from the .co.ke TLD to the IXP
  • Evans Ikua - Always flying the Linux Flag since 2000 with Linux Professionals Association Kenya and early User Group
  • Dr. Shikoh Gitau-Nyaga - Researcher, ex-Google, Mentor, Entrepreneur
  • Joe Mucheru - A pioneer in tech in Kenya with ISPs, then with Google Kenya, and still as an Angel Investor
  • Laban Mwangi - For starting Skunkworks
  • Brian Longwe - Early Network Engineer, KIXP team
  • Dorcas Muthoni - Entrepreneur, Mentoring and Training school girls in Tech
  • Phares Kariuki - Revived skunkworks. iHub Mentor program
  • Antony Njoroge - iHub Network Volunteer, Mentor to many young entrepreneurs
  • Sam Kitonyi - Wezetele, Mentor to many developers
  • David Kiania - Started Skunkworks and Revived Barcamp Nairobi, Noisemaker, Initiated iHub Media
  • Mikul Shah - Founder EatOut Kenya, Connector to many businesses, Mentor
  • Daudi Were - Started the Kenya Bloggers Webring in the dark ages of the internet
  • James Orengo - The always active and smiling face that so many see when they first enter the iHub
  • Edwin Kaduki - Started Stocks Kenya (now wazua) back in the day, and is now one of the main people at M-Kopa today
  • Ken Njoroge - One of the early tech entrepreneurs who made it with Cellulant
  • Ngigi Waithaka - Started Alliance Technologies back in the day and mentors young entrepreneurs
  • Washington Odhiambo - Old hat on the KICTANET and Skunkworks lists - manages them
  • Grace Githaiga - Getting people talking policy stuff on KICTANET
  • Wesley Kirinya - One of the first game developers around
  • SEACOM - For being the point of the spear in getting undersea cable to Kenya
  • Ali Hussein - One of the early tech entrepreneurs who made it with 3 Mice - Kictanet
  • Victor Kyalo - ICT Authority - maintains a useful link between the govt and the tech community
  • Paul Kukubo - First ICT Board/Authority boss, helped bridge govt and the tech community - started 3 Mice
  • Fady Rostom - One of the best designers in Kenya, also volunteered to help design the iHub
  • Kwame Nyongo - Designed the iHub and is one of the great animators of Kenya
  • Rebecca Wanjiku - One of the great tech journalist of Kenya, and a proven entrepreneur building Fireside Communications
  • Boniface Mwangi - Started Pawa254 and helped the creatives connect
  • Sam Gichuru - Helped get Nailab off the ground and made it a home for so many young tech companies
  • Nikolai Barnwell - Got 88mph started and started funding tech companies in Nairobi
  • Mbwana Alliy - Savannah Fund managing partner and a great voice for tech entrepreneurship in Kenya
  • John Matogo - Helping run iBizAfrica at strathmore, an all round nice guy
  • Johnni Kjelsgaard - For starting Growth Hub, helping entrepreneurs get a step up in Nairobi
  • Ken Mwenda - A staunch supporter of tech training at Emobilis, board member at the mLab
  • John Kieti - The man behind the mLab since it's inception; A great thinker
  • Kevin Chege - KENET (and now ISOC) - getting universities connected to the internet
  • Dr. Kamau Gachigi - Gearbox and FabLab - Was at the very first Barcamp ever at UON
  • Richard Bell - For bringing real broadband to Kenya - Zuku. And others - KIXP, TESPOK, TEAMS cable, KENIC
  • Dr. Kamal Bhattacharya - For spurring the tech meets world research in Kenya by bringing IBM Research to the country
  • Kamal Budhabhatti - One of the early tech entrepreneurs who made it with Craft Silicon
  • John Waibochi - One of the early tech entrepreneurs who made it with Virtual City
  • Segeni Ngethe - One of the early tech entrepreneurs who made it with Mama Mikes
  • Dr. Monica Kerretts-Makau - For representing the tech ecosystem at CCK/CAK and Strathmore
  • Hilda Moraa - Passion for supporting startups, helping start iHub Research, Wezatele Cofounder
  • Ahmed Maawy - Heavily involved in the tech community in Nairobi for years, now started Swahili Box in Mombasa
  • James Odede - A champion for the techies near Lake Victoria through the Lake Hub
  • Vincent Ngundi - KENIC, helping get Kenya online
  • Kenneth Kinyanjui - Google Dev Group - Kenya lead
  • Akirachix - For getting more young women involved in tech in Kenya
  • Tyrus Kamau - For keeping infosec in front of us
  • John Gichuki - For keeping infosec in front of us
  • Michael Joseph - For taking early bets with Safaricom, including putting up the $20m that helped get everyone off the sideline for fibre
  • Jesse Moore - A pioneer in mobile payments with Mpesa, now the man behind the huge succcess of M-Kopa
  • Wambura Kimunyu- One of the great voices of reason, a true operator that has made great things of Cheki and Cellulant
  • Joseph Sevilla - For getting people started young in tech at Strathmore and being a foundation for tech in the country
  • Conrad Akunga - He started as one of the great Kenyan bloggers, and continues as a voice for sanity around tech
  • Sam Wakoba - One of the great Kenyan tech bloggers in our community, who has stayed true to his roots at TechMoran
  • Limo Taboi - Where business and technology meet, you will find one of the great bloggers of Kenya at Bankelele
  • Njeri Chelimo - For having the courage to build something like the Nairobi Dev School while still in her teens
  • Agatha Gikunda - Working with the tech community from her days at Nokia and now Intel
  • Carey Eaton - We deeply miss Carey Eaton, who was shot last year, the founder of Cheki was a true legend in his own time
  • M-Farm - Starting as 3 women in the iHub in 2010, now a 30-person company bridging the world of agriculture and tech
  • Kopo Kopo - Starting with 2 guys in the iHub in 2010, now in multiple countries in Africa, and stretching into South America and Asia
  • Mike Macharia - One of the early tech entrepreneurs who made it with Seven Seas
  • Kachwanya - One of the great Kenyan tech bloggers in our community
  • Paul Muchene - Started as a volunteer for the iHub network team, worked many nights with Fireside team, when network was being shaped
  • Anthony Nandaa - C4DLab Mentor, Trainer, and #SCICodeJam co-founder
  • Skyline Design - A company dedicated to WordPress, who always deliver, a good example of what all small companies should aspire to
  • Frank Tamre - Helping start Moringa School
  • Mbugua Njihia - Gave a talk as "Timothy Mbugua" at the Jacaranda Barcamp in 2008, hosted the initial iHub website with Symbiotic, advocate for tech entrepreneurship
  • Agosta Liko - One of the early tech entrepreneurs who made it with both Verviant and PesaPal
  • Joseph Kamau - For a dedication to bringing companies great network connectivity at Fireside
  • Twahir Mohamed - Government webmaster 2009-2012
  • Ushahidi - For helping to underwrite the costs of getting the iHub started, and for putting community first
  • Ndaka Mutisya - Teaches primary school kids computer skills, most of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Wilson Nyabera - Deaf engineer. Every year, he participates in the mentorship of deaf youth, like students from Machakos School for the Deaf and Safaricom interns who are deaf
  • Joshua Ogure - Joshua together with his Map Kibera colleagues have developed Kibera Education Data portal that has all Kibera schools in it http://openschoolskenya.org
  • Riyaz Bachani - Built the Zuku Fiber and TV network, started skunkworks, Founder at Angani
  • Josiah Mugambi - For starting Skunkworks and Barcamp Nairobi
  • Eric Magutu - For starting Barcamp Nairobi
  • Jessica Colaco - First iHub Manager, started iHub Research
  • Ory Okolloh - Early blogger, Ushahidi co-founder and policy work at Google
  • Tosh (aka Hammy) - The first iHub Community Lead and a decent football player
  • Jimmy Gitonga - iHub community lead and mentor to many entrepreneurs
  • Mugambi Kimathi - Early skunkworks contributor - created "Jahazi" - the first real Kenyan app we could showcase
  • Larry Madowo - For helping to mainstream tech with his voice in the media
  • John Gitau - For helping get the service provider community connected via the EANOG
  • Ken Ndirangu - For helping getting Kenya get connected to the internet
  • Juliana Rotich - For mentoring many of the women in tech in the iHub community, Ushahidi and many more things
  • Martin Gicheru - One of the great Kenyan tech bloggers in our community
  • Angela Okune - For growing iHub research into a powerhouse of technology research in the region
  • Sylvia Mulinge - One of the great proponents of women in tech, getting Safaricom to start "women in tech" talks series, women in entreprenuership
  • Isis Nyongo - Early Google Kenya team, and a long-time champion of the tech community and entrepreneurship in it
  • Mombasa Tech - The community who got things going at the coast 4 years ago
  • Liz Ondula - For starting the robotics club and helping get the kids hacker camps started
  • Muuo Wambua - For starting the robotics club and helping get the kids hacker camps started
  • Mark Kaigwa - Long-time member, speaker and social media brain
  • Moses Kemibaro - Dotsavvy Founder, m:lab co-convener, tech blogger
  • Robert Yawe - Noise Maker :), Mentor for many startups, entrepreneur
  • Dr. Bitange Ndemo - For fighting for the good of the tech community from a high government office for many years
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