No matter what stage you are at with your startup, you need a mentor.You could be on the verge of something awesome with your idea or startup, but getting up and running can be hard. Whether it's the money to build your prototype or reach new customers, learning how to run a business for the first time, guidance on any particular business function, a little help from experts and mentors can give your startup that boost it needs.
“ Mentorship allows people to stop reinventing the will. A mentor provides a mentee with a particular road map where they can avoid the pitfalls that the mentor has gone through or seen others go through and come up with solutions themselves based on their own experience. “ Sharon Mitchener, Founder, House of Fotography and one of the mentors
We are excited to have a number of high caliber mentors & coaches, with experience spanning business, fundraising, and tech, signed up and ready to steer our startups to success. The mentors & coaches will work with startups in the Traction Camp Accelerator Program to help them on their journey to success.
"I'm excited to be a mentor and a sounding board and to help support these growth-oriented businesses to scale as fast as they can and as effectively as they can"Michael Gray
The mentors will bring their time, experience, and valuable contacts to the table and provide personal and business development support for the entrepreneurs.
Since not everyone peruses our website on a regular basis, we thought we’d highlight them here for you.
Below is a list of some of our amazing Mentors & Coaches for the Traction Camp Program.
Michael Gray -Coach, Consultant
Michael Gray is a passionate venture builder with 14 years of experience across 17 countries and having mentored 100+ startups. As a successful “intrapreneur” and “entrepreneur,” Michael has designed, built, launched, and scaled multi-industry, multi-country, and multi-million dollar initiatives both internally and externally for the nonprofit, public, and private sectors in Latin America, South Asia, West Africa, and East Africa. His sector experience includes agribusiness, education technology, financial services, mobile money and payments, consumer goods, and micro-franchising. Michael accelerated Arifu ~9X in user acquisition (45K to 430K customers and growing), ~5X talent growth (5 to 25 staff), and the development of all business functions (HR, IT, PM, Tech/Product, Data, Content, Finance, etc.) and product innovations, which included supporting all investor readiness activities.
Nyasha Mutsekwa -Coach, Consultant
Nyasha Mutsekwa is an information technology leader with over 10 years of experience in IT across the African continent. He has had extensive experience in technology-focused innovations, project management, and sales leadership. His skills range from expertise in sales; product & process management and customer success. He has worked in both South Africa and Kenya for Oracle leading cross LoB teams to deliver on focused product strategies.
He has had extensive experience in running developer teams with specific revenue goals within corporate and in start-up environments. As an adviser to Springlab – one of his roles was to help the start-ups in the lab build better solutions for the African market. He enjoys working with teams to solve complex problems – motivating teams to be more efficient in delivering services.
Danielle Anderson -Founder of Step & Stone
Danielle Anderson is a startup coach and investor for creative, social, and environmental businesses located in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. In her past life, Danielle spent a decade working within investment banking, developing business strategies, managing projects, and turning big ideas into reality. She now works with entrepreneurs to help them get strategic and get their ideas off the ground.
Segeni Ng’ethe - Director, MOJA FREE WIFI
Segeni Ng’ethe is the current director at MOJA FREE WIFI which is a BRCK LTD initiative to provide Free Wifi in public areas, restaurants, buses, matatus, shops, town centers, markets, bus stops, etc. In addition to the free internet, Moja hosts free and entertaining content. In the past, he was the founder of MamaMikes which is an award winning e-commerce shop used by Kenyans living in the diaspora (US, Europe, and Asia) to provide for their family and friends at home. Segeni built the business from the ground up and led the team to scale operations from Kenya into Uganda.Segeni is also TED Fellow and Stanford University Fellow
Sandra Chege-Program Manager, Equity Bank
Sandra Chege is a financial services sector practitioner with 8 years of working experience in banking and financial services. Her experience spans work in private sector, banking as well as development finance project based work. She has a passion for entrepreneurship and seizes every opportunity to work on projects that have the potential to catalyze growth in Kenya through the innovativeness of the Kenyan entrepreneur and small business owner.
Joe Kanyua-Master Principal Sales Consultant, Oracle
Joe Kanyua (Industry nickname Joe-as-a-Service, #JaaS) is simply a business-technology evangelist of repute. Still, in his youthful days, his career accomplishments are simply impeccable. No surprises from the first student to graduate with a first-class honor in Computer Science at Kenyatta University. He has held more than 11 top job roles in blue chip companies in a span of 10 years. Having started off as a Software Engineer with UK firm Ascribe Plc., he has morphed into a business advisor of note, fast and furious.
His early career days (0-5 years) saw him work for the Spanish giant Indra Sistemas as a systems consultant. Later, in conformance to the career path of any ambitious person in Kenya, Safaricom was irresistible. He joined them in August 2008. His stint at Safaricom’s IT department saw him rise to the position of Principal Business Analyst and Architect in a record of 2 years. His meticulousness saw him transferred to work in the CEO’s Office managing strategic business projects.
Sharon Mitchener -Founder, House of Fotography
Sharon Mitchener has an in-depth background in financial systems and business development and has parlayed her 15 years experience in the financial sectors to founding her own enterprise in the evolving and robust field of commercial and industrial photography. She has over 15 years experience spearheading dozens of financial driven initiatives for technology organizations, management consulting and professional services firms. Before founding House of Fotography in 2010, Sharon served as a consulting program manager for USAID & GTZ, advising the Kenya Government on its communications and training strategy for its Public Procurement parastatal, PPOA.Before that, Sharon was a financial consultant with The Worldbank in Washington D.C, driving the organizations' implementation of automated financial systems. Prior to The Worldbank, Sharon worked as an independent consultant providing financial advisory services to US Fortune 100 companies such as Delta Airlines, MCI WorldCom, and NewellRubbermaid.
Martin Njihia Muturi -CEO, Encarta Media Agency
Martin Njihia Muturi loves the combination of entrepreneurship and the idea of infinite possibilities. He has been an ardent entrepreneur for over 13 years in the East African market. Over these years, he has gained experience in initiating and growing start-ups in various industries. He has had experience in initiating and growing startups in; Marketing and Communication, Health, Technology, Mobile money as well as Masculinity programs in the not for profit sector. He is currently part of the Supa Duka team, a merchants aggregator, which has the distinctive experience in the effective application of technology (recent payment innovations) to small and medium sized business.
David Owino-Executive Director and Business Development Officer of the BCS Group
David Owino is an established leader in business, technology and consulting with over 20 years of management experience in organizational alignment and strategic leadership for results-oriented organizations.Previously, David held senior strategic positions at: Safaricom (Head of Safaricom Business) Kenya Data Networks – Now Liquid Telecom, (Chief Operating Officer) where he was part of the founding team from idea inception to the company becoming a market leader and the biggest data carrier in East and Central Africa; Africa Online Holdings (Operations Manager) and Swift Global Ltd right from start-up to become its General Manager. David was also the Africa Online Post-Acquisition Integration Manager, successfully merging Swift Global and Africa Online in Uganda. He is a Co-Founder of HumanIPO.com, Executive Director at The BCS Group and a Founder at Fanisi Online Limited.
Tyler Goodwin -Founding Partner @ IF Ventures
Tyler Goodwin is an entrepreneur focused on the art and craft of managing the creation process for inclusive businesses — with expertise in concept development, solution validation, and iteration management. He is a founding partner at IF, a venture studio inventing distribution business models as a client service. As head of services, Tyler is responsible for building IF’s Foundational Development process and leading projects. He has led or been a key member of the solution development team for over 10 new businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa — including several spinoff ventures with Unilever (health and household care) and a venture lab within an international water and sanitation NGO. IF is now developing internal concepts in the nutrition and financial inclusion spaces.
Tonya Nyakeya -Program Management and Client Engagement Specialist
Tonya Nyakeya is a program management and client engagement specialist with experience from both the public and private sector with a concentration in innovation and technology for government transformation and societal impact.
The central function of all positions held, have possessed an ardent emphasis on the citizen-first; establishing linkages and developing strategic partnerships; working within multi-institution arrangements with Public Sector, Private Sector, Development Partners and Academia; ensuring that set targets are communicated and understood; results are tracked and stakeholder feedback is reported; adherence to a budget; working within a set time frame; and the delivery of tangible and measurable results. Tonya has participated in many government projects ranging from the presidential digital talent program, coffee reforms committee, Ministry of Devolution and Planning amongst many others. She is the co-founder of Event & Things and Superfluid Labs.
Traction Camp, a regional program that is aimed at nurturing startups in East Africa so as to create globally competitive, growth-oriented, mobile and digital technology businesses.
Want to Mentor our Startups? Contact [email protected]