Teaching Fellows Arrive at MEST to Kick Off 2016 SessionIt’s orientation week over here at MEST, where we are welcoming Teaching Fellows who have come from near and far to work with and train our Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs) for the new school year. Especially exciting is that this next cohort of EITs has representation from Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya (this is the first year MEST recruited EITs in East Africa).
Teaching Fellows bring a fresh and diverse influx of talent, knowledge and experience to mentor the EITs in the intensive and fast-paced space of start-ups, software technology and business at MEST.
The Teaching Fellows and Faculty are recruited from North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The assortment of this group provides the EITs with a global and multicultural perspective necessary to create disruptive and globally successful tech businesses that can scale intercontinentally.
This year’s batch of Teaching Fellows are Computer Science and Business Graduates selected from top universities with International Business and Engineering Degrees, and have work experience in Engineering, Management, Communications and Software Development from companies like Visa, Google, Edelman, Vodafone, Cartier, as well as personal experiences in founding successful startups of their own. Collectively, here’s a quick look at some of experiences and backgrounds these talented individuals are bringing to the table:
It’s a huge pleasure and privilege to introduce the 2015-2016 MEST Teaching Fellows.
[caption id="attachment_2565" align="alignnone" width="219"]
Alex Burkhead is experienced as a Digital Analyst. He's worked at Edelman in New York City. Prior to that, he was a Research Associate at GfK, Director of Sales and Project Manager at Prodigy Launch, and a graduate student at the University of Durham.
When not busy with work, he loves to plays sports; a competitive lacrosse champion with several awards to his name, we are lucky to have his energy and boundless enthusiasm at MEST this year.
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Nikki Okrah has a background in Electronic Payment Channels, Project Management, Digital Prepaid and Visa Mobile Prepaid payments, Research, and Client Services. From interning at Google to working her way up the corporate ladder at Visa, she’s worked in four continents, including Africa.
With degrees and certifications from Harvard Business School, Yale School of Management, and Northwestern University, the MEST business team is more than eager to welcome Nikki.
Her hobbies include singing, running and watching musicals and theatrical performances.
[caption id="attachment_2554" align="alignleft" width="219"] Linus Lundberg[/caption]
Linus Lundberg is the CEO at Million Sounds, a Swedish sound branding agency working with creative thinking companies. His experiences includes being Co-Founder, TRILO Interactive Corporation; CEO, Made By Linus; and Social Entrepreneur, Musicstreet Foundation Corporation.
With a Degree in Music Production and Entrepreneurship from University of Skövde and life-time experience doing exactly what he loves, we hope that Linus is able to teach the EITs to build start-ups from hobbies and interests they are passionate about.
[caption id="attachment_2555" align="alignleft" width="219"] Tolu Agunbiade[/caption]
Tolulope Agunbiade is a member of the MEST community as a Business Fellow from last session. In the past five years, she has worked with 15+ software companies to develop products customers want, and help them grow into sustainable businesses. Her specialties are in business development, customer acquisition, digital business management, user engagement, and content management. She worked as Community manager at Co-Creation Hub before MEST and freelance mobilizer for Elance/Odesk.
Her interests include creative writing, information technology, playing video games, and reading.
[caption id="attachment_2524" align="alignnone" width="219"]Fredrik Andersson[/caption]
Fredrik Andersson is also already a member of the MEST family as a Business Teaching Fellow from last year. His dedication to the individual progress of every EIT and experience as a winning entrepreneur with a bird eye perspective and thoughtful answer for every business conundrum makes him an asset. He is CEO at flairspace.com - a two-time award winning start-up.
When not spending time with the EITs, Fred keeps up to date with global business and tech news and innovations, and spends time with family.
[caption id="attachment_2556" align="alignleft" width="219"]Emily Daher[/caption]
Emily Daher is continuing as MEST Communications Fellow. She had immense success mentoring the EITs last session, helping them transform from stage-shy speakers to confident team leaders with confidence and poise.
A US national who has spent the last six years of her life in Ghana, her experience includes being Director of Community Relations at Africa Atlantic Accra; mentoring Program Coordinator and Business Development Trainer at Hopeline Institute also in Ghana and McGregor Research Fellow at Calvin College Office of Research and Scholarship, Michigan.
Ever modest and ready to lend a helping hand, Emily loves to laugh and have fun learning Ghanaian traditional dances.
[caption id="attachment_2557" align="alignleft" width="219"] Ashwin Ravichandran[/caption]
Ashwin Ravichandran is currently doing a travel based design project called 8WeeksOfWow - two guys on a journey across cities in India to see how collaboration and design can bring about positive change. He has experience as an Interactive Designer/Developer, hacking on the complete front-end of various projects, specializing in UI/UX and developing user-intuitive webpages.
His expertise spans Engineering, Research, Web development, C#, XML, Jquery, HTML, CSS, Visual C++, PHP, and Python. And he continues on a journey of self-discovery and learning from communities whilst leaving behind a trail of good design and social change.
[caption id="attachment_2558" align="alignleft" width="219"] David Quagraine[/caption]
David Quagraine has excellent analytical and problem solving skills with a proven track record of transforming business goals into solutions with the use of technology. He has experience as Applications Developer at Vodafone Ghana; Information Management Consultant at Data to Value, UK; and as Assistant Executive (Business Technology Solutions) – PwC.
He has MSc in Business Technology Consulting, from the Henley Business school at the University of Reading, and Bsc in Information and Communications Technology, School of Technology, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.
In his free time, he’s active in Planet Informatics- where their mission is to educate, inform and prepare students for their professional career.
[caption id="attachment_2559" align="alignleft" width="219"]Yaw Boakye Yiadom[/caption]
Yaw Boakye Yiadom is a MEST Alumni. He was an Entrepreneur in Training in the MEST Class of 2013. He went on to co-found DevCongress - the first organized developers community in Ghana; and build the REST API for the Fessup mobile and web applications using Scala.
He returns to MEST as a Technology Fellow to further his passion to impact the evolving African tech scene and budding techpreneurs. A graduate of Kwame Nkrumah University, Yaw speaks English, Twi and Spanish.
[caption id="attachment_2560" align="alignleft" width="219"] David Selassie Opoku[/caption]
David Selassie Opoku recently beat out 600 applicants from 82 countries to become one of 7 fellows at the School of Data. His passion for Data Science inspires him to organize and facilitate workshops across Accra to empower civil society organizations, journalists and citizens with the skills they need to use data effectively.
He continues as a Technology Fellow at MEST; experience spanning System Design and Analysis Intern at Cold Chain and Logistics; Immunization Unit at UNICEF where he designed processes and IT systems to facilitate data processing and management; and Bioinformatics Analyst for Fei Lab, Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research.
When not volunteering his time, he loves to spend time with his family and close circle of friends.
There you have it - the selection of Teaching Fellows for the MEST 2016 school year. Anyone out there interested in joining MEST as a teaching fellow can visit this page for more information.
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Due to COVID-19, MEST postpones training program to next year and doubles down on growing portfolio companies
At MEST, we continue to be deeply concerned about COVID-19 and have been closely monitoring developments locally and globally. Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our community and we will continue to follow local authority and health official guidelines.
Due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic and the uncertainty that the future of travel holds, we have been unable to conduct in-person interviews and host recruitment around Africa for our next cohort. For this reason, we have taken the decision to postpone the Training Program to next year.
While these circumstances are indeed unfortunate, we see this as an exciting opportunity at MEST to double down on providing support and mentorship to our existing portfolio companies and the African ecosystem.
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