June 2015 Guest Lecture Weekend

MEST | Friday, June 5th, 2015

Every quarter at MEST, we host business and technology leaders from around the world as guest speakers. They come to share their professional experiences and lessons learned with our entrepreneurs and students. The top 10 salespeople from Meltwater also attended this weekend’s event, which doubled as Graduation weekend for the MEST Class of 2015.

It was an exciting weekend for the MEST community. Here is a peek at the guest speakers’ profiles.

Speaker Profiles

James St. Jean

James St. Jean leads global technology, innovation and product engineering at Meltwater. Jim is focused on building a world-class software development organization that leverages the diverse talents of the company’s engineers across six development centers worldwide.

Jim came to Meltwater from the acquisition of JitterJam in 2011, where he was previously Chief Technology Officer. Following the acquisition, Jim integrated the JitterJam and Meltwater Buzz products, and unified the social media product teams before stepping into his current role.
Salim Virani is one of the founders of the Lean Startup movement, and an educator in Europe’s top accelerators and universities – from Oxford to Seedcamp. He’s the creator of Leancamp, which brought together Lean Startup, business model generation and user experience design – and now covers 14 cities in the United States and Europe.

He’s a founding partner in Founder Centric, which designs and delivers education programmes for a number of Europe’s accelerators, universities and corporates. Salim has founded 5 startups, from e-commerce to ISPs, and founded the digital media department of a major international marketing agency.

Recently, he’s developed and taught The Africa Prize For Engineering Innovation with The Royal Academy Of Engineering UK. This programme addresses both the unique opportunities and challenges of bringing hard technology to market in Africa – by drawing on the best know-how within the continent, and augmenting it with more structured approaches as seen in Europe and the United States.

Yomi Adedeji

Yomi Adedeji is the Founder & CEO of Softcom, a thinking company with core technology expertise in Strategy, Systems and Presence.

Softcom currently serves market leaders in Banking (Diamond Bank), Education (Covenant University),Telecommunications (MTN Nigeria) and Retail (Procter & Gamble) providing bespoke technology solutions and products to help drive their business objectives and customer retention.

In 2014, Softcom won the most outstanding partner to Samsung Business West Africa after the successful delivery of a Social Mobile Learning project with Covenant University deploying 7000 customized learning devices with Softcom’s proprietary edu-social platform and Samsung Knox for device management. Softcom also just recently secured $100 million dollars fund to provide similar solutions to 50 Universities in Nigeria in partnership with Samsung.

Yomi founded Softcom from his bedroom as a University student and has led Softcom since his graduation in 2007 till now.
Kosi Yankey

Kosi Yankey is the founder of KeyCredit Microfinance Institution & Nuba Foods and Commodities. Over the last five years, KeyCredit has provided financial services and training programs to Ghanaian economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs, mostly women.

With a history in microfinance, Kosi has been involved in working for organisations such as UBS, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank, and now addresses issues affecting small farmers in Ghana with Nuba Foods, a Ghanaian-based agri-business that sources commodities from regional farmers and supplies them to industries in West Africa.

Kosi, born in Ghana, lived in London and New York, where she worked with financial institutions such as UBS, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank.