Feature Friday is a weekly column highlighting people making a difference in different fields. This week we have Caroline Akoth from Startup Grind, Nairobi.
Who is Caroline Akoth?
Caroline Akoth is the Co-Director of Startup Grind Nairobi and also a Geo-spatial information Systems (GIS) Consultant. I studied Environmental Planning and Management.
I started working with startups in 2013, at first working with a startup that focused on providing discounts to students at their favorite’s merchant stores through the use of discount cards. This experience introduced me to startups and the process of starting up and running a successful business in Kenya.
Your journey as the co-director of Startup-Grind?
I joined startup grind in 2017 as a co-director and the experience has been nothing short of amazing.
Startup Grind is a global community with a mission to educate every entrepreneur in the world. Through monthly meetups with local successful founders, we educate, inspire and connect entrepreneurs to the people and resources that they need to succeed.
Startup Grind Nairobi was founded in 2014 by Betty Mutimba who now serves as the Africa Regional Director. Since 2014 we have hosted over 40 Fireside Chats featuring Founders and CEOs of Startups in various sectors such as Agriculture, Finance, and Technology among others. Over this period we have successfully worked with various partners and supporters such as:
- Metta Nairobi,
- the iHub,
- Creatives Garage,
- Nairobi Garage and
- Strathmore Business School.
Over the years we have successfully grown our community to over 5000 entrepreneurs. We connect with our network through monthly fireside chats, weekly newsletters, global and regional conferences, where we provide access to investor networks.
In 2014, Startup Grind partnered with Google for Entrepreneurs on the #40Forward campaign to support female entrepreneurs. Since then, we globally host an annual Female Founders Event every May in our bid to continue to support women’s representation and participation in entrepreneurship. We celebrate exemplary female founders in our community and help form strong mentorship networks for women founders.
Startup Grind Nairobi is run by a team of 3.
Betty Mutimba who ensures that Startup Grind Nairobi works efficiently with other Startup Grind Chapters in the continent (Eldoret, Kampala, Dar Es Salaam, Lagos etc)
Caroline Akoth who ensures works Partnerships run smoothly and Lisa Ocharo who is in charge of Marketing.
Significance to the African start-up ecosystem?
Startup Grind in Africa has a total 60 chapters in Africa.
- 12 Chapters in Nigeria,
- 1 chapter in Algeria,
- 1 Chapter in Malawi,
- 10 chapters in South Africa and
- 4 chapters in Kenya among others. See more about Startup Grind Chapters.
We exist to help entrepreneurs get the support they need to succeed in their ventures. We hope that our efforts will lead to increased cross-border trade within the continent, sharing relevant solutions to problems that are unique to African countries.
Start-up Grind in the next 5 Years?
The Startup Grind Nairobi Team intends to grow our reach through annual Startup Grind Africa Conferences in order to connect all Africa startup ecosystems with each other and the rest of the world. We help entrepreneurs get the support they need to succeed in their ventures. We hope that our efforts will lead increased cross-border trade within the continent, sharing relevant solutions to problems that are unique to African countries.
How can people find you or stay updated on the next events?
Fellow entrepreneurs can join our community and view our event calendar by going to www.startupgrind.com/nairobi. We send our weekly newsletters and informative articles to our community members. You can also follow us on social media @StartupGrindNbi on Twitter and Instagram.
Entrepreneurship is hard, it’s draining and it’s frustrating. Startup Grind exists to support entrepreneurs through this journey by providing a platform through which they learn from the successful founders and investors. We exist to educate, inspire and connect the entrepreneurial community.