To catalyze the Kenyan tech community’s growth.

TEAM

Josiah Mugambi
iHub : Executive Director

Josiah Mugambi has had several years’ experience in ICT, including software solutions development and networking, and spent nine years working in the telecommunications space with NSN and Huawei.
Josiah is one of the co-founders of Skunkworks, an informal gathering of Kenyan technology enthusiasts, have participated in organizing numerous meetings and talks bringing together mostly software & web developers, designers, engineers and bloggers to share their knowledge and network. Kenya’s first BarCamp was a result of this networking, and has been regularly held since then. One of the main aims behind the forming of this group is networking of common techies with the aim of spurring innovation amongst them. Additionally, Josiah has been involved in several startups.
He sat on the Board of Advisors at the Nairobi iHub from its inception before taking over as Executive Director from Erik Hersman in Sept 2013. He is also an iHub Trustee.

Nekesa Were
iHub : Director of Operations

Were is iHub’s Director of Operations a role to which she brings more than 10 years experience in leadership, management, operations and logistics. Nekesa is passionate about developing and executing the strategy that will provide the foundation and stability for the iHub to lead the agenda and drive the conversation in the Kenya and Africa technology sector. She manages the operations for the all the different departments of the iHub so they can work effectively and efficiently complementing each other. 

Jessica Colaço
iHub : Director of Partnerships

Jessica Colaço is passionate about Innovation, Research, Visualization, Mobile Technology, Robotics and Entrepreneurship in Kenya. Jessica mentors the team in research activities, leading the team in their day-to-day activities at the research firm. She studied Computer Science at the University of Nairobi before joining Strathmore Research and Consultancy Centre as the Research Lead where she worked for 3 years. Jessica has additional training in applied research, proposal writing, and management consultancy. She is a TED Global Fellow in 2009, is Founder of Mobile Boot Camp Kenya, and Co-founder of AkiraChix. Jessica has organized several Mobile Boot Camps in Kenya as well as the first Facebook Developer Garage in Kenya in 2008 and was named Kenya’s Top 40 women under 40 in the business scence in 2012.

Jacob Chencha
iHub : Developer

Chencha is a software developer with a background in API design and engineering. He is passionate about the web and the technologies that power it.During his spare time Chencha is an active member of various local tech communities where he teaches novice developers to design and write API centric applications. Chencha holds a Bsc Actuarial Science Degree from the University of Nairobi.

Rachel Gichinga
iHub : Dev Community Manager

Rachel is passionate about the intersection of tech, development, advocacy and creativity. Projects that she’s worked on mostly include using the internet and artistic expression to get young Kenyans actively and consciously engaged in political development. At some point in her life she co-founded an online advocacy startup, Kuweni Serious, and she is an alumna of the Acumen Fund East Africa Fellows Program. She is also solely responsible for any and all Beyonce tracks that play at the iHub.  

Jacob Amwayi
iHub : Finance Officer

Jacob is a CPA Finalist and currently an undergraduate student pursuing Bachelor of Commerce, Strathmore University. His responsibility surrounds full array of financial operations like payment tracking, cash management, expenditure control accurate, and timely financial reporting for iHub and Mlab East Africa. Nicknamed as Mr. Receipt.

Christine Wanjiru
iHub : Partnership Assistant

With a background in Law and Business, Christine is ardent about entrepreneurship, mentorship and advocacy. She is a strong believer that information is the key to disrupt the conventional way of doing things.During her spare time she loves to play the guitar, write poetry and contribute to the blogosphere via: http://nairobininja.wordpress.com/

Joseph Mathai
iHub : Digital Content & Media Assistant

A USIU trained journalist & an aspiring animator Joseph thrives behind the camera. He is a still photography and videography aficionado. Joe is currently the director/editor behind African Tech Bits, an iHub production that features start ups in the tech scene. This Canonite can mostly be seen at the iHub in the company of his Canon 550D.

Brian Henia
iHub : Client Relations Assistant

Brian is an aggressive, enthusiastic, eager to learn person, and a tech optimist who believes technology will make a better world. Extremely passionate about his work, he quickly gains mastery of whatever he’s doing and then tackles the task with precision and thought. He has a proven track record in transforming departments into significant revenue earners. Also, he is a strong believer in mentorship. He is a mobile money evangelist and an all-around great teammate!

Rosemary Njeri
ihub : Director of Finance

Rosemary Njeri is Director of Finance at iHub. She has experience as a finance manager for 10 years in different Non-Governmental Organizations in the Kenyan finance sector. Prior to moving to iHub in May 2012, Rosemary worked for Resources Oriented Development Initiatives as a Finance Manager on different projects funded by Tudor Trust UK, Action Aid Kenya, DFID, GLS German and Oxfam GB. She also worked as a Finance Manager for Foods and Trade Networks for East Africa where she was responsible for setting up finance systems and directing accounting departments, managing human resource, system reviews and financial reporting and analysis for the organization. Rosemary holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Accounting and Finance Option from Kenya Methodist University.

James Orengo
ihub : Security Manager

James joined iHub in 2010 as a Security Manager, having over a decade of experience working with various security firms, including G4S and KK Security Group of Companies. His work at iHub involves ensuring safety and security of iHub  Staff and all iHub Members within the iHub space.  James enjoys singing, composing and recording gospel songs in various choirs such as the Methodist Church of Kenya and Pentecostal Church of Kenya. He is also a guitarist.

Jimmy Gitonga
community : Lead

Jimmy took the scenic road to getting here. Having studied physics and applied maths in campus, he furthered in electronics at the Kenya Polytechnic.  He then veered into graphic design, web design, Flash development and motion graphics. He then went into animation, being involved in the pilot project of the now famous "Tingatinga Tales". Jimmy is a founding member of the ARK, a design house that developed the Zuku brand for Wananchi and designed the iHub space. He came to the iHub as a Green Member and lead in the iHub Cluster Initiative. He is a member id the Planet Rackus crew, who warn the Pivot East 2012 Entertainment and Overall Prize with their Ma3Racer mobile game and http://www.essentialafrica.com/. At iHub he now has the title, "Hype Master".

Mugethi Gitau
community : Community Manager

Mugethi Gitau is an all round creative. A techie by training, she is into all things design - Graphics, fashion, interiors. A writer of fiction and a poet.
Mugethi has a rich mix of experience ranging from training, community development and advocacy, research and design.
A people's person, she enjoys linking the iHub Tech Community with each other, investors/corporates, academics and other stakeholders. She runs a tech blog hergeekiness.wordpress.com. She has a dream that one day, Kenyan techies will innovate their own computers and mobile devices.

James Ndiga
community : Outreach Coordinator

A graduate from Strathmore University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Information Technology, James has a great zeal for learning and his business acumen and enthusiasm has proven to be an asset in all undertakings. In his spare time, James loves to travel, adventure and all things adrenalin.

Angela Okune
research : Research Lead

Angela Okune is keen on understanding the spread of information through ICTs, especially looking at use amongst disadvantaged communities in East Africa. In her current position as Research Lead at iHub, she provides strategic guidance for growth of tech research in the region and supports the team to run the 15+ research projects being undertaken at any given time. Prior to moving to Kenya in 2010 on a Fulbright fellowship, Angela was involved in corporate outreach to engage businesses in dialogue on sustainability at the World Wildlife Fund (Washington, DC, USA). She has experience working with infoDev (World Bank), the US State Department, and the Environmental Law Institute (ELI). Angela studied at Georgetown University and University of Cape Town. She is also co-founder of Waza Experience.

Leonida Mutuku
research : Research Manager

Leonida Mutuku is the lead at the new Data Science Lab at iHub Research. Leo is passionate about building capacity to work with data and using data science for business intelligence and informed decision-making. An actuary by training, Leo has a background in conducting both academic and financial quantitative research. Leo has previously worked at Family Bank and Barclays Bank and is experienced in research design, data analysis and creative visualization of data. Leo has also done extensive market and social research in thematic areas such as open data, mobile and web technologies. She works closely with start-ups and various organizations to realize the potential of data and technology innovations.

Rhoda Omenya
research : Grants Manager

Rhoda brings to the team extensive research experience in the field of community development. Her focus now on spurring citizen participation in the tech scene, specifically, local tech solutions that empower communities. She is merging these two fields as part of the monitoring and evaluation of Uchaguzi and Open Data - citizen centered projects.

Nanjira Sambuli
research : Research Manager

Nanjira is a Research Manager at iHub, where she leads the Governance & Technology research pillar. Nanjira is trained as a mathematician with experience as a new media strategist for organizations such as UNEP, UN HABITAT, Africans Act 4 Africa, Global Power Shift, on their pan-African and international campaigns. Nanjira is also the editor of the Innovative Africa: The new face of Africa tech essay collection. She is also a musician. Find out more about her on: http://www.about.me/ninanjira/

Hilda Moraa
research : Junior Research Fellow

Hilda Moraa assists in iHub Research innovation and entrepreneurship studies, including ICT related in-house projects. Hilda received her bachelor’s degree in “Business in Information Technology” at Strathmore University and is currently enrolled as a master’s student at Jomo Kenyatta University studying entrepreneurship. Hilda’s experience in quantitative research, market research, management consulting, operations research in a fast-paced high-exposure environment has been invaluable in designing and managing research studies and implementation projects. She is the co-founder of WezaTele Limited which focuses on providing value added services and innovative solutions to SMEs in the micro distribution and financial sectors.

Patrick Costello
research : Senior Data Scientist

Patrick is a Senior Data Scientist at iHub. He has a keen interest in all things quantitative modeling and the insights they brings to wide variety of fields. He has a PhD in mathematical physics, has worked as an economic modeler for the Australian Government and also in finance and investment banking. His main focus currently is on the technical aspects of the projects being undertaken by the Data Science and Visualisation Lab. He also runs regular trainings as part of internal and external capacity building. Patrick is part of the Australian Volunteers for International Development program.

Anne Salim
research : Researcher

Anne Salim studies the growth of African mobile-based education with a focus on the sustainable use of technologies in schools. As a researcher at iHub, she leads the  research programs on M-Governance and EdTech . M-Governance study has focused on the role of mobile devices for enhancing transparency in governance of the water sector.  Anne studied Business Information Technology from Strathmore University and her interests include applying Design Thinking processes to Kenya, as well as facilitating Hackathon events.

Albert Otieno Orwa
research : Junior Research Fellow

As a statistician, Albert's main role at iHub Research entails entry, visualization of graphics and analysis of various projects. He explains complex ideas and findings in a way that can easily be understood. Albert holds a BSc. In Applied Statistics with Computing and is currently working on his masters in social statistics. He is passionate about research.

Chris Orwa
research : Junior Data Scientist

Chris is passionate about Data Mining, Behavioural Economics, Business Modelling and Technology. Previously a co-founder and operations manager at Doban Africa Ltd, a data mining start-up company specializing in optimization of business processes through analytics. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Kenyatta University with focus in artificial intelligence and computer graphics.

Brian Omwenga
research : Senior Research Fellow

Brian holds an MSc in Computer Science from MIT University and is a PhD candidate at the University of Nairobi, School of Computing and Informatics. He specializes in Design and Analysis of Algorithms, research, project management, software engineering and development.
He is currently a lecturer in the University of Nairobi, School of Computing and Informatics and a senior research fellow at iHub Research, where he is spearheading the African Technology Innovation Index study.
As a co-founder and chair in the Tech Innovation Society of Kenya, he uses this platform to promote understanding the African innovation ecosystem and has worked for international organizations like Nokia Research Centre – Africa and Microsoft as a thought leader in Tech-Innovation, Ecosystems, Modeling, Algorithms, Tech-Policy, Tech-prenuership, Cloud computing, Software Engineering, System Analysis & Design.

Faith Kabesa
research : Project Coordinator

Faith is fascinated by social media and how it is transforming conversations and reactions. She holds a bachelors degree in Communication. She has worked, and continues to work, on Umati—a project monitoring dangerous speech online. She is very passionate about research.

Lynda Okoko
research : Research Assistant

Lynda joined iHub in 2014 as a research assistant in Education Technology, although her background is in engineering. Projects she is involved in include eLimu, Karibu Centre and PanyaBot. She holds an Meng degree from the University of Sheffield.

Kennedy Kirui
consulting : Lead

Kirui is passionate about leveraging technology to solve the day to day challenges that different individuals and organizations face. Kirui has previously worked as a software developer and a project manager. He is passionate about mentoring the next generation of techies and taking the tech ecosystem in Kenya to the next level.

Mercy Deche
consulting : Project Assistant

Mercy Deche holds a BSc. in Computer Science from JKUAT. She is passionate about changing the world one person at a time, through mentorship, accountability and altruism. Mercy has varied experience ranging from software development, data analysis, project coordination and project management. She believes every question that has ever been asked has an answer hidden in a book somewhere.

Mark Kamau
iHub UX Lab : Lead

Mark Kamau is a designer at heart and is passionate about design. He has been teaching design for over a decade and has international experience both in the continent and in Europe. He is passionate and excited about Africa and believes Africa should engage intelligently to solve her own socio-economic problems. He believes smart design truly has power to change Africa!

Abigael Wangui
uxlab : UX Researcher

Abby is a happy UX researcher at the iHub UX Lab. She is passionate about helping people create simple, innovative but USABLE and enjoyable products to solve social problems. A Financier by training she became a techie through experience and curiosity. She is a graduate of University of Nairobi.

Marie Amuti
uxlab : UX Research Intern

Marie is a budding UX designer with a major interest in psychology and human computer interaction. She believes Africa should have a voice in how and what technology it should work with. She has a background in software engineering and an all-round creative.

Samantha Merritt
fellow : Visiting Research Fellow

Samantha Merritt is a Visiting Research Fellow with iHub Research and the UX Lab. She is an Informatics doctoral candidate at Indiana University, School of Informatics and Computing, Human-Computer Interaction—where she is also an Associate Instructor of Informatics. Samantha's prior research and doctoral project center around understanding the theoretical relationship between culture and technology design methodologies/practice. She is specifically concerned with cross-cultural technology design and ICT4D projects.

Eleanor Marchant
fellow : Visiting Research Fellow

Eleanor Marchant is a Visiting Research Fellow at iHub and a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication - University of Pennsylvania. Eleanor conducts research at the intersection of communications and development with a focus on innovative uses of ICTs for development and transnational communications. She is particularly interested in the dynamics where global and local meet in East Africa. She has previously been a fellow at the Center for Global Communication Studies at Penn, the Programme in Comparative Media Law & Policy at Oxford University, and at the Media Institute in Nairobi. Prior to returning to academia, Eleanor worked as a media investment and development practitioner with a focus in the West and East African regions for both Media Development Investment Fund and Freedom House. As a doctoral student, she strives to conduct research that merges her past and present lives and crosses the academic/practitioner divide.

Michael Waltinger
fellow : Visiting Research Fellow

Michael Waltinger is a Visiting Research Fellow at iHub and a doctoral candidate at the Ludwigsburg University of Education, Faculty of Education and Social Sciences, Department of Media Pedagogy. In his ethnographic study, he is looking into mobile communication and media appropriation in Eastlands, Nairobi. Michael has spent the last few years as a lecturer and research associate with Stuttgart Media University (HdM) and Macromedia University for Media and Communication (MHMK) – both in Germany. He is now based in Stockholm, Sweden. More on www.thinkbeyondborders.org. 

Juliet Ongwae
fellow : Visiting Research Fellow

Juliet Ongwae possesses over 10 years of rich international experience in central and corporate banking garnered from work with commercial banks and the Central Bank of Kenya. Throughout her employment, Juliet has lectured/facilitated various courses both on national payment systems, change management, communication and interpersonal skills at Kenya School of Monetary Studies and introductory finance and economics courses at Strathmore University. Her research interests include User Experience, ICT4D, M4D, and Financial Inclusion Innovations. She is currently pursuing a doctoral research on user experience in the design of mobile money innovations in Kenya at The University of Manchester Institute for Development Policy & Management.

Erik Hersman
advisors : Advisor

Erik Hersman is an international technology influencer with a keen eye on the impact of web and mobile technology innovation across Africa. Raised in Sudan and Kenya, Erik brings unique energy and insight to the world of technology and innovation – bridging the gap between Africa and Silicon Valley. He has a B.S. in Business Management from Florida State University. As part of the Ushahidi strategy he has been building the iHub (Nairobi's innovation hub) since early 2010, a place that has grown to 3000+ Kenyan developers, designers, and entrepreneurs with connections in the corporate, academic and investor sectors.

An avid blogger, Erik writes two different technology-related blogs - AfriGadget and WhiteAfrican. He is frequently a speaker at meetings and conferences dealing with technology in Africa, mapping, blogging and web application development, including; TED, PopTech, DEMO, Picnic, SXSW, Where 2.0 and Web 2.0. He is a TED Senior Fellow, a PopTech Faculty Fellow, sits on the Safaricom Innovation Board and is a founding organizer of Maker Faire Africa.

Juliana Rotich
iHub : Advisor

Juliana Rotich is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Ushahidi Inc, a non-profit tech company, born in Africa, which specializes in developing free and open source software for information collection, interactive mapping and data curation.  Ushahidi builds tools for democratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories. Through Crowdmap.com, Swiftly.org and accompanying mobile applications, Ushahidi is expanding its global footprint and making crowdsourcing tools available and useful, and catalyzing entrepreneurial initiatives like iHub in Kenya. Juliana has worked in the telecommunications and data warehousing industry for over ten years.  She has a Computer Science degree from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She is a Technologist, MIT Fellow, TED Senior Fellow and currently serves as Vice Chair of World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Data Driven Development.