Pathways for Impact in the Developing World
It not just entrepreneurs and innovators who are affecting change in the developing world. Investors, policy makers and influencers all play a critical role when it comes to moving ecosystems forward. This panel of MIT alumni will share the paths they took, post-MIT, and the roles they play now as essential actors driving impact around the globe.
Bolaji Finnih, Techpreneur Africa.
Founder, Techpreneur Africa
Bolaji Finnih is the founder of Technpreneur Africa, an organisation focused on harnessing innovation, technology and entrepreneurship for real economic impact across Africa. As the Team Champion for the Lagos MIT REAP cohort for 2016 and convener/co-founder of Impacthub Lagos, he is dedicated to the development of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Bolaji is a graduate of the Sloan Fellow’s program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a fellow of the MIT Legatum Centre for Development and Entrepreneurship, a MasterCard Foundation Fellow and recipient of both the Sloan School of Management Deans’ Fellowship and Sloan Fellows Program Global Scholars Scholarship awards. He is also a member of the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council. A member of the faculty of the Enterprise Development Center of the Pan African University and a member of the FATE Foundation Faculty, Bolaji is also a professional business coach and mentor. He is dedicated to enabling the achievement of innate entrepreneurial potential particularly in developing economies.
Kenfield is CEO and Co-Founder of mSurvey; a mobile survey technology company. mSurvey is a mobile-first platform using mobile messaging to enable scalable conversations to improve the relationship between businesses and their customers. mSurvey's products are used by a range of businesses across emerging markets; from Safaricom, the creators of M-PESA; Java, the Starbucks of Africa; and Harvard to conduct adherence research on the continent. mSurvey activates the voices of the offline, ‘invisible’ consumer. Kenfield received his PhD from MIT where he studied Design and Computation. Kenfield focuses on designing better businesses, services, and products utilizing methodologies for high-quality (data) feedback loops. Using case studies in Africa and LATAM, Kenfield developed an end to end technology while at MIT to provide highquality data to businesses through structured conversations with consumers, to drive business growth in emerging markets.
Proterra Investment Partners
Mr. Obaseki is a Vice President in Proterra Investment Partners’ London office, with a focus on agribusiness/food and beverage private equity investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to Proterra, Mr. Obaseki worked for Black River Asset Management, a division of Cargill, where he also focused on food sector investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to Black River, Mr. Obaseki worked at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group, where he served in the Global Infrastructure & Natural Resources Group, focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa growth equity and debt investments in the oil and gas sector. Mr. Obaseki began his career at Tradewinds Global Investors, a subsidiary of Nuveen (~$230bn in AUM), where he focused on global natural resource investments.
Mr. Obaseki serves on the Board of Directors of Stawi Foods and Fruits, an ALN Ventures investee company, and is on the Board of Advisors of Growth Capital, Nigeria’s first social innovation fund, focused on supporting high potential, early stage businesses building technology-enabled next generation infrastructure in Nigeria. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Dartmouth College and his MBA from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), where he was a Fellow at the Legatum Center for Entrepreneurship & Development.
FIONA MURRAY (moderator)
Associate Dean for Innovation; William Porter (1967) Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship, MIT Sloan School of Management
Prof. Fiona Murray is the William Porter (1967) Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship, and the faculty director at both the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and the Legatum Center. She is also the associate dean for Innovation, co-director of the Innovation Initiative, and has most recently been appointed a member of the UK Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology (CST). Fiona is an international expert on the transformation of investments in scientific and technical innovation into innovation-based entrepreneurship that drives jobs, wealth creation, and regional prosperity. She has a special interest in how policies, programs, and relationships between academia and industry can be designed to accelerate the productive role of universities in their local entrepreneurial ecosystem.