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Launch a Startup in 54 Hours

Startup Weekend Nairobi is back bringing together programmers, developers, marketers, designers, startup enthusiasts among other diverse groups, to form groups and develop viable business ideas in 54 hours.This weekend-long, hands-on experience where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if their startup ideas are viable.

Still have questions? Read the FAQ to get more information or talk to us at

Join in the conversation on Google plus, Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #SWNairobi.

Startup Weekend Nairobi is coming to you at a very exciting time this year. The event will be hosted during Global Entrepreneurship Week and the teams will be competing in the Global Startup Battle where over 150 cities across the world will also be participating at the same time. The winners will get a chance to win the grand prize which is a trip to Google HQ, 20,000 USD and mentorship opportunities with A-List entrepreneurs!



Nov 22
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Nov 23
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Nov 24
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Platinum Sponsors

Njeri Rionge

One of Kenya's most successful serial entrepreneurs   |  

‘Njeri Rionge is one of East Africa's leading women entrepreneurs and among the region's very few women pioneers in the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector.’
BBC World Service

If you have used Zuku, you have been touched by Ms. Rionge. Rionge is well-known for co-founding East Africa’s first mass market oriented ISP, Wananchi Online which made Internet connectivity affordable for the average household for the first time. Njeri is known as a ‘tech entrepreneur’ in some circles. As CEO, Rionge raised a first tranche of $500,000 and a second tranche of $3M for Wananchi, and the company eventually went on to raise up to $238M.

Njeri is passionate about growing businesses and igniting potential. She has over 26 years of leadership and change-management experience,
having worked throughout her career within companies and also as an external management consultant, scaling businesses for corporate and
start up initiatives both in Kenya and internationally.
She uses her entrepreneurial skill set to ignite passion to deliver organizational development and deliver bottom line results. She has a great track record that demonstrates effective leadership in high-growth start-ups and corporate turnaround scenarios.

Gold Sponsors

Neer Chandaria

Director and Shareholder of Chandaria Group and Head of Sales, Marketing and Business Development

Neer Chandaria holds an undergraduate Business Management degree from Brunel University in the UK. He is a Director and Shareholder of Chandaria Group and heads up the Sales, Marketing and Business Development functions of Chandaria Industries in Kenya and Tanpack Tissues in Tanzania which are 2 of the group’s largest companies. He is passionate about brand building and plays a key role in the group’s corporate and consumer brand strategies across East Africa. Chandaria Group has operations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, the UK and India within Tissue, Paper and Hygiene Products Manufacturing, Mining, Banking, Petroleum, Packaging and Real Estate. Neer sits on the board of all 15 group companies. He is the youngest member of the Economic Council of Oshwals committee in Kenya after being invited to join in July 2013 in recognition of his continuous support for the community. Neer is also passionate about supporting the community at large and personally supports a number of schools, NGO’s and institutions across East Africa. His hobbies are interior design, motor sports and he is a keen golfer, playing off handicap 3. His motivation in life is “we were born as originals so should not die as copies”.

Robert Yawe

MD KAY System Technologies Limited   |  

Robert is one of those rare mentors who also naturally serves as an inspiration for all the start ups he deals with. Given his vast experience in management and setting up successful businesses, he has proved quite useful in propelling start ups to secure their places in the business world.

Claire Munene

Head of Department Customer Value Management   |   LinkedIn

Claire has been at Safaricom since 2000 where she has spearheaded the roll-out of many cutting-edge technologies that Safaricom is renowned for. She is passionate about innovation and teamwork. This is evident in how she runs her department at Safaricom

Isaac Fokuo

CEO African Leadership Network and Principal Botho Ltd.

Isaac Kwaku Fokuo Jr. is CEO of African Leadership Network (ALN) and co-Founder and Board member of the Sino-Africa Center of Excellence (SACE). In addition to his non-profit work, Isaac is a Principal at BOTHO Limited. He has over 15 years of experience in change and project management, supply-chain management, business development, process design and implementation, China/Africa relations, political and economic risk analysis, and Islamic finance.

Boldewijn Sloet

Managing Director Barefoot Power Africa

Boldewijn Sloet has 10 years’ experience in international business with a focus on emerging and developing markets. After obtaining his law degree from the University of Amsterdam, he worked in business development and consulting in the Netherlands. From 2007 Boldewijn has been involved with Barefoot Power, an Australian off-grid energy company with subsidiaries in four African countries, initially as a seed investor and later in operations. Boldewijn started the first African subsidiary of Barefoot Power in Uganda and currently oversees all African operations for the company from Nairobi, Kenya.


Matthew Pelton

Program Director, Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship   |  

Matt Pelton is the Program Director of the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship at the African Leadership Network. He is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs with business and leadership skills that allow them to drive social and economic development in their communities and beyond. He currently teaches entrepreneurial leadership to young adults throughout Sub-Saharan Africa with Babson College, and through unique roles with Babson and Culver Academies, he has mentored young adults and aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world. Prior to ALN, Matt worked as a Transaction Services consultant at KPMG providing accounting policy and due diligence advice to Technology, Energy, and Financial Services clients. A licensed Certified Public Accountant, Matt completed a postgraduate program at the Governmental Accounting Standards Board after graduating Summa Cum Laude from Augustana College (Illinois).

Eston Kimani

CEO and Co-Founder Africa's Talking Ltd.   |   LinkedIn

Eston Kimani is the CEO and co-founder of Africa's Talking. Africa's Talking provides a developer API platform for building SMS, USSD and Voice applications in Kenya. Africa's Talking Ltd was part of the Hub Ventures tech accelerator program in San Francisco. Eston is a graduate of MIT and an experienced entrepreneur.

Ella Peinovich

Founder Shopsoko

Since graduating from MIT, Ella relocated to Nairobi to fulfill her role as CEO of SOKO. As the ideator and driving entrepreneurial force behind SOKO, Ella leverages her knowledge of systems design and social entrepreneurship to manage the company’s product development and emerging markets business development. In addition to her work on the ground, Ella manages the company’s global relations and strategic partnership development necessary to make SOKO a sustainable success. Ella is an Ashoka Fellow, was awarded the TIAW 'World of Difference’ Award in 2013, is an Honorary member of United Success, and was recognized by the BidNetwork as the Female Social Entrepreneur of the year in 2012.

Evans Wadongo

Executive Director and Chairman of SDFA-Kenya   |  

A member of the African Leadership Network, Evans Wadongo is a Kenyan engineer and one of CNN's top ten heroes of 2010. He recently won the Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award at the 2013 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship.
Evans was named on a list by MIT Technology Review of the Top 35 Innovators Under 35. He is a graduate in Electronic and Computer Engineering from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya.

Kamau Nyabwengi

Kamau Nyabwengi, a young budding entrepreneur is the Founder of the Young Entrepreneurs Network Kenya. The Young Entrepreneurs Network is an online community connecting young aspiring and on-going entrepreneurs to knowledge resources and networking capabilities. Offline, the network holds high impact Entrepreneurship Bootcamps, Capacity building workshops and monthly networking events. Over the years he has been involved in a variety of entrepreneurial ventures drawing valuable experiences from Consulting, Events, Money markets, Start-ups and Technology solutions. He holds a degree in Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management from Moi University.

Lelian Net

Country Manager,Kenya, Cellulant

Lelian is the county manager for Cellulant in Kenya a mobile commerce company doing digital banking, payments, lending, and content to make life convenient.
Ms. Net is a seasoned business and strategy consultant, with a major focus on getting innovative products to market and innovating on business models.
Lelian has consulted within the financial sector, the telecommunication sector, and media outfits which include Deloitte, British Telecom, KPN, and ITV where she advised on setting up innovative services and market-based solutions in the UK, the Netherlands, the Middle East, and Kenya.

Jasper GrossKurth

Managing Director of Research Solutions Africa Ltd

Jasper is specialized in African markets and trends, futures studies. He is the Managing Director of Research Solutions Africa Ltd and has been with the company since July 2011. In addition, Jasper is a Fellow at the African Studies Centre in Leiden, the Netherlands, a mentor for start-up companies in Kenya and an advisor for the venture capital network VC4Africa.
From December 2007 to March 2011, Jasper worked as a futurist and project manager at the STT Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends, The Hague, where he conducted a 3 year trans-disciplinary project. The book ‘Futures of Technology in Africa’ ( is the tangible output of that period. Other results were a number of networks, workshops and conferences, including the 1st Business Summit Netherlands-Africa in 2010.
Jasper studied International Economic Studies and Psychology at Maastricht University and Trinity College Dublin, and holds a PhD in Regional Sustainability from Maastricht University.

John Matogo

Manager of @iBizAfrica   |  

John Matogo is the Manager of @iBizAfrica, the Incubator Centre at Strathmore University as well as an Instructor in the Faculty of Information Technology. He is interested in the application of technology in educational environments.

He holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Degree from the University of Nairobi and is pursuing a Masters Degree in Information Systems at Strathmore University.He is a member of the Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), Project Management Institute and IEEE.

He coordinated an e-readiness assessment of over 50 universities in East Africa in 2008. He is an active researcher and consultant on the application of Free and Open Source Software.

His has interests in: ICTs in education, ICT4d, Free & Open source software and entrepreneurship.

Clayton Au-Yeung

Senior Corporate Finance Associate at Bridge International Academies

Mr. Clayton Au-Yeung is the Senior Corporate Finance Associate at Bridge International Academies. Mr. Au-Yeung is primarily responsible for raising growth capital, financial reporting and managing the internal finance operations. Working in a very fast-paced, dynamic startup environment, Mr. Au-Yeung in a very short time has driven strategic decisions utilizing analytical models, improved financial reporting accuracy, reduced operating costs, increased audit procedures, and created and streamlined processes and standards. Previously, Mr. Au-Yeung worked with young, high-growth consumer businesses in investment banking, advising companies on raising equity and debt capital and M&A transactions totaling over $1.5 billion in transaction value. Having worked with so many emerging companies over a five year period, he has developed industry expertise on the characteristics of a successful company and how to best position the company to maximize its ability to raise capital at an attractive valuation. Mr. Au-Yeung attributes his success and passion to the mentorship he received throughout his career and feels that this is important component to career success for any individual. In his current position, Mr. Au-Yeung is managing and mentoring over 10 people in his team. And previously as an investment banking associate, he coached newly graduated financial analysts, who have grown and found success in their careers.

Mark Carey

managing director and lead business coach at African Growth Partnerships.

Mark has extensive experience working with and working in SMEs to achieve rapid growth. He is the managing director and lead business coach at African Growth Partnerships.

Mark has worked as a commercial director of an IT SME in London and the operations director of an agribusiness in Rwanda. He currently acts as an advisor to a number of SMEs and coaches entrepreneurs in Kenya and Rwanda on going to market, action planning, financial management,
building teams, strategic planning and all aspects of business growth.

Mark has a BSc in Computers and Psychology from Durham University in the UK and a mini MBA from ETC Consulting Limited, London.

Lydia Byarugaba

Africa Leader: Strategic Growth Markets, Everlytic

Lydia Byarugaba is a Kenyan-Rwandese native. Having spent her formative years hopping across African countries, surrounded by a melting pot of cultures has shaped her worldview, which can be described as cosmopolitan.

Lydia holds degrees at Bond University and the University of Johannesburg, which set the stage for this unconventional visionary. Being an entrepreneur at heart and incredibly passionate about Africa’s potential makes her the perfect fit to head up African Growth Markets at Everlytic. Everlytic is a software company that connects people to content with their digital communications platform.

Her business sense is driven by diplomacy, depth of perception and discernment. Pursuing and developing strong business relations and opportunities internationally is Lydia’s domain and can be put down to her people skills, natural leadership qualities and judgement. Pragmatic and willing to get her hands dirty, it gives Lydia great joy to foster & watch ideas become concrete realities.

An avid reader, Lydia enjoys life’s simplest pleasures and appreciates cultural diversity and new experiences. Spirituality is at the core of who she is

Paddy Mwangi

Paddy mwangi (famously known as "Fresh Freddy in Kenya) is an author, enterpenuer and entertainer. He and his partner invented fuzzy toothbrush, that has sold over 120million pieces worldwide. Once he graduated in Pharmacy from the University of Bradford in the UK as an average C student , he felt life was a little meangliness . He begun seeking out his purpose and discovered his passion for marketing. He did a Masters program in Marketing and graduated top of his field in the UK in Direct and Database Marketing from Bristol Business School .
Over the years Paddy has found purpose in doing Global business, empowering young people through different motivational platforms, and acting in films. He is the new face of young innovators who are changing the face of the continent.

Kwekwe Kivutha

Co-founder of Twoxfour

Kwekwe is co-founder of twoxfour a design studio passionate about making good design affordable to the masses. She is also a co-owner of Sky Hotel a budget boutique hotel geared towards offering affordable luxury. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Lawrence University and a Masters of Interior Design from the University of Manitoba in Canada.

Jeremy Moses

Co-founder of Twoxfour

Jeremy, co-founder of twoxfour design studio, has worked in technology & branding startups in North America, Eastern Europe and more recently in East Africa. Focusing on systems design, he has worked with numerous organizations transition through the startup growth phases. He is also a co-owner & managing partner of the up & coming Sky Hotel, an affordable luxury hotel.

Jeremy holds a Bachelors Degree of Computer Science from the University of Manitoba.

Eliza Hogan

Eliza is a dynamic entrepreneur combing skills in entrepreneurship, and community and partnership development to support the enterprises in emerging economies.

Eliza comes from the non-profit sector with 8 years of experience in program design, management and implementation. Her experience is cross-cutting and ranges from rural community development,
financing, financial literacy, community development, and managing the development of rural value chains in a post-conflict setting. She lived in Guatemala for 5 months volunteering in enabling technology programs and relief work during Hurricane Stan.

In 2005, Eliza began an international journey which took her from volunteering during hurricane Stan in
Guatemala to Kosovo to manage a social enterprise that provided training and support to micro-finance and community development organizations and projects.

Eliza joined Barefoot Power in 2009 to start-up the East Africa operations with the company founder, Harry Andrews. In 2011, she moved into regional management to grow the East Africa market, and then into global sales. She currently works on the development of strategic partnerships, strategy and new
market entry in emerging economies.

Eliza has a degree in Entrepreneurship and a Master’s degree International Community Development.

Media Sponsors
Julian Parr
Evelyn Mwangi
Kenfield Griffith
Louis Majanja
Alieu Fofanah
Samuel Magondu
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