Prior to HYBR, Charles was Director, Enterprise Business at Samsung Electronics West Africa where he was leading and building Samsung Electronics business-to-business, business-to-government and enterprise solutions organization in West Africa. Focusing on high-impact technology projects in education, healthcare, financial services, transportation, hospitality and retail. With a unique cross-disciplinary background, Charles has created innovative business models to help drive economic and social impact in emerging markets. Alongside over 15 years of multi-industry experience with Samsung Electronics, General Electric, Procter & Gamble, and DuPont. Charles has delivered significant value by conceptualising and leading high impact projects in diverse sectors and markets. He consistently delivers results with an impressive track record in managing business and organizational growth, either from Products to Solutions, Loss to Profit or from Bookings to Revenue. His ability to innovate, collaborate and co-create has led to several commercial breakthroughs. Charles is a winner of the HULT Prize regionals in San Francisco and global finalist at the 2013 Hult Prize in New York. The Hult Prize is the world's largest business competition for social good. Charles is a faculty member in the Enterprise Development Centre at the Pan African University. He lectures on technology in business, innovation, sales and marketing.
Charles started his career in computing. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship with Distinction from Hult International Business School in Boston and San Francisco, USA. He also attended THNK School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam.
Scott Walker is the founding Director of Nylon Consulting which provides public policy, public affairs and corporate sustainability advice to a range of clients – corporates, charities, and consultancies – across different sectors, both in the UK and overseas; he is also a Director at the award winning agency, Sermelo, which advises global clients on corporate affairs and strategic communications; and is an associate consultant for Kaleidoscope Futures, a strategy think tank working on future related issues. He is also an Advisory Director at AudienceNet, a research firm which specialises in providing audience insight, data segmentation, building online communities, and producing rich data visualisation. He uses design thinking in his work as the Social & Public Director at Matter Innovation, a specialist innovation consultancy. He has also worked on an ad hoc basis as a training facilitator for an international capacity development organisation specialising in delivering training, innovation, and consulting solutions to emerging economies.
He has over 17 years professional experience advising a wide range of clients on complex issues covering a broad spectrum of Government Relations, Policy in the UK through working with NESTA (the UL’s Innovation charity), plus has advised Governments and numerous politicians.
He holds two degrees (politics and law), from University of Kent and BPP Law School and two Masters degrees (international affairs and public administration) from Columbia University and London School of Public relations and was a participant at the THNK School of creative leadership in Amsterdam. He has worked with global think tanks and also in academia having helped set up and instruct a strategic corporate responsibility course for executive students at Columbia University in New York City for several years. He continues to design course programmes and syllabi with universities.
In his spare time he reads, travels, runs marathons, and manages a business in the music and branding arena: beachwalker music group. He is based in London, UK.
Strategy, business development and marketing professional with experiences across regions from North America to Sub-Saharan Africa and across industries including FMCG, energy, manufacturing, financial services and management consulting. Alex consults for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and leads the African Investments and Business Development team in the CAVA Program. He was also an International Consultant with the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency.
He spent some time with Bain & Company in South Africa where he advised C-level executives in the Financial Services Industry in Africa. He also worked in Corporate Strategy for Cummins in the Chicago office in The US. Alex, also worked at Procter & Gamble as a Brand Manager in West Africa. He has Diverse educational experience with an early background in Chemical engineering from the University of Lagos and MBA at the Kellogg School of management (USA) and London Business School (UK)
Fadzi Makanda is originally from Zimbabwe and grew up in the Washington DC area. She received an AB in English from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Her experience includes sourcing and executing early stage investment opportunities at iHeartMedia, a multi-billion dollar media and entertainment company. Prior to iHeartMedia, Fadzi worked at iROKOtv, the largest distributor of African content online. As Head of International Content Acquisition, she led the start-up's international content strategy and structured licensing deals with major Hollywood studios. Fadzi began her career at Credit Suisse within the Equities division, where she developed financing transactions for $BN+ institutional investors.
Fadzi has spoken at industry events such as South by Southwest and Harvard Business School's annual Dynamic Women in Business Conference, covering topics including the African tech landscape and trends in digital media.
Co-founder, first Managing Director and Partner of THNK, School of Creative Leadership, an international executive program on creativity and innovation. THNK attracts close to a hundred innovation managers, commercial entrepreneurs and social change leaders each year to its executive program on creativity and innovation. In addition, THNK supports large global organizations with their innovation leadership programs. THNK's has locations in Amsterdam, Vancouver, and Lisbon and conducts programs in Shanghai, Sao Paolo and Stanford.
Former McKinsey Director, working in strategy and growth in Media, High Tech and Energy. Spent over 20 years in McKinsey. Was leading McKinsey's European Media practice for 7 years. Created NM Incite, McKinsey's first ever co-branded JV with a third party, Nielsen. NM Incite helped businesses harness the full potential of social media intelligence to drive business performance and was active in 22 countries.
Work experience in most European countries, US, Australia, South Africa, China and India. Has lived in Netherlands, Australia and South Africa.
Extra-curricular activity focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, and education
Femke Bartels is Managing Director of THNK since April 2016. Born in the Netherlands, she studied Political Sciences and International Relations at the University of Amsterdam, followed by a Master of Public Administration at the University of Twente.
Throughout her career she has been working successfully with teams distributed around the world. As such, Femke has a long history of setting up public campaigns to achieve social change. During her former job as Executive Director at Greenpeace Mexico she provided leadership, vision and strategic direction to 150 employees, 4 offices, 3000 volunteers, 50.000 donors and over a million of supporters. She was also a Policy Advisor to the European Parliament and the Dutch Ministry of Environment.
Femke is innovative and results-driven. She is passionate and inspired by multiculturalism, by cross-fertilizing projects with insights and ideas from around the world.
Tomi’s professional career began in the 1980s and has largely been in technology systems management for FTSE 100 level companies. These include Elf Aquitaine (now TOTAL), where I cut my teeth as an IT professional, Marks & Spencer, where I really learnt how to manage people, Ernst & Young, where I caught the startup incubation bug during the dot-com bubble and Sapient where I discovered the real power of software.
Today, he is board director and advisor to a broad range of organisations and maintain a significant network of connections globally including on most major social media platforms.
As a mentor, author and regular public speaker whose personal goal is "maximising the creation of social and economic value using technology innovatively", I have always been passionate about my home continent which is the subject of my 2014 book “The African Project Manager”.
Though I live and work mostly in the UK, my focus in the last decade has been on technology-based entrepreneurship in Africa where I invest, mentor and focus on developing an ecosystem of technology start-ups around coworking spaces, incubators, accelerators, angel funding, VC Capital, entrepreneur capacity development, state and national government policies.
I am a volunteer to a number of non-profit organisations and guest lecturer at the Pan Atlantic University's Enterprise Development Centre. As an angel investor, I have a growing portfolio of tech-enabled businesses that originate from Africa. I am the founder of the Lagos Angel Network (LAN) and President of the African Business Angel Network (ABAN).
If you're serious about early stage investing on the African continent, especially in tech and mobile, it's worth giving me a shout.
Mike Grandinetti has a unique cross-disciplinary background. He has deep operating experience as a serial venture capital – backed entrepreneur across five very successful ventures, was involved as an early team member in the launch of several successful new businesses within Hewlett-Packard, holds long-standing faculty appointments at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the Technical University of Denmark Center for Technology, Economics and Management and has been deeply involved in regional and national economic development, with a distinct focus on global entrepreneurial coaching and enablement, innovation policy and innovation cluster acceleration, as well as advanced technology commercialization and tech transfer, in the US, Canada, and Europe. He also served as a senior management consultant with McKinsey, the world’s premiere strategy consultancy.
As a serial entrepreneur, Mike was involved in the formation of 7 advanced technology start-ups and has helped lead five venture-backed start-up companies to successful exits ( twice a multiple exit) for his VC investors, including 2 NASDAQ IPOs and 5 high multiple trade sales to strategics. He currently serves as a Senior Advisor to numerous global start-ups and VC firms across the IT, med tech and clean tech sectors and is Managing Director of StartupNEXT Boston and a Community Impact Fellow with OpenIDEO.
Specialties: Global Entrepreneurship, Global Go-to-Market, Strategic Marketing, Raising Venture Capital, Angel Investing, Sales 2.0, Category Creation, Open Innovation, B2B Social Media, Mergers and Acquisitions, Regional / National Innovation and Economic Development Strategies, Innovation Clusters, Advisor on Creation and Management of Entrepreneurship and Business Plan Competitions, Tech Transfer and Commercialization, US SBIR Grants, Senior Advisory and Board of Director roles
Carl has over 20 years of international business experience. Having studied and worked in Africa, Australia, United States and United Kingdom and Europe. One year experience in Private Equity focused on Sub-Saharan Africa involved in the entire investment life-cycle from origination to exit. Ten years solid executive management experience in sales & marketing, business development, strategic planning, strategic sourcing, , risk and reputation management. Significant international business experience in emerging markets (East/Central Europe, Middle East and Africa). A investment manager, commercial business leader & change manager, new business developer and strategic thinker with a proven track record of delivery and progress. Exceptional Africa region experience with 10years experience of driving the growth of a global multi-national diversified industrial company in this dynamic markets with 'out of the box growth strategies'.
Prior to Abraaj Group, Carl was Managing Director of DuPont Africa. He also sat on several boards of DuPont businesses in Africa, including DuPont Nigeria, DuPont/Freeworld JV South Africa, DuPont Protein technologies. Prior to this, he spent time in DuPont’s European headquarters in Geneva, where he was Business Development Manager for Eastern Europe, Middle East And Africa. Prior to this, Carl was Executive Advisor to the President of British Petroleum Africa.
Expertise in Private Equity Investments with focus on due diligence, value creation portfolio management and ESG management. International commercial business management and business development, Stakeholder & Government Liason, Change management, Mergers and acquisitions, procurement, retail business management, reputation management. Several presentations at WEF, EIU at universities and many other conferences and on CNBC.
Hayat Chedid is the founder and director of SL consultancy, which provides its services to firms rethinking their businesses and seeking transformation trajectories. She is an internationally oriented individual who has lived in multiple countries and enjoys diversity in its absolute. She has a track record in translating firms visions and strategies into executable plans and has held significant leadership positions in highly technical knowledge industries.
Prior to her consultancy years, she held multiple Global and European roles in well-established chemical companies across areas as varied as business, marketing and supply chain management. She obtained her Masters in Strategic Management with honours at RSM Erasmus University with as thesis subject "The Strategic Desire"; analysing change and transformational strategies through a psychoanalytical and critical theory perspective.
She is the proud mother of three teenagers and a disciplined Ashtangi.