Erik Hersman has spent most of his life in Africa having grown up in Sudan and Kenya where he attended school at the African Missionary Rift Valley Academy (RVA). And it is in Africa where he is undoubtedly leaving his footprint as an innovator and entrepreneur.

But more importantly he is helping young innovators develop their ideas and cash in on these ideas through his roles as General Partner at Savannah Fund,  a venture capital firm and also as founder of iHub, an innovation space located in Nairobi.

Erik was a co-founder of Ushahidi Inc. Ushahidi, an open source crowd-sourcing platform, was first used in Kenya to track and map violence outbreaks during the post-election violence of 2008. The platform has now been used worldwide to assist first responders during disasters such as the Haiti Earthquake, the Christchurch Earthquake in New Zealand among many others.

He is also the founder and CEO of BRCK Inc based in Nairobi. The Nation newspaper recently featured the BRCK, a rugged WIFI Hotspot and extender device, as one of the hottest innovations to come out of Kenya’s Silicon Savannah. BRCK Inc. is also a winner of numerous international innovation awards. The company also takes pride in its in-house product cycle management all the way from research and development, product management to user experience, which is rare for an African firm of its size.

Erik is also a Senior Ted Fellow and serves as a Board Member in many organizations in across Africa. He has also invested in many startups in the continent through Savannah Fund.

Hear one of Erik’s recent TED Talk titled, “The quest for a free, open Internet in Africa”

Visit Erik Hersman’s Wikipedia Page.

Photocourtesy: CC Image courtesy of Erik (HASH) Hersman on Flickr

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