UC Berkeley Mastercard Foundation Scholars Present Startup Ideas

Gigi Wang, Industry Fellow & BMOE Bootcamp Chair, Sutardja Center   |   January 19, 2023
The judges, mentors, faculty and scholars pose in front of the Sutardja Center for a photo. Scholars included: Eric Assan, Diane Kabanyana, Mohamed Mohamed, Joy Nakato, Yaa Fremah Sarkodie, Kaone Tlagae, Esther Mburu,
Jennifer Saarkwah, Martin Ssemulugo, Yordanos	Zewdu, Sheila	Okoroanyanwu, Sirak Fisseha Weldegebriel,
Chineye Felix, and
Okechukwu Iroegbu

After participating in a custom Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship bootcamp held across 3 weekends in September and October 2022, the 2022 Mastercard Foundation Scholars presented four startup ideas to a panel of industry judges.  The startup ideas focused on addressing important needs of different customer segments in Africa on October 30th at the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology.

  • RepDoc is a platform to provide information on reproductive health and access to young African women beginning in Nigeria.
  • South Shore Internet delivers Internet access to underserved communities by enabling agents across in different locations to offer low-cost internet services to their communities.
  • Habari supports female African entrepreneurs by offering educational services, access to funding sources, and a startup eco-system to support African women entrepreneurs.
  • She-Her Network increases the visibility of women in the media by building up a directory of leading women leaders, entrepreneurs, and industry experts, along with building a women-focused community and developing media access for its members.

The 13 scholars that have entered UC Berkeley in 2022 come from 8 African countries including Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, Botswana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Eritrea and are working on Master’s degrees in a varieties of disciplines including Development Engineering, Development, Information Management Systems, Biostatistics, Public Policy, Translational Medicine, Journalism and Folklore.  They are selected and hosted by UC Berkeley’s Department of African Studies.

Our prestigious judges: Bob Upham, Yerdua Caesar-Kaptoech, and Renee Yao

Thank you to the 3 industry judges – Bob Upham (Antler VC), Renee Yao (Nvidia) and Yerdua Caesar-Kaptoech (UCOP) — who came to campus on a Sunday morning to listen to the 4 inspiring startup pitches and give valuable feedback.  We celebrated the finale with a celebratory lunch and tour at the historic Bernard Maybeck Guy Chick House in the Berkeley hills.