Who am I?

Jessica Francisca Colaço is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Brave and iHub, Computer Scientist, Exec Tech and Product Recruiter, Musician and Public Speaker. She is a TED fellow and Harambean born and based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is currently the first female in tech and music to release a music single (Momentum) on NFT in Kenya.

She co-founded Brave (HR tech company) based the US and UK with Ibanga Umanah and Daniele Orner-Ginor. Brave (HR tech company) is a SaaS solution that integrates with existing HR vendors, and analyses whatever talent data is available in a company. We also do headhunting and HR advisory as well.

She was the COO at Amitruck from Oct 2021 – June 2022. She helped the CEO to build a team of navy seals at senior level in readiness for growth. Amitruck is a digital logistics startup based in Kenya.

Jessica in Brown Jacket.jpg

Jessica is a dynamic speaker and has featured on global platforms talking about her work in technology and entrepreneurship. She has spoken at SWSX in 2014 and 2015. She has also given guest lectures at Harvard in 2017 and 2018. She is a Bass Guitarist and has played for various afro-fusion and rock bands in Nairobi. She is now working on creating her own EP as a solo musician .

Jessica Colaço, Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED

She co-founded the iHub with Erik Hersman in 2010. It was the first tech-hub in Kenya and East Africa. At iHub, she served in various leadership positions for 6 years such as Operations, Strategy, Partnerships, Research advisory, Sales and Business Development

She is passionate about how ecosystems arise and evolve over time. She has built various communities in the last 10 years from developers, startups, corporates and investors. She is currently working on her book about the journey at iHub and how it all happened (The intentional serendipity of the tech ecosystem in Kenya).


She co-founded of WMIAfrica in 2013 and AkiraChix in 2010. She was the ISOC-Kenya Chapter, Treasurer in 2014, ACM-W Nairobi Chapter Chair 2014, TED Global Fellow 2009. She was named one of the top 40 women under 40 years in Kenya’s business scene by Business Daily on 2009, 2011 and 2012.

She was part of the DFID’s Digital Advisory Panel team as a member and advisor in 2015. She was one of the 100 Most Influential Young Africans in 2017, 100 Most Influential Young Kenyans in 2016  and Top 100 iHub Community Member in 2015. She was a finalist in MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge 2018. She is currently a Harambean 2020 and sits on a number of boards and serves as an advisor to various startups.

Jessica Colaço

Her endeavour is to put Kenya and Africa on the map for technology achievements and spur innovation within the country and continent!

She was the Research Leader at Strathmore Research and Consultancy Centre (SRCC) at Strathmore University in 2007 – 2010 and spearheaded and managed the research projects within the company. She organised the first Facebook Developer Garage with renowned entrepreneur Leila Janah in 2008. After that she organized several Mobile Boot Camps in Kenya and was known as a Mobile Tech Evangelist. Her work has been featured by CNN Labs, Wired UK and other mainstream media.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi. As an undergraduate Computer Science student, she had been exploring the possibility of studying mobile GIS (Geographic Information Systems) systems for her thesis work. She developed a mobile application known as Wireless Map Service (WMS), which received great accolade from the public during the 10th annual IEEE Engineering Students Exhibition in September 2007.

She is a certified researcher and has carried out various research studies in conjunction with Strathmore Research and Consultancy Centre (SRCC) at Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya and iHub Research in Nairobi, Kenya for companies such as World Council of Credit Unions, Rockefeller, World Bank, Google, GSMA and Africa Innovation Foundation.

Join me on: Linkedin.

  1. roger
    July 30, 2009 at 16:49

    Keep up the good work.i’m your admirer when it comes to IT.Good campaighn you are doing and i’m one of your followers.

  2. August 20, 2009 at 22:45

    Hello Jessica :

    I am impressed by what you are doing for Kenya and as a fellow Kenyan, I salute you!
    My name is Mr.Daniel Chege and I am a web designer based in Topeka Kansas. I would like to congratulate you on your TED speech you gave about telecommunication in Kenya.

    My plan is to go back to Kenya and educate people about the importance of online businesses and futuristic technologies that Kenya is capable of.

    Keep up the FAITH.

    Regards ,

    Daniel Chege

  3. kparcell
    November 13, 2009 at 14:39

    Hi Jessica. Welcome to Acumen Fund’s Community.

  4. Bonn Ndegwa
    January 6, 2010 at 21:35

    Keep doing me proud Jess… I’m now completely in the financial world but know that the research passion is fortunately still being actively fanned… albeit in retail banking!!!

  5. February 5, 2010 at 11:54

    Keep the fire burning jessy!!

  6. Dan
    April 12, 2010 at 19:52

    Hey Jessica! wonderful effort and tremendous courage 🙂

  7. Jesse McElroy
    April 13, 2010 at 05:15

    I think that internet usage increases will start to happen in a few years as the cost of laptops world wide come down even more. In the United States their cost is a fraction of what they where three of four years ago.

  8. April 13, 2010 at 18:35

    Really interesting stuff Jessica. Keep pushing, lots of trends and factors are converging and the combination of mobile, applications and the inventive power of Africans will sit at the heart of how the 21st Century will come to be known as the African Century.
    You are right at the heart of that.

  9. Jmos
    April 16, 2010 at 01:08


    You are doing OUTSTANDING! Keep up the great work!


  10. April 30, 2010 at 23:35


    I read about what you are doing on CNN. Wonderful work. Keep it up.


  11. April 30, 2010 at 23:36


    I read about what you are doing on CNN. Wonderful work. Keep it up.

    Brian Malooley

  12. May 2, 2010 at 20:39

    Hi jessica, i must say that i really resonate with ur sentiments, but how to reach u as regards ihub? Queries thru the contact form go unanswered

  13. Mabinda Okango
    September 22, 2010 at 16:28

    I’m inspired by your work.As an aspiring tech entrepreneur,I actually lookup to people like you for inspiration.

    Ahsante sana.

  14. Bernard Mburu
    September 28, 2010 at 15:25

    Than you for laying a path for developers in Kenya. Now we have a platform to move from, thanks to you. Please keep up the good work Jessica.

  15. October 8, 2010 at 21:45

    Yeah, yeah. One more fan joining the Jess bandwagon.

  16. November 25, 2010 at 12:27

    I met you and your simplicity strikes one, considering the numerous achievements you continue to bag. One more feather for your cap wont change how you relate with ordinary folks and that more than counts!

  17. Leonard Ouma
    January 15, 2011 at 17:39

    IT is the future of Kenya(not the politicking we see here). Keep up the good work.

  18. andrew
    January 22, 2011 at 09:59

    you are a great instrumentalist and IT guru and trust me you draw inspiration from many. Continue with the spirit.

  19. March 9, 2011 at 07:51

    Hello Jessica Colaco,
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. I am a Kenyan in the Health industry here in America and I promote products that makes our bodies strong and immune to diseases that affects our community. I hope you can come up with new technology that will give our kids incentives to exercise daily 😉
    – Charles Githongo.

  20. April 13, 2011 at 09:37

    The first time I saw you was at GKenya and I could feel the passion and strength with which you were filled. You are going places Jessie, congrats and keep the fire burning

  21. August 7, 2011 at 16:01

    For the attention of Jessica Colaço – Nairobi, Kenya
    I saw your interview on television. You are fascinating. How can I help you in your quest?
    Sergio Ballicu betbser@yahoo.it

  22. January 18, 2012 at 13:28

    Wow! Great inspiration to me.

  23. Patricia Petkey
    February 4, 2012 at 23:12

    Jess Good work, As a woman in the Tech field, I’m inspired by you and I would like to offer my help to ihub…I’m Kenyan a computer engineering PHD student in Turkey, My goal is to make Kenya Technologically unbeatable…feel free to contact me we can work together…opanga.patricia@gmail.com

  24. simon
    February 14, 2012 at 11:07

    kip fire burning u inspire me alot

    February 17, 2012 at 10:27

    I would like to be your friend.i have a passion for to learn more about computers. I’m student at masinde muliro university of science and technology please help me

    February 17, 2012 at 10:29

    I’m taking computer science and would like to be like you one day

  27. Godfrey
    February 27, 2013 at 22:25

    Road carnage. Can we reduce it. Yes with IT WE CAN. I have an idea which I believe will work but will need a totally new political climate with citizen welfare as one of its top priorities.

  28. James Aduke
    March 3, 2013 at 09:12

    nice work you are doing you are an inspiration to many of us

  29. Martin Guama
    July 29, 2013 at 21:21

    This is great work. Keep ot up!

  30. March 28, 2015 at 10:54

    Jessica you the lamp of Africa, and so great another product from Kenya.proud!

  1. October 20, 2009 at 10:33

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