Who am I?
Jessica Francisca Colaço is a TED fellow and co-founded Brave Venture Labs based in Nairobi and San Francisco with Ibanga Umanah; East Africa’s first Network Science Lab and Brave Academy. Brave Academy is career accelerator for emerging professions in data science, design, and entrepreneurship.
She co-founder the iHub with Erik Hersman in 2010 and served in various leadership positions – She was the Director of Partnerships and Community at iHub, the Founding Manager between 2010 and 2011 at iHub and Research Director between 2011 and 2013 at iHub Research. She is currently writing a book about her journey at iHub and how it all happened (The genesis of the Silicon Savannah).
She is passionate about Innovation, Research, Mobile and Robotics Technology, Mentorship and Entrepreneurship in Kenya and as an African Startup Evangelist and Mobile and Robotics Tech Evangelist and uses her position in Kenya to court local, regional and international stakeholders to adopt Kenyan-made and African-made solutions. As an angel investor, she courts local and international investors to invest in great tech ideas and companies at idea and concept stage.
She also Co-Founder of WMIAfrica and AkiraChix, ISOC-Kenya Chapter, Treasurer in 2014, ACM-W Nairobi Chapter Chair 2014, TED Global Fellow 2009 and Bass Guitarist in her band Bass ii IV. 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.
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 has organized several Mobile Boot Camps in Kenya as well as the first Facebook Developer Garage in Kenya in 2008. She has been featured by CNN Labs, Wired UK and other mainstream media.
She is currently pursing a Masters Degree in Applied Computing at the School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi with a focus on Fin Tech, Talent and Blockchain. 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.