Silicon Valley Day 6

Events happened on Friday 16th 2018

The morning began with a powerful session with Mei Lin Fung. Mei Lin Fung co-designed the first CRM system at Oracle. She served as Socio Technical lead for the US Dept. of Defense’s initiative on the Future of Health and is a member of the Digital Economy and Society World Future Council of the World Economic Forum. She serves as vice chair of the Internet Inclusion IEEE sub-committee, one of 3 tracks under the IEEE Internet Initiative. On the core team for Digital Economics at the World Economic Forum, she is a member of the WEF’s Global Future Council for Digital Economy and Society and serves on the Steering Committee for Internet for All.

An important take out was we should learn Leadership Networking. As African Startups we need to collaborate. We cannot change Africa alone. To change the future, we need to team up and work together. In all our different sectors, there is something we can offer each other. Leadership networking is about developing and using your networks in a way that builds relationships and strengthens alliances in service of the organization’s work and goals. “A robust leadership network helps provide access to people, information and resources,” says Curt Grayson, author of Leadership Networking: Connect, Collaborate, Create.

Six rules for effective leadership networking by Curt Grayson:

  1. Be sincere. Networking is not a ploy for getting your way. If you earn a reputation as someone who takes but doesn’t give, who uses information inappropriately or who breaks confidences, your networks will shut down.
  2. Share resources. Having resources such as information, services and access will build your leadership network through give and take. Reciprocity is important. Become skilled at resource bartering, know your assets and share them appropriately.
  3. Use power thoughtfully. Power is the ability to get things done. You’ll need three sources of power to build your network: your reputation, your alliances and your position. Be the leader who gets results, can be held accountable, and has connections with key influencers or decision-makers. Use your power wisely.
  4. Communicate skillfully. Communicate in a way that builds awareness of your needs and your assets. If you cannot make others aware of what you can offer and what you need in order to accomplish goals, your networking strategies will be ineffective.
  5. Be a savvy negotiator. Effective negotiators know when to push hard and when to back off, when to share information and when to hold back, when to swap resources and when to trade short-term outcomes for a long-term goal. Avoid playing hardball and avoid being viewed as a pushover.
  6. Learn to manage conflict. Learn skills for resolving conflict. When conflict occurs within your network, work to appreciate the opposing view. Look for points of mutual agreement. Express your position in a way that is helpful to resolving the conflict.
Gladys King’ori Founder & CEO of ZOA with Mei Lin Fang, People Centered Internet Co-founder, Vice Chair IEEE Internet Inclusion, Digital Economy & Society-World Economic Forum

Then off to Reed Smith a law firm to meet Mr. Richard Horning, Senior Counsel. He gave us the low down on how to set up in Delaware together with legal and tax considerations.

The final stop was Boot Up Ventures a core working space in Silicon Valley. The CEO Mr. Mukul Agarwal gave an inspiring presentation on what it really means to be an enterpreneur.

The 5 P’s of entrepreneurship by Mukul Agarwal

  1. Purpose — have a purpose for whatever you are doing
  2. Passionate — if you are not passionate about it don’t do it.
  3. Persistence — Don’t. Give. Up.
  4. Progress — Make little steps. Don’t stagnate. Make progress
  5. Pivot — If you have a new opportunity or you are not making progress then pivot.

We then pitched and got feedback on our solutions.

Gladys King’ori — Founder & CEO of ZOA with Dr. Wendy Okolo — Research Engineer at NASA, Tonia Osadebe — Global Vendor Operations Lead at Google and Deanna Tryon, Chief of Protocol and former actress.

This concludes our Silicon Valley tour. Shout out to Demo Africa for the opportunity to pitch and win and Thank you to Africa Technology Foundation for sponsoring our Silicon Valley trip #LionsInnovationTour



Fintech in Africa| ZOA musings| Financial Inclusion and Access

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Fintech in Africa| ZOA musings| Financial Inclusion and Access