Darren Franks is a thought leader in talent acquisition strategies with a specialist focus on the African FinTech sector and launched TalentintheCloud in March 2016 to help improve the way African FinTech’s across the continent acquire and retain key talent.
Having developed a process to reach up to 93% of the talent across the African FinTech market, TalentintheCloud has quickly become the recruitment company of choice for some of the continents fastest growing FinTech companies. Their current customers include the Direct Pay Online Group, Interswitch, Opera, Venture Garden Group and Tala.
Prior to launching TalentintheCloud, Darren was the Group CEO of an international technology and telecoms recruitment business with offices in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
He supports numerous professional groups focusing on diversity and financial inclusion across the continent including being a strategic partner to the African Women in FinTech and Payments organization.
Victor Asemota founded SwiftaCorp over 20 years ago, a pioneering African software and technology services group with subsidiaries and operations in over 14 African countries. He is also the Co-founder of MFISA a unique African Mobile Financial Services Accelerator that has powered a number of payment platforms around Africa.
Educated in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, he has been involved in a lot of pioneering efforts in African Information Technology and believes in the vision of harnessing the knowledge and experience of African professionals globally to make Africa the greatest technology force to contend with in the world.
Mayowa Owolabi is a business architect, business facilitator, business development specialist and serial entrepreneur.
He has consulted for Nokia Corporation, Yahoo! Inc., EiE Nigeria (Enough is Enough Nigeria), Mtech Communications, Center for Management Development (CMD), First bank of Nigeria, WEMA Bank, UBA, Sterling Bank, Unity Bank, Interswitch, INEC, Chams, Etisalat, Oyo State, Lagos State and Ekiti State Governments, Blackberry, Tecno/Transsion, Firstmonie, Africa Internet Holdings (Rocket Internet), Naspers, RedBus, Boston Consulting Group, TELNET Group, Flutterwave, USAID (payments advisor for the Power Africa Project).
He co-founded one of the first e-commerce platforms in 2011 – www.buynownow.com and sold to shoppi.ng in 2013 and exited his first mobile financial services company – dudupay in 2014.
He is the COO at duduMobile, also one of the co- founders/conveners of Mobile Monday (www.momonigeria.org) in Nigeria and is a member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG – www.nesgroup.org). He advises and handles strategy and partnerships for Kudi Inc. (www.kudi.ai) – a payments platform that allows for financial transactions over instant messaging channels.
Alexandre Velut is founder & CEO of INVYO, a SaaS company that uses machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to help financial institutions see tomorrow’s opportunities in Fintech. He is also Editor-in-Chief at Techfoliance, a global provider of Fintech insights and analysis. As a Fintech Explorer, Alexandre has been sharing his vision of the sector with industry pioneers over the past 4+ years.
Mr. Alhassan Andani serves as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited. Mr. Andani served as an Executive Director of Barclays Bank of Ghana Ltd. until June 17, 2005.
Seasoned IT executive, bringing a unique overall mixture of knowledge that encompasses IT development and global Entrepreneurial training.
Todd Holcombe describes himself as a “Corpugee” having spent the bulk of his career at large, Fortune 100 companies, mostly in the Banking and Capital Markets and Trading sectors and having made the shift to MEST in 2014.
Todd started as a mainframe programmer in the early 80’s and ended his career as a Bank of America executive managing the DevOps teams that processed all code change for Bank of America .com and credit card online. Even though Todd worked a regular job, he was unable to control his entrepreneurial instincts, with several start-ups, including the first shopping cart website for school lunches and real-time reporting in the nation.
Todd loves his job, loves Ghana and Africa, and is fully committed to the MEST mission of bringing access to the talented young men and women of Africa and providing jobs and wealth through technology.
Leland Rice is Co-Founder and CEO of Dedalus Global, an investment and consultancy firm focused on emerging technologies and emerging markets. Previously he was Editor-in-Chief of The Business Year (TBY), a global media group specialized in economic news, investment analysis, and business intelligence. Prior to that he was TBY’s Regional Director for Africa. Over the last two decades Leland has lived, worked, and directed projects and investments throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
Abena Buachiwaa Brigidi is a certified Ghanaian investment banker and the Chief Executive Officer of NIMED Capital Limited, a premier investment banking firm in Ghana.
Her drive for creating the awareness for individuals and corporate entities on the need to create wealth and sustain this wealth for generations influenced her decision to transition from a decade of experience in retail banking into investment banking. Abena strongly opines that the core attributes of teamwork, tolerance and trust are critical for leaders in translating vision and strategy into actionable plans for organizational growth.
As an author and a speaker, her passion is to champion the course of financial literacy in the 21st century by offering financial education through various avenues. She recently launched her first book on investment and planning for a secure financial future titled “Little drops”
Abena Buachiwaa Brigidi was named in March 2017 by the African Watch Magazine as one of Africa’s top twenty -five (25) distinguished women in business and also recently named as one of Ghana’s most outstanding women in business as well as won the 2017 Emerging woman Entrepreneur of the year Award.
Michael Stannard is the Managing Director of Paper Plane, an advisory and ventures firm specialising in rapidly advancing technologies, and a director of Centbee, AccTech Institute and Caesium Capital.
He is a leading expert on exponential technology impact, in particular, cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, and has written and featured in various publications on the application and effect of exponentials.
Jay is a Director at Vedanvi, a boutique consultancy advising Financial Services and Fintech firms on how to benefit from innovation and disruption currently unfolding in this space. He has over 22 years experience, working at the executive level and advising some of the world’s largest banks and insurers. Most recently, Jay has leveraged his experience to help accelerate various Fintech firms and also help them navigate through the complex regulatory world.
Vishal is co-founder and CEO at FintechLabs, a financial technology startup that builds world-class software solutions to solve all the core challenges of the lending industry. He has over 10 years of experience as technical architect in various fintech startups.
Before founding FintechLabs he co-founded and served as CTO of Investly, a VC-backed P2P Invoice financing platform in Europe. He got introduced to Blockchain technology 2 years ago and nowdays, along with his team of experts, he is busy building a Blockchain platform-as-a-service for various financial domain products.
Viola Llewellyn is the co-founder and President of Ovamba Solutions, Inc. (www.Ovamba.com). Ovamba is an award winning African “FinTech” company that creates culturally attuned technologies to serve African SMEs with innovative Sharia compliant finance products, eCommerce, and logistics services to promote growth. Ms. Llewellyn oversees strategic implementation, investor communications, and global business development for Ovamba.
Ms. Llewellyn’s past career includes building a $500MM life insurance investment fund for a Washington, DC based insurance investment firm where she led investor communications, and asset management divisions. She has held positions with companies such as Unisys Corporation, IBM, KPMG Consulting, BearingPoint and Rothschild’s.
Ms. Llewellyn is an honorary member of the board of trustees for the “International Women’s Think Tank” (IWTT – www.iwthinktank.org). In 2017 she was appointed to the Advisory Board of the European Women’s Payment Network (www.ewpn.eu), and the African Women in Fintech & Payments Network (www.Africanwomeninfintechandpayments.com).
Viola Llewellyn’s family is originally from Cameroon. She was born, raised and educated in the U.K. and lives between the African Continent and the USA.
Dr. Segun Aina has held various leadership positions at professional, community, regional and international levels with strong record of accomplishments in the banking industry, these include Executive Director-Operations and Technology of Ecobank, CEO of a technology focused bank, past President Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, past Regional Vice President, West African Bankers Association, etc.
He sits on the Board of various institutions in the Banking, insurance, agriculture, technology sectors etc in Nigeria and Canada. Described as Nigerian FinTech envoy, he is initiator and pioneer President of FinTech Association of Nigeria and currently championing, with some organisations in the African continent the creation of the African FinTech Council.
Segun is a distinguished alumnus of University of Lagos, University of Ibadan-Nigeria, INSEAD France, IMD Switzerland, Lagos Business School Nigeria and Fellow of many professional bodies including London Institute of Banking and Finance and Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
Sanjib Kalita is CEO of Guppy, a company creating and operating a blockchain ledger for credit data. Through a secure, permissioned, publicly accessible platform, personal data is easily uploaded, verified, offered and used. Guppy modernizes and improves the credit data ecosystem for all participants by addressing the industry’s biggest pain points–transparency, accessibility, security, control and quality.
Prior to Guppy, Sanjib was Chief Marketing Officer of Money20/20, a business he helped grow in 3 years from startup to the world’s leading industry event. A fintech leader for over 15 years, he has worked for large organizations like Google, Intel and Citi as well as several successful startups including TxVia, a payment platform building technology company acquired by Google in 2012, and Irynsoft, a Kauffman Foundation-supported mobile edtech company. Sanjib has an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management, as well as a B.S. and M.Eng. from Cornell University where he majored in Electrical Engineering.
Gerald is the Acting CEO and Chief Strategist for the South African Savings Institute (SASI). Gerald is a CFP Professional and postgraduate Financial Planning Law graduate. Gerald is the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa Media Award recipient 2014 and 2015 for his work in promoting Financial Planning in the media.
He has established his own Financial Planning Practice Sugar Creek Wealth and has published a personal financial planning guide book called “iMali Yami-Chelete Yaka-My Geld-My Money. The book is a financial planning guide for ordinary people with no prior financial planning experience.
Gerald has represented various financial institutions in Zimbabwe, The UK, South Africa and other African markets. He has experience in Banking, Stockbroking, Health Insurance, Investment Products and Long and Short term Insurance.
He is active in the media and supports financial literacy by contributing as a freelance financial journalist and providing expert commentary to various print publications as well as on television and radio on various channels. He is known for his innovative, non-judgmental, compassionate approach to financial planning.
Mike is the CEO of Verve International and is passionate about improving the life of millions of pro-poor Africans by working with partners to provide access to cost-effective financial products. Mike has recently joined Interswitch to lead their Financial Inclusion Services.
A banker, development economist and qualified lawyer with many years experience at executive level. Dr Lance has a combination of skills in investment banking, economics, trade finance, corporate finance, law and development finance.
He has spent the last ten years working and studying banking models worldwide with banking roles and secondments at international banks such as Wachovia (USA), UBS (Switzerland), Ulster Bank (Ireland) and Barclays Bank (UK).
He attained his PhD from the University of Manchester in 2011. He has done consultancy work for governments; inter-governmental, non-governmental organizations and the private sector on macroeconomic policy, financial sector management, bank strategies, debt sustainability, public finance management and other development finance and economics assignments across Southern Africa.
Having experience working within the Mobile Money Space for a leading Mobile Network Operator and within Digital Financial Services for a Bank, Kevin has had an excellent opportunity to see and feel both sides of the coin. Currently he is the Product Manager – M-PESA at Safaricom. He previously led Innovation and Digital Strategies at National Bank of Kenya and Orange Money at Orange Kenya.
In his roles he has readily offered his services and expertise in the highly dynamic fields of information technology, telecommunications and currently concentrating in digital financial services. An avid innovator driven by the ever-changing market and client needs, with a keen eye on financial inclusion. A firm believer that digital financial services are only transformational when they are part and parcel of the user’s life.
Neha Mehta is a Chevening Financial Services Fellow, 2017 and studied financial risk management at Kings College, London. She is a Lawyer by training and has spent the last ten years focused on financial regulation.
As the Vice-President of Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (IVCA), she actively lobbied with the Indian regulators such as Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Ministry of Finance (MOF), and Reserve Bank of India (RBI). As the Country Head for Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), Singapore she worked closely with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). She set up the India operations for Eurex Frankfurt AG, Deutsche Boerse Group, India.
Neha is also a regular contributor to fintech discussions, especially to bridge the gender gap in fintech and the financial services industry. She is on the Judging Panel of National University of Singapore (NUS) MBA-Business Plan competition and represented Asian Female Fintech industry at Mexico Fintech event, 2017.
Neha graduated in Business Management and also holds a Masters in Business Journalism. Neha is an Al Gore Certified Climate Change Trainer and is passionate about environment protection, issues relating to health and education of children belonging to poor families. Her day starts with yoga and meditation.
Olatorera Oniru is an entrepreneur and global consultant passionate about all things Africa. As CEO of Dressmeoutlet.com and Olatorera.com, she is currently leading initiatives to realize a pinnacle in Africa’s history whereby we would rely less on importation and innovate more with natural resources and citizenry capabilities. A member of The National Scholars Honor Society USA, Olatorera flourished her career working for two Fortune Top 5 companies namely Bank of America Merrill Lynch and General Electric. She also worked for one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, Lars Magnus Ericsson, as a senior consultant and later as Head of Sales Governance.
As a leading champion of the Made in Africa Movement, she has been recognized by Commonwealth Africa Awards For Entrepreneurship, Nigerian Innovation Awards, Forbes Most Promising Africans, Africa.com’s Top 5 Youngest Entrepreneurs and African Achievers Awards. In 2017. She was invited to speak at Retail Trade International Summit, AfricaCom, NigeriaCom, World Retail Congress, Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Youth Enterprise Summit, Seamless Africa, African Development Forum, Women in Leadership Dubai, Toronto Global Economic Forum and several other leading events.
Brani is an original thinker and an uncompromising debater on a never-ending quest to learn more! After spending two decades in and around the United Nations peacekeeping effort in Africa, Asia, Middle East and Europe, he decided to leave the UN and focus on using the knowledge and technology to disrupt financial and sustainable construction markets in the developing world.
Intimately knowledgeable with the Sub-Saharan Africa, where he left his heart early on, he is working on establishing a set of technology companies focused on disrupting not just expensive and inert industries but obsolete and archaic modes of thinking. Presently, his main focus is on financial industry with the aim to provide inexpensive money to the unbanked individuals and unregulated small and medium enterprises
Brani has a long history and strong passion for creating young, energetic and knowledgeable teams and in his current role as Chairman of the Board of Afri Kash, his focus is on the creation of strong corporate groups, development of young experts and rapid spread of services across the Sub-Saharan Africa. To this end, in less than two years, Afri Kash has fielded an indigenous African short-term mobile-based loan solution, started operations in Kenya and starting up in Cameroon and Uganda, while Ethiopia and Nigeria are in the final stages of negotiation.
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Christina Qi serves as Co-Founder and Partner at Domeyard LP, a hedge fund known for its focus on high frequency trading. Domeyard closed its Series C in 2017 and trades up to $1 billion USD per day.
Christina brings experience in investment management, sales and trading, derivatives operations, and technology across Goldman Sachs, UBS Securities, Zions Bank, and MIT Lincoln Labs.
Christina is a visiting lecturer at MIT, within Nobel Laureate Robert Merton’s “Retirement Finance” class since 2014, and was a visiting lecturer and case study protagonist at Harvard Business School. Christina serves on the Board of the MIT Sloan Boston Alumni Association (SBAA), the 100 Women in Finance (100WF) U.S. Non-Profit Boards Committee, and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Scholarship Committee.
Christina and her co-founders have been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30, Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, the Women Tech Council’s Women Tech Awards, and the Scientific American Foundation’s Scientific American Award. Christina holds an S.B. in Management Science from MIT and is a CAIA Charter holder.
Florin’s background currently counts 11 years of career as a financial market professional, with notable former positions in finance and banks, management, exchanges and consultancy in financial markets infrastructure. He joined Blockchain (Asia) Ltd. as an associate consultant in August 2016.
He is the current Publisher & Editor-in-chief of FinTech Daily News and Blockchain Daily News, two daily email and web newsletters. Having a global focus the publications are meant to capture the very essence of the fintech industry’s dynamic development process.
He is also known for the important role he plays in shaping the future of investor education in Eastern Europe by organizing “T he Stock Exchange School” and also a regional ” Investor Club “.
Florin is also listed as a Mentor within the koophub, the regional fintech hub of EEMEA.
Xiaochen leads the design and implementation of FinTech4Goods’s strategy which aims to introduce impactful fintech and blockchain solutions to frontier markets through incubation, acceleration and investment. He brings more than 16 years of thought leadership and global experience to build impactful solutions and scale up innovative ideas in North America, Africa, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
He is the co-chair of the Global Digital Economy Hub and serves on the Crowdfunding Professional Association Board of Directors, as a senior advisor of the China Social Entrepreneurs Foundation, Inter-America Development Bank and many blockchian start-ups. He is also a co-chair of several blockchain labs and a producer of the FinTech in China show and the Blockchain Million Show.
Prior to FinTech4Good, Xiaochen advised government agencies and multinational organizations on innovation, emerging technologies, and investment in positions at the World Bank, United Nations, and other international partnership platforms. He also taught innovation and venture building at leading business schools and served as mentors for many innovative businesses.
Frank Schwab is currently CEO of GIZS GmbH (paydirekt / Sparkassen), Frankfurt am Main, chairman of Hufsy, Copenhagen/Berlin, member of the technology advisory board of Sberbank, Moscow, co-founder of FinTech Forum, Frankfurt, and an investor in several European FinTechs & Crypto Currencies.
Before he was CEO of Fidor TecS AG, a senior advisor to McKinsey and a director at Deutsche Bank.
He also lectured Creativity and Innovation Management at Mannheim Business School and “Information Management in Finance & Insurance” at Wiesbaden Business School.
Fabrizio Villani, co-founder, and head of growth of fintastico, is a pioneer of fintech sector with great knowledge on fintech and latest trends. Fabrizio has been involved in the launch of several fintech startups in Spain like Kantox and NoviCap. In 2016 he was one of the ten top selected Insurtech IoT leader according to Insurance Nexus and InsurTechNews.
At the beginning of 2017, he created Fintastico, an international project with one mission: make consumers’ lives easier by helping them to discover innovative financial services that help people better manage their personal economy, save money and enjoy more life.
Fabrizio Villani, co-founder, and head of growth of fintastico, is a pioneer of fintech sector with great knowledge on fintech and latest trends. Fabrizio has been involved in the launch of several fintech startups in Spain like Kantox and NoviCap.
In 2016 he was one of the ten top selected Insurtech IoT leader according to Insurance Nexus and InsurTechNews. At the beginning of 2017, he created Fintastico, an international project with one mission: make consumers’ lives easier by helping them to discover innovative financial services that help people better manage their personal economy, save money and enjoy more life.
Chairman, Association of Digital Entrepreneurs in Indonesia (ADEI). Bari Arijono is a digital Economy expert, digital business consultant and digital transformation advisor.
He is currently the Chairman of the Association of Digital Entrepreneurs in Indonesia.
The first Corporate Training, Business Consultant & Digital Solution in Indonesia to develop Mobile Application Platform, Cloud Computing, Big Data Analytics, Social Media Marketing and Blockchain Development.
Former Senior Advisor of the Elite Programme of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), global leader, best-selling author, star of the Turkish version of the television show Dragons’ Den, Chairman of the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), President of the Business Angels Association of Turkey (TBAA).
One of the top global speakers on entrepreneurship. Recipient of the European Trade Association of Business Angels (EBAN) award for the Best Individual in Europe Globally Engaging with the Global Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in 2014 (Ireland), 2015 (Netherlands), 2016 (Portugal) and 2017 (Spain).
The only entrepreneur to be granted a personal audience with former President Obama at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in Washington, DC. Developer of the world-renowned entrepreneurship theory, the Altuntas Start-up Compass Theory, researched by Sheffield University and used in numerous MBA programmes. Advisory board member of the South East Europe Research Council in Greece. Appointed as JCI Ambassador, following Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary General of the United Nations.
The selected panel of judges for this year’s Africa Smart FinTech Awards consists of seasoned FinTech Advisors, investors, innovation leads with an extensive track record in the rapid changing world of finance in Africa.
The Judges are looking for an innovative new product or service that disrupts the payments sector; services could be from all areas of the FinTech sector including mobile or digital currency providers.
This award recognizes a business which offers a new or significantly improved service that implements technology to bring benefits to both lenders and borrowers. Judges are looking for innovative credit modelling, use of data elements and/or an improved user experience.
The judges are looking for a start-up business (services launched in the past 15 months) that has disrupted the FinTech in Africa space through the implementation of new and innovative solutions, challenging the status quo and transforming the industry landscape.
The Judges are looking for specific projects, or products, that showcase how a bank and a FinTech firm have worked together, either in collaboration, or using open APIs
The Award Judges are looking for an outstanding female individual who has persistently contributed to the advancement of the FinTech sector
Judges will be looking for an outstanding CTO or CIO who has created or led cutting edge innovation, a CTO or CIO who may have taken a calculated risk and the risk has paid off.
This award will recognise the organisation or product that has devised the most innovative and effective method(s) of preventing cybercrime in protecting an organizations’ or customer’s assets. The winning initiative will demonstrate the providers understanding of the diversity of fraud and/or cybercrime risk.
This award will recognise an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the transformation of the finance sector, either through defining new standards, launching a key technology initiative, or driving a regulatory-related change that benefits the industry.
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