Archives For bahiyah

“Inside DEMO Africa 2012” offers a look at the activity behind the scenes at last year’s DEMO Africa 2012 Conference. All of the footage was shot on location at DEMO Africa in Nairobi, Kenya on October 24th and 25th, 2012.

The inaugural DEMO Africa event took place last October 24-26, 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya. It provided a platform for 40 of the most innovative technology products from companies across the African continent with the opportunity to launch before a global audience of investors, media, strategic buyers, C-level executives and other entrepreneurs. This was the first time ever that a DEMO event was hosted on the African soil.

The “Cheetah Code” is a web TV series chronicling Africa’s young entrepreneurs and emerging technology sector. Find more great video material like this at

EDITED BY: Venita Kidza-Griffiths

Vanessa Clark
George Gally
Roach Roth
Francis Onwumere
Erik Hersman
Catherine Mahugu
Emmanuel Addai
Harry Hare
Thomas Debass
Thomas Genton
Nevi Mukugi
Phillip Nyanwaga
Stephen Nyumba
Maxwell Donkor
Gwendolyn Floyd
Aboubacar Sidy Sonko
Perihan Abou Zeid
Ellen Peinovich
Johnni Kjelsgaard
Eghosa Omoigui

Sasa Africa

U.S. Dept. of State
Echo VC Partners
Growth Africa
Savannah Fund

Thomas Debass
Henry Hare
Lorin Kavanaugh-Ulku
Bahiyah Robinson
DEMO Africa
DEMO Conference
Hive Colab

Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson

Appfrica Executive Director Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson chats with business owners in Uganda.

Mara Launchpad is an exciting incubator and co-working space in Kampala, Uganda.

Following the lead of other innovation spaces across the continent, Mara Luanchpad’s mission is to create an open-ended model which allows for incubation, investment, capacity building and scale. Thus, Mara’s entrepreneurs get access to a place to work together as well as access to early stage seed funding and later stage venture capital.

Mara Launchpad Uganda

When you first visit the Launchpad, you’ll notice how densely packed the pace is with desks. These desks are paid for by entrepreneurs using Mara as their startup headquarters. Here they are given access to filing cabinets, meeting rooms, fast internet, a boardroom for meetings and other resources that might prove elusive for early-stage companies.

Mara is conveniently located directly across the street from Makerere University which makes it prime real-estate for student entrepreneurs who need a quiet, professional space to work along or in teams. The space is called the ‘Launchpad’ because of the perfect storm of resources available to participants seeking to ‘launch’ their projects or businesses in a friendly environment.

Appfrica visits Mara Launchpad

Appfrica Executive Director Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson and Director of Advocacy Jon Gosier met with Mara Foundation Director Nigel Ball to discuss a number of opportunities for collaboration (between Appfrica and Mara Foundation), as well as their respective hubs (HiveColab and the Launchpad, respectively).

Despite what might exist as a perception of being a nascent tech community, Uganda’s Mara and Hive are only two of the many resources available to Uganda’s technology entrepreneurs and enthusiasts. By working together, the Ugandan incubator and investment community hopes to spawn a friendly competitive environment that allows all the various initiatives (and perhaps more importantly the entrepreneurs themselves) to thrive.

Apiyo Oweka of Mara Foundation

Apiyo Oweka (of Mara Foundation) and Daniel Stern (co-founder of Hive and Director of UConnect) also met with Appfrica to discuss the need the need to for more cohesion amongst business owners in Kampala’s growing market. Needless to say these conversations have spawned a number of new ideas, and will lead to many new great things for all involved!

Photos: Jon Gosier

The past few years have been incredible for the team here at Appfrica. What started as an ambitious effort to invest in an incubate Africa’s rising talents in technology has become a quickly growing company that’s never been more vibrant! That said, we’re excited to announce the addition of Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson to our staff as Executive Director. In her role she’ll oversee our many programs and partnerships.

Former Director Jon Gosier, is now the Director of Advocacy and will work with assist Bahiyah in scaling Appfrica’s efforts to invest in, and nurture the African tech sector.

Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson became involved in social entrepreneurship at a young age, partnering with friend out of high school to run a fashion line that sourced and imported local fabrics from women’s cooperatives in Tanzania. That experience invigorated Bahiyah’s love for international, cross-cultural exchange and commerce. She went on to explore the world of media and entertainment in order to obtain a well rounded view of the media industry, eventually returning to her true passion: international affairs and social entrepreneurship.

To date, Bahiyah has established and ran non profit organizations and businesses with ties to Sub-Saharan Africa, the U.S. and Brazil. She has a degree in International Relations, and has worked with large NGOs, including the Council on Foreign Relations and Ashoka in both administrative and consulting roles. Her passion is international branding, marketing and organizational development, building public-private partnerships that add value to all parties, and aligning business practices with clear and well intentioned core values.

She can be reached at or