Over the past few weeks it has been an absolute pleasure getting to know Ethel Cofie a socially minded programmer, serial entrepreneur, and YALI/Washington Fellowship Fellow. She will be temporarily working with us with us from August to September.
I met Ethel a few weeks ago when I was invited to speak at Yale to address the Mandela Washington Fellowship YALI Fellows. They asked me to talk about my own personal journey from starting Appfrica in 2008 to what I’m doing now across various ventures and projects. When asked to go deeper about what we actually do here at Appfrica, rather than talk about tech, I choose to talk about our work in areas of investment like Market Atlas, The Appfrica Fund, and how to deal with failure as an investor and as an entrepreneur.
It was this focus on capital markets and investment that sparked Ethel’s interest as she gets her own accelerator started. Before I could make my way out the door she let me know that she would definitely be working with us one way or the other. Here’s what Ethel had to say about that encounter:
I went up to Jon after his talk and asked him if there was a possibility for shadowing him and the Appfrica team as part of the Washington Fellowship.
The Washington Fellowship implementation team approved and today I start shadowing the Jon Gosier and Appfrica team for 8 weeks. I will be learning how to create a venture fund and learn how to run a virtual accelerator whilst launching my accelerator program at the same time.
I bring my special attitude of getting things done, my technical skills and passion, to make a difference on the Appfrica Fund and Appfrica’s D8A and Market Atlas projects. I will be contributing my expertise as much as I will be learning. This is going to be a fitting end to my summer and to my time in the Unites States under the (Mandela) Washington Fellowship.
The great thing about the five-hundred YALI Fellows is that they aren’t ‘interns’ or ‘apprentices’ in the traditional sense. It’s more like the White House has flown some of the brightest most accomplished people from across the planet to be embedded in various multinational companies operating in the U.S., from big ones like Coke-A-Cola to little ones like us. This means the companies housing them should be open to learning as much from them as they might expect to learn from us.
It’s with great pleasure that I look forward to the coming weeks with Ethel, learning from her, working on the great things that will result from our time together before she returns to her home in Ghana! You can read more about Ethel Cofie’s background here.