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MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship


The Legatum Center supports entrepreneurs all around the world through the fellowship, seed grant, Zambezi Prize and Open Mic programs.

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Adeyemi Adepetu

The Mastercard Foundation 2013 - 2014
SM, System Design and Mangement

Adeyemi Adepetu’s business, NovaGen, will manufacture biogas for affordable power generation using raw materials sourced from a waste-disposal service. It is poised to impact Nigeria by providing sustainable power while reducing environmental pollution from poor waste management.

Due to the chronic instability of electric power in Nigeria, businesses spend a significant amount, up to 10% of their budget, on backup power generators. This creates an opportunity for a more affordable and reliable power supply model. There is also a need for good waste management in most Nigerian cities, which often have no central sewage system. Refuse is deposited in open spaces and waste dumps decompose, releasing noxious fumes into the atmosphere and contaminating the environment. Adeyemi sees an opportunity to impact both the economy and public health in Nigeria by providing stable and affordable power; at the same time, he will also be creating an environmentally friendly waste management service.

Growing up in Nigeria, Adeyemi was exposed to family and friends who persevered against all odds to establish businesses that contributed to the economy. This, coupled with the great potential he sees in emerging markets, has influenced his desire to take a part in impacting the renewable energy and environmental issues in Nigeria. Before coming to MIT, he worked as a Systems Engineer designing embedded controls for appliances.

Adeyemi is currently a System Design and Management fellow at MIT. His professional background is in Control Systems, with a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from Purdue and a Master’s degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering also from Purdue.