The Legatum Center gathers Foundry Fellows in Senegal for an immersive experience
Headline: The Legatum Center at MIT gathered ten entrepreneurs from five African countries in Senegal for an immersive experience that included an adaptive leadership retreat and tour of greater Dakar’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) took its 2022 cohort of the Legatum Foundry Fellows to tour Senegal’s entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., November 23, 2022— The Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship at MIT (the ‘Legatum Center at MIT) announces the second cohort of Foundry Fellows from Africa, as follows:
Egypt – Aly El Shalakany, Acasia Ventures
In early November, the Legatum Center gathered the 2022-2023 cohort of Legatum Foundry Fellows in Dakar, Senegal. The Legatum Center selected Senegal for the first ecosystem tour of this program because of its dedicated community of individuals and organizations committed to accelerating innovation driven ecosystems and supporting entrepreneurs. The tour introduced Fellows to stakeholders from education, policy and governance, corporate, and risk capital sectors who solve challenges and build inclusive systems through innovation.
Dina H. Sherif, Executive Director of the Legatum Center at MIT, said: “I was honored to lead our 2022 Foundry Fellows on their first ‘ecosystem tour’ and to explore Dakar’s rapidly evolving innovation and entrepreneurship scene. These 2022-23 Foundry Fellows are our second cohort of amazing African entrepreneurs who have successfully grown businesses on the Continent and are dedicated to further developing entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems in their home markets and across the Continent.”
The Foundry Fellows began the ecosystem tour in Dakar with a visit to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Telecommunications, where they met Dr. Isaac Sissokho, Secretariat General, and Mr. Talla Ndiaye, Head of the Office of Digital Economy and Youth Employability. Continuing with the theme of engaging public sector stakeholders, Ms. Carine Vavasseur of the General Delegation for Women & Youth Entrepreneurship hosted the Fellows at the DHub, a coworking space for Senegalese startups and entrepreneurship support organizations from across the continent. Ms. Eva Sow Ebion of the i4 Policy Foundation shared insights from leading the legislative process for implementing Startup Acts in 11 countries across the continent.
The Fellows met with the founding team of Haskè Ventures, including Ms. Madji Sock and Mr. Abdourahmane Diop, to learn about the organization’s programs supporting startups in Dakar and throughout Senegal.
On Thursday, November 10, Fellows traveled to Somone to visit the Dakar America University of Science and Technology, where they met with founder and president Dr. Sidy Ndao and students pursuing engineering, biology, chemistry majors, and computer science. DAUST is a privately funded non-profit institution. Founded on the idea that human talent is the greatest resource of any country, DAUST prepares students for careers in engineering, computer science, and the life sciences.
Ms. Sophie Zinga Sy, a designer, and entrepreneur focused on sustainability, hosted the Fellows at the Dakar Design Hub in Popenguine. Foundry Fellow Bolanle Austen-Peters led a conversation with Ms. Sy about talent development and the significance of the creative arts in Africa’s economies. This visit concluded the Senegal tour.
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