Afruturist Podcast Season One, The Diary of The Hub Manager — Kenya, Sheilah Birgen

Let’s Talk Innovation, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and The Future of Africa.

Jumanne Rajabu Mtambalike
2 min readSep 26, 2021

This is the Season One of the Afruturist Podcast, The Diary of The Hub Manager. I’m discussing with movers and shakers of African innovation and technology entrepreneurship. This is a conversation with Sheilah Birgen, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), The Cord.

Sheilah Birgen — Chief Executive Officer (CEO), The Cord.

Sheilah is among the active players of the Kenya Startup Ecosystem. For more than 13 years she has been working with innovation hubs and labs in different capacities. She was involved with iHub and Mlab East Africa during the early days of both organizations. She has founded The Cord, a community and venture building platform supporting African Businesses to innovate, Grow and Scale globally. She currently also works as the Country Lead of the KTN Global Alliance For Africa (GAA).

We reflected with Sheilah about the Kenya Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship ecosystem. We looked into the role of different players of the ecosystem in supporting ecosystem growth. We explore the role played by Academic Institutions, Corporate Companies, Development Partners, and the Government in supporting the Kenyan startup ecosystem. We shared lessons learned down the years and issues that make the Kenyan startup ecosystem stand out. We also reflected on the role of women-led enterprises and women entrepreneurs in the ecosystem.

Sheilah shared a lot of wisdom with early-stage startup founders operating in Africa.

Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter @Afruturist

Enjoy Listening.



Jumanne Rajabu Mtambalike

Entrepreneur, TZ Patriot, Loves Tech, Founder, Project Management Consulting firm, Co-Founded and Sahara Accelerator.