TED Fellows » TED Fellows Network » Erik Hersman

Erik Hersman

African tech entrepreneur

Recent Tweet:

Erik Hersman

Professional Role

Current Titles:

Co-Founder of Ushahidi and the iHub. Blogger at WhiteAfrican and AfriGadget.

Current Organizations:

Ushahidi, iHub, TED, PopTech


Flickr Photostream


Erik Hersman: Africa on the rise

Hersman asks us to shed outdated notions of Africa as a unified place plagued by starvation and war. Between mobile phone innovations like M-PESA, social networking like MXit and entrepreneurial spaces like Maker Faire Africa, Hersman sees innovation and entrepreneurship exploding within some of Africa's—and the world's—fastest growing economies.

View video on Youtube »


Pivot East
06/05/2012 – 06/07/2012
Pivot is a startup pitching competition that pits the best of East Africa's mobile tech startup founders against each other in front of a panel of judges who then grill them like they're in the "Shark Tank". Last year we had over 100 applicants from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda, and 25 made the finals and got to pitch on stage in front of 300 attendees. This year we're hoping to repeat the energy and excitement with Pivot East. Pivot is an m:lab (Mobile Lab East Africa) initiative to bring focus on the Mobile developer and entrepreneur community in East Africa. All profits go towards supporting the m:lab.
Project Website »


Co-founder of Ushahidi.com and the iHub in Kenya. Blogger at AfriGadget and WhiteAfrican. Raised in Kenya and Sudan, I am a technologist and blogger who lives in Nairobi. I'm the a co-founder of Ushahidi, a free and open source platform for crowdsourcing information and visualizing data. I am the founder of AfriGadget, a multi-author site that showcases stories of African inventions and ingenuity, and an African technology blogger at WhiteAfrican.com. I currently manage Ushahidi's operations and strategy, and am in charge of the iHub, Nairobi’s Innovation Hub for the technology community, bringing together entrepreneurs, hackers, designers and the investment community. I'm a TED Senior Fellow, a PopTech Senior Fellow and speaker and an organizer for Maker Faire Africa. You can find me on Twitter at @WhiteAfrican

Fun facts

Favorite meal:
This is a toss-up between Ethiopian food or tacos...

Vital Stats

Fellows Class
2010 TED Senior Fellow
Living in
Nairobi, Kenya
Working in
Nairobi, Kenya
Born in


ihub.co.ke ushahidi.com afrigadget.com whiteafrican.com

My Tags

Fellows I Am Collaborating With

Recent Blog Posts

View Erik's blog »