Jon is an investor and computer scientist. He is a serial tech entrepreneur working at the intersection of big data and frontier markets.Jon is the Founder of Appfrica which helps companies do business and invest across Africa. He’s also the founder of Market Atlas has been compared to ‘the Bloomberg terminal’ of Africa, helping private equity firms and hedge funds vet the continent’s financial data.Jon has been listed among the ‘Most Influential Blacks in Technology’ by Business Insider 2013 and 2014. He’s also been listed among th
Jon is the Founder of Appfrica which helps companies do business and invest across Africa. He’s also the founder of Market Atlas has been compared to ‘the Bloomberg terminal’ of Africa, helping private equity firms and hedge funds vet the continent’s financial data.
Jon has been listed among the ‘Most Influential Blacks in Technology’ by Business Insider 2013 and 2014. He’s also been listed among the “20 Angel Investors Worth Knowing” and among the “Innovators of the Year 2013” by Black Enterprise Magazine.
He is a Senior Fellow at TED, a graduate of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, a graduate of THNK the School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam and has been the recipient of multiple grants from the Knight Foundation.
He attended Savannah College of Art and Design where he studied Film.
He is the founder or co-founder of several organizations and initiatives including AfriLabs, Appfrica, Abayima, Hive Colab, MetaLayer and SeedCapitalAfrica. And has held Executive leadership roles at others including Ushahidi and QuestionBox.
In 2012 Jon founded Abayima, a non-profit organization that provides technology solutions for protecting human rights and free speech around the globe. Abayima was inspired by the plight of activists in countries like Uganda, Syria, and Egypt when authorities severed (or monitored) citizen access to the internet or mobile communication. Abayima provides solutions that allow citizens and journalists to communicate in spite of such measures.
As the founder of MetaLayer, he and his team make software products for easy data analysis and visualization. MetaLayer’s mission is to make the world’s data easier to understand, visualize, and share. In 2012 MetaLayer won the Audience Choice Award for best Startup at O’Reilly’s Strata Conference.
He started Appfrica in 2008 while living in Kampala, Uganda, where the need for vehicles that supported local talent became apparent.
From 2009 to 2011 he served as a Director at Ushahidi, a non-profit organization that makes software for global disaster response. Ushahidi was influential in the global crisis response to the devastating 2010 earthquakes in Haiti and the equally tragic 2011 earthquakes and tsunami in Japan.
In 2009 Jon spoke at TED in Oxford, UK about is work connecting rural African villages to the internet through a call center and light infrastructure. The service, in collaboration with non-profit OpenMind, was called QuestionBox and allowed rural Africans with no access to the internet to ask questions and get timely, vetted answers to everyday questions.