Africa add(Venture) with The Baobab Network

Two weeks of happy work!

Do you like combining personal and working life? Do you believe that work can be light-hearted  and easy but it’s been a while since you last experienced such a sensation? Then let me tell you about my experience and go thought it!

Toby Hanington and Tom Fairburn, founders of Baobab Network, former New Venture Africa, have:

  1. wisely let 8 young advisors coming from all over the world seat at a table.
  2. cleverly selected MPayer and UjuziKilimo,, a FinThech and AgroThech company respectively, 2 Start-ups very different for industries, products and market vision but sharing the same inclusive and ambitious spirit of innovation of their founders.
  3. shaken the background, skills and abilities of all the stakeholders … and in just 48 hours got a thigh-knit team ready to run a business acceleration program!

My preferred choice fell on ‘Farming basic knowledge ‘, the literal translation for UjuziKilimo “A Kenyan Data-Driven Agronomy Services Company”.

Every morning, after a 7:00 AM wake- up, a full immersion in another culture started  with agreeable coaching breaks, when I was nicely complimented and my self-esteem grew;  a two week wise job of  intelligence in order to develop a one year marketing plan  and a 5-year strategy.  From this experience, my 5 Key Learnings have now become:

  1. Self-skills: spontaneous skills and preference surfacing can be obtained when no specific working role is given.
  2. Observation and interpretation: Observation enables us to find out new cultural patterns, particularly when we cannot understand the local language or understand little of it and we can focus on gesture. However, in what way do different English accents spiked affect our body language? Gestural way to talk seems encouraged.
  3. A confirmation! young businessman enthusiasm is always contagious.
  4. Productivity and Happiness, a perfect equation: living and working together, sharing positions and purposes for a certain time, lead to amazing performance achievements and beyond.

Investing on developing relationships (investor relationships;) No matter what latitude you are at, but who you are with.

Are you still curious about what happened to our guest co-founders Brian, Henry and Dickson? … Here some mementos photographs and some funny stuff…

Mission in the northwest regions of Nairobi to interview potential new clients in at least 3 different languages and to test a device taking no more than 3 minutes to essay soil and send the results via SMS. Test reliability is 98% compared to lab analysis.


… desk work, meeting at the co-working space or in the garden of Eden, our guest house, where you can share ideas at any time…


… as far as Italian cuisine fans are concerned, we can say we were up to the situation…


…there has been no lack of outings to keep us fit along a hot volcanic trail or under a cold equatorial sunset…


… finally we could celebrate the successful presentation of the business model with a two-day five-star safari.

Special thanks to ChrisKristin, MinhajNishant, Sjir our fellow adventurers, for making this experience memorable.




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