Sylvia Mukasa

Founder/CEO,GlobalX Innovation Labs/GlobalX Investments Ltd

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The world is all yours to conquer.

What do you do?

I am Founder/CEO of GlobalX Investments/GlobalX Innovation Labs based in Nairobi, Kenya.

GlobalX's vision is to drive a more diverse, inclusive and competitive digital economy with a focus on emerging technologies, that opens up equal opportunities for all.

Our main purpose is to use technology to provide solutions for businesses and for social impact. GlobalX provides opportunities for children, youth, developers & entrepreneurs/businesses to learn, innovate, and scale up their knowledge in hardware and emerging technologies. We provide skills and support in AI, IOT, Blockchain, Coding and Robotics and other emerging technologies, which are at the core of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In a nutshell, GlobalX feeds into the innovation pipeline by closing the skills, funding and organisational/corporate digital transformation gaps.

Why did you choose this field?

I have a mixed educational background, but my studies in e-Business is what exposed me to technology and the desire to follow this path. I was in the pioneer class of e-Business, which was a fairly new field at the universities in the United Kingdom when I pursued it and IT was picking up as a field globally. I always loved Maths as a child and studied this at my early undergraduate level . I initially thought that I would be crunching numbers, mostly in a way that informed decisions to real world problems such as in business. So I further studied Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) at some point. I enjoyed setting up accounting systems like Sage Pastel to automate accounting rather than doing the day-day accounting work. The tech side of it was more appealing. I also worked alongside my boss and Deloitte SA consultants to develop a strategy modeling tool called Making Intelligent Management Decisions(MIMD) to help Ericsson Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) make informed decisions in their growth plan. I was then responsible for the Strategic Plan worth 16BSEK covering 43 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. What I loved and valued during my stint at Ericsson was the exposure to trends and advancements in telecommunications and technology. Ericsson's ambition was focused on networked societies through smart cities, mobile broadband, M2M, Fixed Broadband & Convergence, Managed Services, TV & Media Services, Consumer and Business Applications, Communication Services and operations support system and business support system (OSS/BSS). So when I left Ericsson to found GlobalX, I automatically chose to work at the convergence of tech, telecoms and emerging trends. From my work experience and education, I knew technology was a powerful tool in impacting businesses and societies. It also allowed a curious mind like mine to experiment and try new things given its dynamism. I would never be bored

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I never thought at any point my name could be mentioned on a global platform as an example of a woman making a difference through her entrepreneurial efforts in tech.Growing up, I was a top performer in school and got plenty of mentions at school for doing well academically. I passed well enough to be admitted to one of Kenya's top-performing and leading high schools. I somehow had an inkling I could do well locally, but not globally. So when my name was mentioned at the closing speech of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015 by Maria Contreras-Sweet, former US Government’s Lead Minister on Entrepreneurship and member of former President Obama’s cabinet, I was elated. President Obama had launched the Summit and there were top global entrepreneurs including the likes of Daymond John who I had only seen on TV during the Shark Tank and other dignitaries in attendance. Growing up,I should have realized that the world for for anyone to conquer,and we should never limit ourselves to local contexts.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love working in STEM because I like to make positive impact in society through innovations. I get bored easily, so I like to do stuff that keeps me engaged and allows me to try different things, discover and keep learning.Being in tech allows me to do this.I always look forward to creating or being being of teams that create solutions for humanity.

Best advice for next generation?

The world is all yours to conquer. You can be anything you want to be if you put your heart and mind to it, because gender does not define what or who you should/can be.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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