AMPIONEER INTERVIEW WITH BETTIROSE NGUGI

Interview13

NOVEMBER 9, 2014

BETTIROSE NGUGI IS FROM KENYA AND A FINAL YEAR COMPUTER SCIENCE STUDENT AT JOMO KENYATTA UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY (J.K.U.A.T.). BETTIROSE IS ALSO AN EQUITY GROUP FOUNDATION SCHOLAR AND THE INTEL STUDENT PARTNER AT HER UNIVERSITY. BETTIROSE IS AN ASPIRING ENTREPRENEUR AND HAS TRAINED STUDENT ENTREPRENEURS AT HER UNIVERSITY ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP BASICS, WRITING OF BUSINESS PLANS AND PITCHING OF BUSINESS MODELS TO POTENTIAL INVESTORS UNDER THE INITIATIVE OF THE EQUITY GROUP FOUNDATION. 

CURRENTLY, SHE IS INVOLVED IN ORGANIZING TRAINING SESSIONS FOR DEVELOPERS AT HER UNIVERSITY ON DEVELOPING APPLICATIONS THAT RUN ON INTEL DEVICES UNDER INTEL CORPORATION’S MENTORSHIP, TARGETING BOTH COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS AND ENGINEERS.

1. How did you hear about the bus? What made you want to get on board?

I heard about the bus from a colleague at Equity Group Foundation where I was interning. He posted a link to the Ampion website on the Equity Group Foundation Scholars Facebook page and the details about the idea behind the bus. I couldn’t be more convinced that this was the opportunity I had been yearning for a long time.

2. What are you hoping to get out of this trip? What are your expectations?

Networks are a valuable resource and this is one of the main things that I hope to gain from this trip. I hope to learn a lot from the rest of the team and get a global perspective of various issues especially those touching on the opportunities in technology and entrepreneurship. I am hoping that I will leave the trip a transformed person (positively of course), with a ready product to solve an issue in Africa and a team to work with for my first operational tech startup.

3. There will be satellite internet on the bus – why will connectivity be so important on the bus?

Internet has become an essential part of every individual and its availability in the bus will be of utmost importance to help in communication, research and even winding up.

4. What are the three things that motivate you?

Necessity: They say necessity is the mother of invention and that alone motivates me, ideas grow from the pressing need to do things differently and I am no exception to this rule.

Life: What is life? This may seem like a simple question and I am really motivated by the desire to add life to my years (time) rather than just add years in my life. It is for this reason that I plan to create an initiative aimed at giving back to the society one time because people find it easier to remember how you made them feel rather than what you achieved all your life.

People:The people I meet every day motivate me in their own way. People have the ability to change your perspective of certain things, they can challenge you, they can encourage you and they hold so much potential to influence you either positively or negatively. For this reason, I hold every person I meet with high regard, you never know when you might need them.

5. Who do you look up to? (Bettirose added this question – and what a great one!)

I look up to my parents who have worked so hard to raise me up and educate me. I applaud my father who doubles up as my mentor for discovering my potential when I had no confidence in myself, for holding my hand when I needed guidance and for being my number one cheerleader. Mothers are a gift from heaven and my mother has been exceptional. Being a strict disciplinarian, she has never let anything slip her eyes without correcting it. I owe my personality, humility and discipline to her and these two people are the best team I could ever ask for and I thank God for them every day.

6. What’s the most exciting/proudest/interesting thing you’ve done to date?

As the Program Facilitator of the Equity Innovators Program in 2013, I was tasked with recruiting and training students in my university who aspired to be entrepreneurs. After training them, they were supposed to come up with viable business ideas whether in teams or as individuals. Students were then supposed to compete against other students from two other universities in Kenya in a bid to win seed capital of up to Ksh. 300,000 (about USD3600). From the about 120 students, I was able to recruit into the program. Thirty viable business ideas were created and an idea from one of my students scooped the judges award and a seed capital of Ksh. 100000 (about USD1100) at the competition.

7. What next? What are your plans? (Do you have any future ventures/ideas/projects you’re working on?)

I am in my final semester of my undergraduate studies, hopefully by the end of the year I will be through and ready to join the IT industry. I appreciate that knowledge is power and I plan to begin my Masters later next year. Besides my academic plans, I endeavor to create a product for Africa that will have a positive social impact. I am still in my thought process and I hope my plans will actualize sooner than I can imagine.

BETTIROSE IS PARTICIPATING IN THE AMPION VENTURE BUS IN EAST AFRICA.

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