m:lab’s John Kieti calls it quits | Goes back to school

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gmeltWe have no gifts for John Kieti but we know his work speaks for itself locally and internationally.

But good things and moments never last forever. Kieti, who has been the lead at m:lab East Africa has announced he will be leaving the consortium, made popular by its annual Pivot East conference to concentrate on his academics.

“As for me, I enrolled for doctoral studies at the University of Nairobi back in 2013. Currently my research area traverses information systems, entrepreneurship and agriculture in somewhat unrealistic ways.” he wrote in a blog post and added, “The last days of February are my final moments at the helm of m:lab East Africa – the m:lab. Its now 4 years since I took up a challenge from the m:lab consortium comprising iHub, eMobilis, University of Nairobi and the World Wide Web foundation to setup and run programs at the m:lab.”

pivot eastKieti joined consortium made of iHub, eMobilis, University of Nairobi and World Wide Foundation in February 2011 to set up m:lab an infoDev concept piloted around the world (And people still blame NGO’s for ruining East Africa’s startup scene).

Kieti says working with Erik Hersman, Ken Mwenda, Josiah Mugambi,  Toni Eliasz and Dr. Tim Kelly from infoDev was great. He says the four years was a great experience and though at times it was a roller coaster ride, and at times a great thrill, it was a very important learning experience for him.

“With time I was surrounded by a great team; incredibly dedicated with fabulous execution abilities,” says Kieti. “Representatives of the consortium organizations served as an awesome oversight board that became our biggest fans. With such a team and board level fan base, and a clear opportunity to impact the East African start-up ecosystem, I have my considered successes and failures.”

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Kieti says he will remain a strong exponent for tech startups in the region and believes that the entrepreneurial ventures are Africa’s best chance for emancipating the masses from poverty and injustice.