iHub co-founder selected for Blackbox accelerator


Jessica Colaco, a co-founder of the iHub incubator and now running Kenyan big data startup Brave Venture Labs, has been accepted onto the Blackbox Connect: Female Founders Edition accelerator programme in Silicon Valley.

The third edition of the Blackbox Connect: Female Founders Edition, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, will see 16 high potential women entrepreneurs travel to Silicon Valley from across the globe.

The two-week immersive residential programme will take place on May 15-26 at Fact0ry in San Francisco, with the entrepreneurs living and learning together while connecting with top Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, investors, thought leaders, and executives in an intimate environment.

Colaco is one of those entrepreneurs. A co-founder of the iHub and subsequently founding manager and director of iHub Research, she left the hub in late 2015 to launch big data startup Brave Venture Labs.

She will take part in the programme alongside female entrepreneurs from Mexico, Spain, China, Poland, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Ireland, France, Brazil and Pakistan.

After two weeks of speaker sessions, workshops, pitch coaching, mentoring and expert feedback, the programme will conclude with the Blackbox Connect Startup Showcase on May 25, an opportunity for founders to pitch their company to an audience of investors and Silicon Valley tech leaders.

“Our entrepreneur-first approach instills a holistic growth mindset, allows for the open exchange of knowledge across borders, and ultimately translates to greater success back home,” said Blackbox founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Fadi Bishara.

“We’ve been blown away by the number of female founders from past cohorts who have gone on to become major role models in their communities. We can’t wait for this group to continue that pattern and build on the impact of Blackboxers around the world.”


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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