About Erik

Bio

Co-founder of Ushahidi.com and the iHub in Kenya. Blogger at AfriGadget and WhiteAfrican.

Raised in Kenya and Sudan, I am a technologist and blogger who lives in Nairobi. I'm the a co-founder of Ushahidi, a free and open source platform for crowdsourcing information and visualizing data. I am the founder of AfriGadget, a multi-author site that showcases stories of African inventions and ingenuity, and an African technology blogger at WhiteAfrican.com. I currently manage Ushahidi's operations and strategy, and am in charge of the iHub, Nairobi’s Innovation Hub for the technology community, bringing together entrepreneurs, hackers, designers and the investment community.

I'm a TED Senior Fellow, a PopTech Senior Fellow and speaker and an organizer for Maker Faire Africa. You can find me on Twitter at @WhiteAfrican

Education

  • Rift Valley Academy
  • Florida State University; Business

Job Titles

Co-Founder of Ushahidi and the iHub. Blogger at WhiteAfrican and AfriGadget.

Latest Tweet

@shadowhand hah! Sorry man…
28 Jul

About Erik Hersman’s work

Pivot is a startup pitching competition that pits the best of East Africa's mobile tech startup founders against each other in front of a panel of judges who then grill them like they're in the "Shark Tank". Last year we had over 100 applicants from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda, and 25 made the finals and got to pitch on stage in front of 300 attendees. This year we're hoping to repeat the energy and excitement with Pivot East. Pivot is an m:lab (Mobile Lab East Africa) initiative to bring focus on the Mobile developer and entrepreneur community in East Africa. All profits go towards supporting the m:lab.

Companies and organizations

Ushahidi, iHub, TED, PopTech

Fellows I'm collaborating with

Juliana Rotich, Adrian Hong

Flickr

Projects

Pivot East

Jun. 05, 2012 - Jun. 07, 2012

Pivot is a startup pitching competition that pits the best of East Africa's mobile tech startup founders against each other in front of a panel of judges who then grill them like they're in the "Shark Tank". Last year we had over 100 applicants from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda, and 25 made the finals and got to pitch on stage in front of 300 attendees. This year we're hoping to repeat the energy and excitement with Pivot East. Pivot is an m:lab (Mobile Lab East Africa) initiative to bring focus on the Mobile developer and entrepreneur community in East Africa. All profits go towards supporting the m:lab.

Project website

Erik Hersman on the TED blog

Ushahidi: Tapping the human resource

December 8, 2009

Ushahidi’s new video explains how it crowdsources crisis information via text messaging and the web so citizens can easily access the latest reports (represented visually on GoogleMaps) and swiftly respond to crisis developments. Initially a quick fix scraped together in two days to track violence following Kenya’s 2008 election, the open source platform has evolved […]

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Ushahidi wins $200K MacArthur grant

May 11, 2009

Ushahidi — a crisis-tracking tool with roots in TEDGlobal 2007 — has been awarded a $200,000 grant for development from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The Ushahidi mapping tool was developed by Erik Hersman, Ory Okolloh and Juliana Rotich, who’d met as TED Fellows at the 2007 TEDGlobal conference in Arusha, Tanzania, […]

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