48. Dan Kihanya on Growing up Kenyan-American, Startups, and Doing Business in Emerging Markets

For the first part of today’s episode, I share my thoughts on Nigeria’s #EndSARS movement, similar movements across the continent and what us folks in the Diaspora can do to amplify the work of organizers on the ground. 

My guest today is serial entrepreneur, startup advisor and Founders Unfound creator Dan Kihanya. Dan grew up in Boston, Massachusetts with a Kenyan father and American mother. After studying mechanical engineering and getting an MBA from UC Berkeley, he ventured into entrepreneurship and has served as a co-founder, early executive, investor, and advisor.

He’s the head of marketing and strategy at Wizely and is the creator of Founders Unfound, a media project created to tell the stories of exceptional entrepreneurs and tech founders from underrepresented backgrounds – starting with founders of African descent. 

During the episode, we discuss:

  • His upbringing in Boston and navigating his Kenyan-American heritage 
  • Some of the biggest mistakes early entrepreneurs make and how to start a business in this current environment
  • What he learned about building a product specifically for an emerging market
  • Why he built Founders Unfound and why he’s “bullish” on the African continent 
  • What excites him about Africa’s future

“There’s an inherent hustle factor—which is ideal for entrepreneurship. There isn’t a [traditional] corporate track for young people, so by definition, young people will take their own mantle and start businesses. I’m bullish on Africa in general.” – Dan Kihanya 

Resources mentioned:

Subscribe to Founders Unfound: https://podnews.net/podcast/1462390038/no 

Learn more about the movement to end SARS.

More about similar movements across the continent.

Use discount code “DearDiaspora” to join me and Certified Africa in Ghana this December: https://deardiasporashow.com/ghana2020/

Subscribe to Dear Diaspora’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gZpu79

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