The Agenda: Kenya, robots & mini VCs

Weekly notes on women in tech, venture and the startup world (Issue 2)

Did you enjoy the first installment of “The Agenda”? I’ve spent several weeks thinking about creating a way to share all the goodies I discover on women doing #BOSS things across tech–as both founders and funders–but let fear hold me back for while. However, June turned out to be a good month for releasing fears and “saying yes” to all the things that scared me.

In the month of June alone, I published the first issue of “The Agenda”, created a WhatsApp group for female founders in Africa and a second WhatsApp group for women working remotely globally. It took me a moment to “just do it” but it’s done and I’m happy to see so many women coming together to learn and share. Thank you for joining us.

Here’s what’s been captivating me this week:

WHAT KENYA NEEDS

The Financial Times published its “Investing in Kenya” special report. Similar to the “Investing in Senegal” report released in April of this year, the Kenyan version takes a look at booming sectors, the political climate and insight from insiders on the financial growth of the nation. Highlights from the report include a deep dive into what kind of investors the country needs by BASF’s Juliana Rotich and a podcast with OpenWorld founder Dorcas Muthoni discussing starting young as an entrepreneur and avoiding corruption. Here’s the full list of featured articles in the report. (Some articles behind a paywall.)

The Future is...Female in Character

There has been a lot of chatter around gender and racial bias in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Which is expected considering machines can only learn what we teach them and we live in a world full of inequities. As Quartz wrote, “When computers learn human languages, they also learn human prejudices,” and VentureBeat says, “The future of AI may be female, but it isn’t feminist.”

Artificial intelligence and robotics may intend to free us from many human limitations, but it seems that gender stereotypes are not one of them.

From naming conventions for robots and devices to appearance and job loss, the articles make a convincing argument for why more women and people of color need to be encouraged to get involved in the research and development of AI as well as its influence on society.

There are a few communities and organizations working to make sure diverse voices are heard in the sector. If you are working in AI or ML you may be interested in joining Black in AI or Deep Learning Indaba.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the future of AI and ways to deter bias in machines. Send me a tweet and tell me know what you think. #theagenda

Girls are VCs too

Have you met Taarini Dang? She’s a two time founder, author, Google Female Founders Summit speaker, venture capitalist and...she’s 14! While in the seventh grade, Taarini started her company Million Champs to help one million young entrepreneurs start businesses by 2028, and her venture capital firm, Dang Capital, has already raised $100,000 USD, but she plans to increase fundraising efforts in order to take the fund to $1 million USD. “When I was 8,” she says, “my mom told me that girls with dreams become women with visions.” Taarini’s vision? “I want to change the world.”

Thanks again for joining me. If you know anyone interested in the latest on women doing #BOSS things in tech, venture and the startup world, be sure to share “The Agenda” with them. See you next week.

You shine, we all shine,

Raquel

If you are interested in joining the Female Founders Africa WhatsApp group, let me know.