Traineeship: Pyramidia Ventures, Kenya
Hometown: Syracuse, New York
Favorite pronouns: he/she/his
Clubs and Memberships: Business Students for Racial Equity; Private Equity and Venture Capital Club; Tsai CITY portfolio manager; Internship funds
Preferred SOM class: Private capital and impact investing
Favorite SOM teacher: Susan Carter
Favorite restaurant in New Haven: Naan’s House
Favorite thing you do in New Haven or SOM to relax: Listening to music during a long walk/hike
Bonus fact: I recently partnered with Yale-affiliated peers outside of the School of Management to start a health tech startup (EnlighteN) committed to designing a discreet, wearable biosensor that can immediately detect overdose events of opioids and notify first responders of the carrier’s location and key. health measures.
African food systems must be transformed to feed a growing population in the face of climate change. My internship this summer at Pyramidia Ventures, a Nairobi, Kenya-based climate-positive agribusiness startup entrepreneur serving the African consumer, gave me first-hand insight into this challenge. Pyramidia Ventures’ mission is to build an ecosystem of sustainable agribusinesses capable of feeding a growing population while restoring our planet.
A good friend of mine at Yale SOM, Roshni Wallia ’23, knew I was interested in venture capital, entrepreneurship, and emerging markets. Roshni put me in touch with the co-founder of Pyramidia, whom she worked with several years ago at McKinsey. I chose this internship because it gave me the unique opportunity to act as both an investor and an entrepreneur in the exciting and emerging Kenyan market.
I worked closely with one of Pyramidia’s most successful companies, Womega, to help define the operating model and grow the business. I regularly visited our aquaculture farm in western Kenya on Lake Victoria, where I conducted process improvement trials in hopes of improving the quality of our products. Additionally, I designed presentation materials in preparation for pre-Series A presentations to potential investors. Specifically, I learned the key differences between starting a business and raising capital in an emerging market versus the United States.
SOM has given me the opportunity to work with exciting entrepreneurs, both within Yale and through VC scholarships/competitions. These connections exposed me to the many challenges of starting a business and helped prepare me to think like an entrepreneur ahead of my time with entrepreneur Pyramidia. In addition, I have regularly drawn on the teachings of my course MGT 891 ‘Private Capital & Impact Investing’. In this course, I learned what institutional investors are looking for in their impact investing. This helped me inform my decisions when designing our portfolio company’s pre-Series A pitch deck materials.
There was an extremely strong and supportive expat community based in Nairobi, Kenya for the summer. I had the unique pleasure of meeting and exploring Kenya with over 50 expats from around the world and many local Kenyans with whom I have become close friends. Many of them go on to graduate studies in prestigious global programs.