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Image Left>Right Top row: Thomas Scanlon, Michael Smith, Becky Hu, Heena Nathoo, Sekela Ngamilo, Anthony Akinwale, Hussain Sarfraz, Shaan Pattni, Tehilla Campbell, Sean Sinanan, Alina Salahuddin, Jafar Said, Rosaria Rosaria, Yusuf Ben-Tarifite, Carolle Kinyua

Image Left>Right Bottom row: Dennis Martey, Ahamed Abthal Careem Monir, Mutsa Matanga, Payas Sinha, Emerald Ace-Acquah, Noah Wilson, Roxana Akhmetova, Temilorun Olanipekun, Divya Popat, Daniel Goh, Yingxian 'Claire' Tang, Keivan Samani, Anisha Jagdev-Harris, Malak Khalil

Read interviews with all our OXFO Entrepreneurial Fellows on our blog

Ahamed Abthal Careem Monir

Hi, my name is Abthal, and I’m a penultimate year student reading History at Oriel College. I look forward to developing and acquiring new skills within a fast-paced, high-impact start-up to springboard my professional career and interests. I’m primarily interested in entrepreneurship and start-ups as I enjoy having a hands-on approach and finding solutions to often complicated and varied problems. Ultimately, I hope to be exposed to challenging situations and inspirational team members, facilitating my personal development.

Alina Salahuddin

My name’s Alina and I’m a second-year student at Balliol studying History and Economics. I grew up in Pakistan and spent most of my life before university in Karachi, which is just by the sea. The intersection between creativity, positive social change and personal fulfilment has always extremely interested me, and is something I've tried to explore through a variety of projects, from teaching to producing charity musicals to starting an online thrifting platform. I’m also interested in critical theories around sustainability, feminist philosophy, and post-colonialism. Over lockdown, I’ve reconnected with things I loved doing as a kid, and so spend most of my free time doing things like writing, baking and reading lots and lots of fiction.

Anisha Jagdev-Harris

My name is Anisha Jagdev-Harris and I am currently an undergraduate at St John’s College Oxford studying Classics and French. I have completed several strategy consulting internships with clients including a museum, a sponsor-a-child charity and a photography company. This past year I have been working as an English language assistant in Avignon, France as part of my year abroad.

After finishing my degree, I hope to work in business development and strategy consulting for international NGOs and organisations that aim to enact positive social change. I am passionate about addressing barriers of intolerance and prejudice. I believe that these barriers to success become more complicated when multiple levels of oppression are involved and I hope to tackle the challenges faced by people who identify as BAME and LGBTQ+, as someone who is proud to belong to both of these communities.

Anthony Akinwale

Having completed his undergraduate degree in Materials Science in June 2021, Anthony is an incoming DPhil student who aims to establish a start-up that utilises novel engineering materials to provide solutions within the healthcare sector. This interest of his stemmed from his work experience at a hospital aged 16. Where doctors had given a family no hope of further treatment, he directly observed the overwhelming joy the family experienced when the suffering patient was offered an engineering solution to their medical problem. Anthony is, therefore, determined to change the way the world sees and treats cancer over the next decade. He is currently the entrepreneurship officer for the Oxford Biotech society and intends to use the many takeaways from this programme to transform society.

As a member of St Catherine’s College, he worked closely with the access team to build the Catalyst Programme which has connected the college with 8 state schools in the London Borough of Lewisham and aims to encourage and equip students to pursue higher education. In this programme, Anthony has inspired the next generation of leaders through running workshops and delivered presentations to students aged 13-16 at their host schools.

Becky Hu

Hi, I'm Becky, a second-year engineering student with a strong interest in finding innovative solutions for challenging problems like increasing carbon emissions or changes in our health care demands. I really enjoy problem-solving, especially when it involves electrical engineering or programming, and I hope to develop a variety of different skills over the next 8 weeks. I'm excited to begin the programme and meet other like-minded students to develop our entrepreneurial spirit as well as build a supportive community together.

Carolle Kinyua

Carolle is a health economist. Her career has been with Novartis in South Africa holding scientific and commercial roles with increased responsibilities focused on market access, health economics and outcomes research (HEOR).

I was motivated to apply for the Fellowship to gain entrepreneurial skills to refine an idea that leverages the multi-dimensional aspect of real-world big data and artificial intelligence techniques. Learnings could inform equitable decision making with improvements in allocative efficiency, particularly in emerging markets where health systems are characterized by fragmentation in financing and provision of health care services.

As a proponent of continuous learning, I believe education is a means to changing the world.

I consider the Fellowship opportunity a great privilege and look forward to this learning journey, particularly the mentorship from thought leaders in business and entrepreneurship. The Foundry’s mission of championing inclusivity by nurturing talent and growing leadership capabilities in under-represented groups will have a positive impact in these communities.

We are all uniquely talented and through empowerment, have the potential to not only inspire but make a difference in the world.

Carolle is Kenyan and holds an MSc (Pharm Sci) and MPH (Health Econ) from the University of Cape Town.

Daniel Goh

I’m Daniel, an MEng (Engineering Science) student at Keble College from Singapore. I’m interested in practical, inventive, and innovative applications of engineering and design.

I’m passionate about the idea of turning imagination and theory into practical inventions and technology. I am particularly interested in either environmental/energy issues for the future or developing mechanical technology (such as prosthetics, wearables etc.) that can augment or assist humans in daily life. I hope to enjoy a future career in one of these fields.

I interned at a prototyping engineering firm before university, where I got quite experienced with mechanical fabrication and design. I also have a decent amount of experience with coding and coding projects (Python, C/C++, MATLAB mainly, but I can pick up new ones quickly).

I am an active person, and my interests include sports (e.g. kickboxing, climbing, parkour), and esports (Varsity League team). I also enjoy learning foreign languages; while I am a native English speaker, I can speak Chinese and German (among a couple of others at various levels) as well, if that comes in useful.

Dennis Martey

I am a lawyer interested in public interest litigation and good governance. Prior to Oxford, I worked as the managing associate of TaylorCrabbe Initiative, where I provided legal advisory services and support for civil society organisations, donor agencies and the Government of Ghana.

In the past few years, my work has focused on legal audit and benchmarking of Ghana's institutional and regulatory framework against treaties and international best practices to advise on improvement and reform. These efforts contributed to amendments of some policies and legislation on forestry, agriculture, and the environment. I also organised capacity-building workshops for journalists and civil society on Ghana's laws and policies to improve their advocacy. My policy interests include natural resources, environment, and climate change policy. I am also interested in human rights, and I am a member of Amnesty International, Ghana.

Divya Popat

I am currently a DPhil student in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Oxford. I am working on understanding the mechanisms of UV radiation damage from the Sun to proteins in our skin, which can cause skin cancer, allowing for the development of better preventative measures. My undergraduate degree is in MSci Natural Sciences (Physics and Physical Chemistry) from University College London. Having enjoyed the fundamental nature of my research, I am keen to now learn about the final stage of long term projects such as these by working with customers and clients to deliver and implement solutions for better healthcare.

Emerald Ace-Acquah

My name is Emerald Ace-Acquah and I am a first-year Psychology and Linguistics student, studying at Lady Margaret Hall. I was born in Ghana but I’ve been living in the UK for over ten years now, the majority of these have been spent in Ashford, Kent. I have always been an avid reader and have occasionally turned my hand towards writing and I am now investigating and writing for the Oxford Blue. Recently, I have been making an attempt to read books about my heritage and Critical Race Theory e.g. the Racial Contract and Christopher Colombus and the Afrikan Holocaust. I also enjoy singing, I used to sing in my church choir before coming to Oxford and I hope to continue next year. Social action is another of my passions, and this underpins many things I do, including writing letters to prisoners to encourage and comfort them or being part of Thinking Black – a charity that aims to educate black youths.

Heena Nathoo

Heena Nathoo is an MBA candidate at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. She was born in South Africa, in the sub-tropical city of Durban, and completed her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Heena started off her career as part of PwC’s Foundation of the Future Advisory graduate programme. Here, she got to rotate through various teams across the business to gain maximum exposure to different clients across a range of industries.

In November 2017, she started her role as Chief of Staff for the Marsh Advisory Africa team, part of the Marsh & McLennan, based in Johannesburg. Working closely with the Managing Director and leadership team to turn around the business, she managed a diverse set of integrated change initiatives across clients, processes, and people. Her key responsibility was to create a consulting focused environment and transform the business's culture through a tailored advisory graduate programme and employee empowered initiatives.

She is a beach lover, Bollywood fan and indulger of anything sweet. She enjoys simplifying complex challenges; is purpose-driven and tends to look at the brighter side of life. Her passion lies in idea generation, employee experience, change and project management and using creativity to challenge the status quo.

Hussain Sarfraz

My name is Hussain Sarfraz and I am a current student in the Undergraduate Advanced Diploma program at Oxford. I aspire to be a data scientist or work in a machine learning/AI-related role. My recent experience includes working with a U.S based non-profit as a grant writer. During this role, I was required to look at various non-profits and social enterprises to see how their applications were unique. I was amazed at how each non-profit would solve a unique problem and this encouraged me to launch a non-profit of my own. Currently, the business is in the idea stage with the business idea and it relates to sustainable agriculture and helping smallholder farmers utilize smart technology within their farms. When I started to look further into launching the idea I realized that I faced many hurdles and needed to build upon many skills. I decided to join the Oxford Foundry Fellowship initiative to hear about the journey of others and the lessons they have learned along the way. 

Jafar Said

My name is Jafar Said, I am from Newport, South Wales and a graduate student at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford. I am currently studying MSc in Higher Education and completing my research project with the Department of Education, investigating the role of Ed-Tech in South African Higher education during the COVID pandemic. I also hold a bachelor’s degree in Earth Sciences at Cardiff University and have completed research work at the Cardiff University 3D seismic lab. In addition to that, I have previous work experiences as a Data Analytics Consultant at KPMG, Data Engineer at Newport City Homes, Business Analyst with Korjan Group LTD and as a GIS Data Analyst at BT. Furthermore, I am a Newport youth ambassador and the Founder and Chairman of the Newport BME Youth Forum, an organisation that supports BME students from disadvantaged backgrounds in academia by providing free academic tutoring and mentoring. I am an individual who is innovative by nature, capable of developing and implementing creative solutions to challenging problems and experienced in fostering effective teamwork to drive results. 

Keivan Samani

Through a widening participation programme, Keivan was able to discover his passion for studying the fundamental behaviours of the universe around us. Now as a trained (nuclear) physicist, Keivan is keenly active in energy, technology, sustainable development and the cross-cutting disciplines that lead to actionable change.

Amidst growing concerns across climate, food and water security, the methods by which civilisation consumes energy is more pertinent than ever. The provision of low-carbon high-density energy can desalinate water, kick-start the hydrogen economy, lift millions, if not billions, from extreme poverty and power advanced society. It is this grand potential that has driven Keivan to nuclear research and has captivated his attention towards innovating for that goal.

Keivan has designed a fusion reactor diagnostic, published research on accident tolerant nuclear fuel and consulted local businesses on coping with the pandemic. He can be found reading about neuroscience, economics and the history of megaprojects. Recently, he has committed to technically understanding decentralised systems and the power of liberalising modern society through this technology by joining Oxford’s Blockchain Society.

Keivan holds a bachelor’s in Physics, a master’s in Nuclear Science and Engineering from the University of Bristol and is pursuing a DPhil in Fusion Energy.

Malak Khalil

Malak has recently completed an MSt in World Literatures in English at Balliol College, following her BA in English Language and Literature at Merton College in 2020. Alongside her studies, she has also been keenly involved in the local social enterprise scene during her time at Oxford, from involvement in Uncomfortable Oxford, Common Ground Workspace, to University charity and College and Faculty outreach and access work. She was also a Young Advisor for Shubbak Festival from September 2019 - July 2021, and a National Portrait Gallery Youth Forum member prior to that. In the future, Malak hopes to combine further academic research and social action projects through networks local and global, with an emphasis on the political dimensions and possibilities of various forms of cultural production. 

Michael Smith

My name is Michael Smith, I use he/him pronouns, and I am a second-year undergraduate studying French and Spanish at St Peter’s College. I was blessed to have grown up under the influence of two culturally rich traditions with a Jamaican dad and an Indian mum. Whilst there have been challenges settling at the intersection of two distinct cultures, I will always cherish my unique heritage. Grappling with my own identity is what drives me to support other ethnic minority students and I have found it extremely rewarding acting as the BAME representative for my college and as the Junior Welfare Officer for the Afro-Caribbean Society (ACS). I have cultivated a wider interest in international development through working on a non-violence project in Uganda, and as a college representative for the Oxford Society for International Development. I am also passionate about education and currently work as an Access and Outreach Ambassador for the Modern Languages Faculty and make materials accessible for a Francophone audience by translating articles for the Ghanian NGO, Right for Education. Finally, I am a keen sportsman and I currently run 400m for the University’s Athletics Club as well as playing regularly for my college’s football team.

Mutsa Matanga

Prior to reading for an MBA at the Said Business School, Mutsa completed her undergraduate studies in Chemical Engineering at McGill University and worked in multiple industries (mining, construction, and banking) in various supply chain functions. She is passionate about entrepreneurship, innovation and is determined to become a change-maker. She describes herself as an extreme sports enthusiast and has engaged in shark cage diving, paragliding and open-water swimming with dolphins in various locations across Africa.

Noah Wilson

I am a second-year undergraduate studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at St. Catherine’s College Oxford. I have worked as an economic consultant for a Kenyan charity and as a consultant for the Nigerian Justice Research Institute and the Oxford Strategy Group. I have a keen interest in small business development and have my own small business which I have been developing whilst studying. I excel in problem-solving and value my innovation as a key strength. I am looking forward to applying my skills in a variety of fields, and am excited about the prospect of developing my personal skills as an entrepreneur and my industry-specific knowledge. In the future, I would like to be an entrepreneur in my own right, but am also very taken by the prospect of working in the business development industry in general as someone who can navigate and interpret such a dynamic and important field.

Payas Sinha

Payas is currently a student at the University of Oxford, pursuing an MEng in Engineering Science. He has a passion for innovation and technological advancements and aims to make practical use of the multidisciplinary engineering knowledge that he has gained during his time at university.

As part of his degree, Payas has completed a project in designing a ‘next-generation' prosthetic limb, and he is set to work on another project to make use of deep learning to assist with the semantic navigation of real robots.

Outside of his academic interests, Payas also engages in various outreach programmes to promote accessibility to higher education.

Rosaria Rosaria

Rosaria is an interdisciplinary biologist interested in field-to-lab studies of plants for human health, science-based entrepreneurship, and feedback between business and biodiversity policy. She is trained in biotechnology and molecular medicine and is currently pursuing doctoral study at the Oxford Biology Department. Her thesis investigates the role of biodiversity in underpinning ecosystem services vital for human well-being, which encompasses subject areas such as anthropology, conservation, food security, botany, policy-making, and socio-economy. Her professional experiences include being one of three research assistants in advancing policy engagement for biodiversity researchers across Oxford, leading a 3-year UK-Indonesia partnership research program for advancing green economy, lecturer for Biology undergrads in Indonesia, tutor for Master in Biology students at Oxford, a researcher in private and governmental institutes in Indonesia. During her time in Oxford, she joined training and seminars relevant to her interest in business, such as in strategy and management, scientific entrepreneurship, systematic evidence evaluation, negotiation and networking skills, effective enterprising teamwork, idea transformation into business, survey research, and public engagement. She is eager to learn about start-up funding and finance, business legal aspect, growth strategy, among other things. Rosaria aims to start realising her science-backed business ideas before she finishes her D.Phil. 

Roxana Akhmetova

Roxana Akhmetova is a D.Phil. student in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. She is a 2021 Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow. Roxana’s D.Phil. research is focused on how Canadian and U.S. state, private, and non-governmental border control actors negotiate the benefits of AI with the ethical drawbacks within their countries and across the Canada – U.S. border. Prior to starting her D.Phil. degree, Roxana earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degrees in Political Science from the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba, Canada, respectively, and a Master of Science in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford. She holds the positions of Equality and Diversity Officer at the Keble College Middle Common Room, and she is the Diversity and Inclusion Team Lead with the Oxford AI Society. With the help of the Oxford Foundry Entrepreneurial Fellowship, Roxana is keen to not only further develop her entrepreneurial and leadership skills and gain new insights into how to help bring change to the AI ethics sector, but she is also excited about new networking opportunities and connections.

Sean Sinanan

I’m Sean. A second-year student studying PPE at Mansfield College. I’m of Trinidadian descent and in the past year, I’ve been President of the Oxford ACS. The experience has taught me a lot and engendered my interest in entrepreneurship by having to implement and innovate solutions to overcome various hurdles. I’m not sure what I exactly want to pursue after university but what I do know is that I’m very excited for this scheme and its opportunities to see how it will help me reach my entrepreneurial potential.  

Sekela Ngamilo

I am Sekela (she/her), a Law student at Lincoln College and I am thrilled to be part of the OXFO Entrepreneurial Fellowship. I am dedicated to personal growth and contributing to the growth of others through innovation, problem-solving, and hard work. I particularly enjoy using technology, law, or art to do this. As the President of a charity, I have built leadership and management skills that are effective in online and in-person spaces. Having worked at a number of start-ups, I understand the importance of consistent and clear communication and striking a balance between being a strong independent worker and an incredible team player. I am self-motivated and enjoy gaining skills asI work, such as learning how to use the Adobe Creative Cloud and product development. Passionate about accessibility, I enjoy devising ways that companies can cater to minority or disadvantaged people groups as well as effectively target them. When I’m not in the library, I enjoy roller skating, listening to A Tribe Called Quest and the Fleet Foxes, writing, and acting. I hope to gain skills that enable me to work effectively in start-ups and established companies, as well as to create my own business.

Shaan Pattni

Shaan is a Pershing Square scholar currently pursuing an African Studies MSc and MBA at the University of Oxford. He is an experienced data analyst and project manager having consulted for commercial, development, and security clients in African countries and the U.S.

Prior to Oxford, Shaan applied his data analytics skillset across the energy, healthcare, finance, agricultural sectors at Fraym, a data analytics start-up, to deliver localized insights and improve client decision-making in African countries. Most recently, he assisted with providing COVID-19 data and modelling expertise to organisations and governments across Africa to support pandemic responses. Previously, he worked at Bates White Economic Consulting in the healthcare practice analysing the competitive effects of hospital and insurance mergers and acquisitions in the U.S.

After collaborating with some of the most exciting off-grid start-ups on the continent, he hopes to dedicate his career to delivering universal electrification in African countries that is reliable, sustainable, and cost-effective.

At Oxford, Shaan recently concluded his role as co-manager for the Innovation Fair at the 2021 Oxford Africa Conference. The two-day programme provided 11 early-stage African ventures, chosen from over 150 applications, with masterclasses, industry mentorship, and MBA mentorship. It culminated in a pitch competition where £8,500 was awarded to the top three companies.

Tehillah Campbell

Hi, my name is Tehillah Campbell and I have just finished my first year studying Materials Science at St Edmund Hall. I am a young black woman who is a first-generation university student from a state school in East London and I am looking forward to growing and developing from this fellowship programme. Although my degree is in engineering, I am looking to explore my options and I have found an interest in the science behind fashion and new materials used in textiles. I am excited to be connecting with new people this summer and developing the mindset of an entrepreneur.

Temilorun Olanipekun

Temilorun Olanipekun is from Nigeria. He has a zest interest in solving people-centred problems using technology. Temilorun has conducted dozens of market and UX research for designing and deploying tech tools to promote participatory governance in Nigeria.

In his previous role with a Nigerian civic-tech start-up, Temilorun led the research for developing a Know-Your-Candidates web app, providing citizens with data to make more thoughtful decisions about candidates vying for political offices in Nigeria. The platform received 10,000+ visitors on the launch date with mentions from leading international media, including Aljazeera and BBC, and a recent innovation award by Zahn Innovation Centre at the City College of New York.

Temilorun has received various academic and leadership prizes. He is the Inaugural IAB Scholar at Oxford’s African Studies Centre studying for an MSc in African studies. His current research at Oxford highlights the boundless potential of digital tools in empowering young African women in business, taking them from the margin to the centre in venture building.

Thomas Scanlon

My name is Tom, and I am currently studying an MSc in environmental governance, having studied law as an undergraduate. I grew up in South Korea and Japan, before moving to London when I was 10, and I definitely attribute an over-exposure to big cities growing up as to why I’m now really interested in the environment! I am really keen to learn more about AI and data science, so I am very excited to be able to get involved with Ngenius, and look forward to getting to know you all over the coming weeks.

Yingxian 'Claire' Tang

Claire Yingxian Tang is a writer and Internet start-up founder with extensive experience in media and technology industries in China, having spent over 10 years working in China’s state media, emerging media platforms and building content start-ups. She holds a M.A. in International Communication from Journalism School of Fudan University, currently, she is an MSc Candidate of Social Science of the Internet at the Oxford Internet Institute, interested in how to build content business for social good and investigating modern political participation and power of technology and data through AI and political economy lens.

She used to be a media strategist at China Central Television, the state broadcaster and most influential media in China, where she assisted top management with in-depth research and policy recommendations on new media and headed the drafting of CCTV’s new media integration strategic roadmap for the upcoming five years.

Since 2015 she has been exploring the Chinese Internet by building a series of Internet content start-ups. In 2016, she was funded by top venture capital firms in China and have since led teams to build one of the first online communities in China that focused on knowledge sharing via smartphones, reaching 1.6 million users worldwide.

Yusuf Ben-Tarifite

My name is Yusuf, I am a medical student at Oxford University and it is my absolute pleasure to accepted onto the 2021 OXFO Entrepreneurial Fellowship Scheme.  As someone that comes from a low-income household, I am hugely passionate about widening participation in medicine. In 2018, I founded The Aspiring Medics, a social enterprise helping students to get into medicine through our website platform as well as through application mentoring, interview and academic tutoring. Equality of opportunity is at the heart of what we do which is why we have the Robin Hood principle, for every 1 student who pays to get tutored, we tutor 1 person from a disadvantaged background for free. In the last 12 months alone, we have over 60,00 website clicks and 2 million impressions on Google!

I believe that the Entrepreneurial Fellowship Initiative will provide an invaluable platform from which I can further develop my overall entrepreneurial acumen and benefit from the vast world-leading entrepreneurs and business leaders. I look forward to being challenged and learning lessons in terms of leadership, marketing, sales and operations that I can apply to The Aspiring Medics.