epMentoring: 9 companies, 3 regions, 1 goal

Key Stats

  • Duration

    14.09.2020 to 31.03.2021

  • Location

    AfricaAsiaWest Europe

The epMentoring program empowers entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and social impact through one-on-one mentorship sessions with seasoned founders and tech professionals. In addition to one-on-one mentorship, the program also enables founders to collaborate and network during group workshops, discussions and activities. The program  is implemented in partnership with the empowering people. Network (epN), an initiative of Siemens Stiftung, a non-profit foundation that promotes sustainable social development.

Growing Businesses And Impact

The epMentoring program is specifically targeted at companies working to make an impact in developing regions. Nine enterprises from the Americas, Europe and Africa have been selected for the program and paired with a mentor to refine product-market-fit and develop a step-by-step roadmap for sustainable growth. Along with the individual mentorship sessions, founders also have the chance to learn from and network with one another during group workshops and activities. 


  • Scaling: One-on-one mentorship sessions enable founders to take a deep dive into their goals and roadblocks and provide ample time to develop a step-by-step, sustainable growth roadmap. Founders and mentors are matched based on expertise and needs, ensuring tailored guidance.
  • Mindset: In addition to creating a growth roadmap, mentors also work with founders to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Through working with mentors and hearing their stories, founders gain a better understanding of the strategies and mindset required to launch and grow companies and lead teams.
  • Network: Along with individual mentorship, founders also get the chance to learn from and collaborate with one during workshops and group breakout sessions. These group sessions cover such topics as investment and fundraising, essential business tools and overcoming obstacles.


Eleven founders representing eight companies from the Americas, Europe and Africa have been selected for the program, ranging from a Berlin-based electric cargo bike maker to a Kenyan technology and innovation hub. 

Meet the Founders

Get to know the founders and their companies.


  • Adriana Garties, Co-founder of Imara Tech
    • Adriana Garties has been working with rural communities in Tanzania since 2015 and co-founded Imara Tech in 2016, which develops mechanical equipment for smallholder farmers to optimize the harvesting process. Adriana joined the epMentoring program to develop her management skills and to gain insight into scaling businesses. Imara Tech is a member of the empowering people. Network.
  • Erin Keaney, Co-founder and COO of Nonspec
    • Erin Kaeney holds a PhD in plastics engineering and has worked in medical device design, manufacturing and regulation. Erin co-founded Nonspec in 2013, which manufactures affordable and adjustable prosthetic limbs. Erin’s goal for the epMentoring program is to improve her skills as a COO and help Nonspec increase sales. Nonspec is a member of the empowering people. Network.
  • Jonathan Perez de Alderete, Co-founder and CEO of Nonspec
    • Jonathan Perez de Alderete has his PhD in biomedical engineering and has worked with companies to develop scalable products and automate medical processes. Jonathan’s goal for Nonspec is to double product sales and distribution to target markets in Africa and Asia. Nonspec is a member of the empowering people. Network.
  • Wesley Meier, Co-founder and CEO of EOS International
    • Wesley Meier co-founded EOS International in 2008 to help provide clean drinking water and economic opportunities to rural communities in Central America. In joining the epMentoring program, Wesley hopes to learn from experts and his peers about how to grow his sales pipeline and network of supporters. EOS is a member of the empowering people. Network.
  • Stéphane Cissé, CEO of One Dollar Glasses Burkina Faso
    • Stéphane Cissé is the CEO of One Dollar (ODG) Glasses Burkina Faso, a social enterprise that enables developing communities to manufacture simple, durable and affordable glasses. Stéphane has a master of law degree and extensive professional experience in sales. His goal for the program is to receive guidance on business development and grow his professional network. ODG is a member of the empowering people. Network.


  • Marc Zedler, Managing Director of One Dollar Glasses Malawi
    • Marc Zedler is the Managing Director of One Dollar Glasses (ODG) Malawi. In addition to leading a team of 40+ people, Marc also focuses on financial planning, partnerships and optimizing procedures. He holds a master of public policy degree and has worked in both government and tech. ODG is a member of the empowering people. Network.
  • Oliver Higson, Founder of anywhere.berlin
    • Oliver Higson is the founder of anywhere.berlin, a company that develops solar-powered cargo bicycles with a capacity of 160 kilograms (352 pounds). Oliver’s goal is to grow the company and he is looking forward to gaining an outside perspective from his mentor and fellow founders during the program. anywhere.berlin is a partner of Siemens Stiftung in their joint engagement for e-mobility in rural Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Janos Bisasso, Founder of BODAWERK International Limited
    • Bodawerk International Limited was founded by Janos Bissaso in 2017 and develops lithium-ion battery packs and electric conversion kits for motorcycles. Janos’ goal for the company is to enable rural electrification and spur the growth of renewable energy and e-mobility in Sub-Saharan Africa. BODAWERK is a partner of Siemens Stiftung in their joint engagement for e-mobility in rural Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • James Odede, Founder and CEO of LakeHub

    • James Odede is the founder and CEO of LakeHub, an innovation and technology hub in Kisumu, Kenya. James has a B.S. in computer science and is passionate about tech, education and grassroots entrepreneurship in Africa. James joined epMentoring to further both his own personal growth and the growth of LakeHub. LakeHub is a partner of Siemens Stiftung in their joint efforts to foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem in communities along Lake Victoria, Kenya.
  • Mirembe Nnassuuna, CEO of IMPACC MakaPads Ltd.
    • Miremebe Nnaassunna is the CEO of IMPACC MakaPads Ltd., which produces a women’s hygiene product made out of papyrus and paper waste. MakaPads are highly absorbent and are chemical-free and can be manufactured using little electricity. Mirembe joined the program to learn scaling strategies. IMPACC MakaPads Ltd is a member of the empowering people. Network.
  • Paul Kimera, Managing Director of Technologies for Tomorrow
    • Paul Kimera is the Managing Director of Technologies for Tomorrow, a Ugandan company that builds technology to solve problems related to household needs, women’s hygiene and waste management. Technology for Tomorrow’s products are designed to be built locally using affordable materials. Paul holds a master’s degree in water and environmental management. Technologies for Tomorrow is the initial inventor of MakaPads

Meet the Mentors

Learn more about the mentors and their work.


  • Moses Acquah: CEO/Founder of Afrolynk
    • Moses Acquah spends the majority of his day leading Afrolynk, an afrocentric impact venture that supports, connects and brings together startups and entrepreneurs with stakeholders in the European Union and African markets. Moses’ areas of expertise include IT, strategy, management and finance.
  • Frank Owen: Board Director and Senior Leadership Advisor
    • Frank Owen is a digital transformation consultant, entrepreneur and organizational strategy facilitator. Prior to founding the boutique consulting firm Owen Partners, Frank held CEO and divisional VP positions at tech and consumer and industrial products and services companies.
  • Ahmed Sheikha: Co-founder and Chief Business Officer of Brimore
    • Ahmed Sheikha is the Co-founder and Chief Business Officer of Brimore, a social commerce platform helping local manufacturers overcome go-to-market challenges. Ahmed is also a masters degree candidate in entrepreneurship and innovation management at Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology.
  • Thomas Jakel: Coach, Facilitator and Entrepreneur
    • Thomas Jakel is a coach, facilitator and serial entrepreneur who is passionate about tackling social and ecological challenges and inspiring young people to become changemakers. Thomas’ entrepreneurial expertise is in building partnerships, bootstrapping and establishing processes.

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