More than 150 entrepreneurs from around the globe convened in Nairobi, Kenya from July 24-26 for the 6th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) co-hosted by President Barack Obama (U.S.) and President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya). Hello Tractor was thrilled to have been selected to attend the GES, which was the first Summit to take place in sub-Saharan Africa.
On the second day of the Summit, Hello Tractor’s founder and CEO, Jehiel Oliver, along with Josipa Majic, CEO of Teddy the Guardian, and Judith Owegar, co-founder and president of Akirachix, spoke on a panel side-by-side Presidents Obama and Kenyatta in the opening plenary session on July 25. Following opening remarks by the presidents, Jehiel kicked off the panel discussion by introducing Hello Tractor to the audience. He shared our company’s mission to confront food insecurity in Nigeria by introducing Smart Tractors to smallholder farmers in Nigeria. With the Smart Tractors, Hello Tractor aims to connect Smart Tractor owners with farmers who text into our cloud system requesting tractor service. Our hardware and software solution will increase the number of farmers who have access to mechanized farm tools and provide a service that is 40 times faster and one-third of the cost of manual labor.
Similarly to Hello Tractor, many of the startups at GES integrate technology into their service or product. During the panel discussion President Obama highlighted the key role that technology plays in solving some of the world’s largest problems. “One of the advantages of this technological revolution that we’re going through is that it can be tailored and adapted to different countries, different environments, different circumstances, in some cases, enabling countries to leapfrog over old technologies to individualize what’s done for a particular market or particular need. The kind of thing that Jehiel is talking about is the shared economy concept…Now you can get a startup moving and if its the right idea it can travel with the speed of how fast you can text…This makes a place like Africa, or Croatia or other countries that historically may not have been viewed as right at the center of the global economy, suddenly they can compete on a level playing field.”
The GES was an incredible moment for our company. Hello Tractor was an idea that started in the rice fields of the Philippines back in 2013. To sit on a panel with President Obama, President Kenyatta, and to be among leading entrepreneurs from around the world was an experience that we will not forget. Thank you to all of you who have reached out or shared your support via social media. We hope you continue to watch Hello Tractor as we aim to revolutionize agriculture.