Thomas Ferede

Co-Founder, Ruker Industries PLC






Thomas Ferede is an experienced entrepreneur, investor and advisor. Thomas has deep experience in industries that span technology, agribusiness and energy. He is the founder of StartupFactory Ethiopia, the first venture builder in Ethiopia. StartupFactory Ethiopia aims to create the next generation of market leading companies by building and scaling innovative, technology enabled ventures that address Ethiopia’s biggest market gaps. He is also the founder of Cornerstone Advisory an Ethiopia-focused boutique financial and strategic advisory firm. He was previously the CEO of a private equity backed business in Ethiopia. He was previously the founder of an angel-backed technology venture in the US. His professional career includes roles at various blue-chip institutions. He worked at Kuramo Capital, a $400+ million direct and fund-of-funds investment firm, where he led their direct investments. Previously, he was an investment professional at Development Partners International, a top quartile Africa focused private equity fund with $1.3billion AUM. He was also previously at the IFC, where he led investments into the oil & gas sector globally. He began his career in investment banking at JPMorgan in New York. He has an MBA from Harvard and BA from Dartmouth.

Why are you optimistic about the future of work?

quote Technology is bringing an unprecedented level of transparency& efficiency to the nature and structure of work. This is just now being unleashed in developing countries.

The MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge to become Economic Prosperity Challenge in 2020