Big muscles do not make a farmer.
– Yoruba Proverb
Men and Women Wanted: For hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success.
– Ernest Shackleton (paraphrased)
Almost certain death. Slim chance of success. What are we waiting for?
– From The Lord of The Rings
Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.
I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change, I am changing the things I cannot accept.
– Angela Davis
I am not afraid; I was born to do this.
– Joan of Arc
Confusion is the sweat of learning.
– Rhett Allain
Some people are more certain of everything than I am of anything.
– Robert Rubin
Times of maximum danger are often also times of maximum opportunity.
Work until your idols become your rivals.
I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
– Rosa Parks
It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.
– Richard P. Feynman
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.
– Richard P Feynman
It always seems impossible until it’s done.
– Nelson Mandela
Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.
– Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
Erroneous assumptions can be disastrous.
– Peter Drucker
If anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing to excess.
– Edwin Land
He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.
Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks it, I will always stand on the side of the egg. Yes, no matter how right the wall may be and how wrong the egg, I will stand with the egg. Someone else will have to decide what is right and what is wrong; perhaps time or history will decide.
– Haruki Murakami (Always on the side of the egg)
If you want people to believe your promises tomorrow, it helps if you kept them yesterday.
– Seth Godin
Reasonable people do reasonable things. Only unreasonable people can do unreasonable things.
– Vinod Khosla
You need to try to do the impossible, to anticipate the unexpected. And when the unexpected happens, you should double the efforts to make order from the disorder it creates in your life.
– Andy Grove
If nobody will help you, do it alone.
– Michael Jordan
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
– Thomas Jefferson
My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people don’t know.
– Sherlock Holmes (The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle)
The first order of business is to try. You must try until your brain hurts.
– Elon Musk
I am a partner at KEC Ventures, an early stage venture fund, where I devote the majority of my time to assessing potential early stage venture capital investments in technology startups. Before KEC Ventures, I worked at Lehman Brothers, UBS AG and Watson Wyatt Worldwide. Before Watson Wyatt, I spent three years as a research assistant in the Tunable Diode Laser Spectroscopy Laboratory at Connecticut College, and before that I was a junior auditor at Issifu Ali & Co., a firm of chartered accountants in Accra, Ghana. I am based in New York.
I hold a BA with a double major in Mathematics and Physics from Connecticut College and an MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. I am also a participant in the CFA Program.
I devote some of my personal time to volunteer activities related to entrepreneurship and economic development in Africa. I was an unpaid columnist for Tekedia, where I wrote a column about startups, investing and entrepreneurship with a focus on the challenges encountered by African startups. I was a volunteer MBA Consultant for the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra, Ghana. I served as a member of the Board of Trustees for The Kumasi Center for Lifelong Learning (KCLL) in Kumasi, Ghana. I helped initiate the conversations that led KCLL to organize and hold Ghana’s first ever 10-day training session in microelectronics and embedded systems at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi between September and October 2012, in partnership with FASMicro, Nigeria Ltd. – Tekedia’s parent company.
Before my departure for the United States I obtained my primary education at the Bayero University Staff Primary School in Kano, Nigeria. I studied for the WAEC GCE Ordinary Level at St. Francis Xavier Junior Seminary, in Wa, Ghana and for the WAEC GCE Advanced Level at the Presbyterian Boy’s Secondary School in Accra, Ghana. I was considered a bookworm during my childhood and adolescence. I am still a bookworm. I also have a slight obsession for mechanical pencils, and I have a habit of drinking a lot of coffee.
I love watching soccer, and I am a supporter of the national teams from Ghana, Nigeria, and the United States of America. In another life, I have no doubt that I would have been a great coach. I am fascinated with the process by which the most successful football coaches wring consistently high performance from the teams that they manage. I believe there are lessons there for ambitious startup founders.
In my free time I am a fitness enthusiast, and I now have several half-marathons under my belt. I expect to add to that number. I feel most inspired when I am grappling with nebulous problems that seen unfamiliar at first glance, and whose solution requires connecting seemingly unrelated concepts from different subjects.
I love people, I love to think, I can be relentless about the things I believe in, and, I am not afraid to be different.
I am married to Tasha S. Kersey. My son keeps me on my toes by saying things like “So what exactly are you trying to say Daddy? Because what you just said does not make any sense.”