Two Kenyan-born innovators have been featured in this year’s Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 list.
Joseph Kitonga (24) and Nelly Cheboi (29), both based in the United States, were recognized for the great impact made by the companies they founded.
Kitonga was born in Kenya before migrating to the United States at the age of 13 with his family.
The software developer has founded companies, serving as a sole founder of two and a co-founder of the other two, according to Forbes. He dropped out of college and founded Whats Popping LLC, a social event platform for discovering and sharing events.
Kitonga later co-founded ICOToday, a decentralized rating platform. He also co-founded Gullin, a platform for Accredited Investors to participate in Token Sales.
The 24-year-old worked for Microsoft before founding Vitable Health, a Pennsylvania-based company that gives home health workers and others a primary care-based health insurance plan with virtual and at-home visits with no copays or deductibles. The company has raised more than $9 million from investors.
Kitonga, who dropped out of Penn State University in order to found Vitable Health in January 2020, says he was inspired by the struggles he saw his parents deal with as he matured.
On her part, Nelly was recognized by Forbes for founding Tech Lit Africa, a company that repurposes the vast quantity of used technological equipment from companies, institutions, and individuals and refurbishes them for use in communities in Kenya.
Tech Lit Africa, which was founded in 2019, also builds computer laboratories for schools in Kenya. Forbes reports that Tech Lit has currently built 10 computer labs in rural areas in Kenya.
Nelly, who was born in Kenya, received a scholarship in 2012 to study Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at Augustan’s University Illinois. Upon graduation, she worked as a software engineer for New World Van lines and as a full-stack engineer for Kodable, and as a Lead Software Engineer for User Hero.