Data scientist and tech entrepreneur, Jon Gosier, recently opened up to the tech community about his life as a venture capitalist, at the same time opening his doors to future leaders from South African.
During FailFest, part of Philly Tech Week 2017 presented by Comcast, Gosier served as a panelist sharing lessons he learned from shortcomings during his career as an investor. But what was “ inspiring and encouraging” to the founder of Wounds A.I. and Southbox, during the celebration of the tech world, was connecting with four young learners enrolled in the Nelson Mandela-endorsed South African non-profit, Afrika Tikkun.
“To have them come to Philly and meet with local tech leaders, particularly local tech leaders of color, is an awesome thing,” Gosier said. “I think that some of us see ourselves in them. Some of these guys want to help these students well beyond their time here in the city.”
As part of Afrika Tikkun’s Child & Youth Development Program, Hazel Dube, Kabelo Mashabela, Bongani Tshabalala and Baile Diphoko were afforded the opportunity to represent the organization in Safelite Foundation’s annual Safelite Challenge in Las Vegas. Visiting with area tech leaders and associates of Gosier, the students were exposed to educational and career opportunities during a stop while on the east coast.
“Fortunately I was able to connect them with folks at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Tayyib Smith, co-founder of The Institute of Hip Hop Entrepreneurship and Little Giant Creative, and one of my students, Chantell Bateman, a member of the Institute of Hip Hop Entrepreneurship’s 2017 cohort,” Gosier said.
Smith thought his time with the students was “humbling,” recognizing that “people of color have a lot to share with the world.”
Along with visiting Smith’s Pipeline Philly office space, the students visited one of WeWork Philly’s locations, attending The ITEM and Naila Mattison’s Collision of the Arts & Tech panel. Featuring 900AM-WURD’s Stephanie Renée, podcast co-host Stephanie Keene, and musician Ronin Ali, the visiting students saw presentations from film makers, musicians, visual artists and producers.
“Our Afrika Tikkun student-athletes had an opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship, venture capital, new media and innovation from Jon,” said Afrika Tikkun USA CEO, Elizabeth Ngonzi. “We’re very grateful to have them connect with such a role model,” Ngozi said.
An Afrika Tikkun USA advisor, Gosier participated in receiving the students with AmerisourceBergen CEO, Steve Collis, and his wife, Toni, during a reception in their Delaware County home.
“Loads of gratitude to Steve and Toni for hosting a spectacular function, in their beautiful home, for our Afrika Tikkun future leaders,” Ngonzi said thanking the couple who coordinated the reception with Gosier and Peter Jacobson, Afrika Tikkun USA board of directors vice chairman and CEO of Orion Fleet Intelligence.
Gosier has worked with the world’s most famous recording artists, record labels, and entertainers as the founder of audience measurement and monetization company, AuDigent. He has spent the past decade building a career in data science, private equity, and international business. In that time he has lead an array of data projects as a consultant to Jefferson Health, Nielsen, EMC, Google, FEMA, InQTel, The World Bank, U.S. Department of State, Wounded Warriors, Department of Defense, and Lockheed Martin.
“Jon is a man of action and a data science genius,” said Ahmed Mohamed Maawy, a principal product management specialist at Al Jazeera Media Network. “He understands the technologies out there and how they impact the professional and personal lives of individuals and change the way organizations do business.”
Recognized with awards from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Harvard Initiative for Global Health, and the Information Technology Senior Management Forum, Gosier is an alum of Savannah College of Art & Design and the THNK School of Creative Leadership and Innovation.
Listed in Business Insider’s 2013 25 Most Influential African-Americans in Technology, the TED Fellow and Knight News Challenge winner “think its important for cross cultural exchange in the Philly tech community,” he said.
“Philly entrepreneurship should be doing more with our global counterparts,” Gosier said. Dedicated to investing in education, health and social services for disadvantaged South African children, youth and their families through its community Centers of Excellence and strategic partnerships, Gosier is a strong advocate for Afrika Tikkun and its mission.
“Hopefully we can continue to build on what we were able to do this year,” Gosier said of the Afrika Tikkun students’ involvement with Philly Tech Week.
“We want these kids to succeed,” he said.