Abdigani Diriye

Director, Innovate Ventures

Dr. Abdigani Diriye is a research scientist and a manager for the financial services research group at IBM Research Africa and the co-founder and director of Innovate Ventures, the leading startup accelerator and technology fund in Somalia. At IBM, Dr. Diriye and his team design, develop and deploy innovative and commercially viable technologies to extend access to financial services in Africa. Dr. Diriye has held research positions in industry and academia for some of the largest companies and institutions such as Fuji-Xerox Palo Alto Labs, The Open University, Microsoft Research and Carnegie Mellon University and has previously founded a fintech startup. Dr Diriye established Innovate Ventures to support and invest in Somali startups. They have been running the first incubators and accelerators in the country, and have had over 20 startups graduate from their programme. Dr. Diriye has published over 40 papers and patents in leading scientific outlets, and holds a Bachelors, Masters and PhD in Computer Science from the University of London. Dr. Diriye is a TED Fellow, Next Einstein Forum Fellow and has been listed as one of 35 innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review. His work has been featured in Forbes, Wired, Technology Review, Quartz, BBC Radio, CNN and Fast Company among others.