MSc Social Sciences of the Internet
Wadham College
Standard Bank Africa Chairman Scholarship

Temilorun Olanipekun

I am a research and business professional working in the digital technology space.

Professionally, I have worked across four tech sectors: civic-tech, Proptech, Edtech and Blockchain/Web3. My tech practices are driven by a philosophy of #Tech4Good.

Before Oxford, I was a Product Specialist at JoVE Europe – a Platform-as-a-Service Edtech company that helps people visualise scientific protocols across the STEM fields. As a Product Specialist for Africa, I led the company’s expansion from Southern Africa to other Sub-Saharan African regions, totalling over 12 countries. In less than a year since joining the company, my activities have increased sales by more than $200,000.

In 2021, I was selected as an Inaugural OXFO fellow at the University of Oxford Entrepreneurial. During the fellowship, I held a position as Business Development Specialist in Infogrid – a proptech company that recently raised $11.5million – where I worked on market research, customer support strategies and go-to-market strategy for the company’s expansion to the US market. In the same year, I led the business development and launch of Sankore 2.0’s – a leading blockchain start-up in East Africa. During my time leading business development, Sankore funded 6 Web3 native projects, trained and certified more than 15 developers and grew to a community over 1800 people, and expanded operations to South Africa, within five months of launch.

As a founding team member of two civic-tech social enterprises in Nigeria, leading and promoting issue-based elections: Civic Monitor and Reformers of Africa, I worked as Data Associate and Programs Lead respectively. Two notable digital tools were built, for which I led the user experience and product development research, are the Know-Your-Candidates (KYC) and the Citizens Watch tools. The digital tools empowered citizens with data about the positions of candidates on key issues in Nigeria’s 2019 general elections and helped them hold elected officials to their promises following the 2019 elections, respectively. Both digital tools have reached Nigerians in their thousands and made more than a million impressions via social media. KYC has also been featured in leading international media such as Aljazeera and BBC as well as winning a 2021 Zahn’s prize for innovation at City University, New York.

Academically, my research examines the interconnectedness of digital technology and development. It explores the tangential roles of digital technology in blurring socio-economic inequalities and in upscaling economic growth for countries. Similarly, my MSc dissertation explored how young women leverage digital platforms to accentuate their social and economic capital within restrictive socio-economic terrains such as Nigeria’s.

I will be studying at the Oxford Internet Institute for an MSC in the Social Science of the Internet where I would be investigating the impact of government policies on digital entrepreneurship in Africa.