Meet Christopher Pruijsen0
Pruijsen fills the role of co-producer on the StartupBus Africa team
When Christopher Pruijsen is not fulfilling his role of StartupBus Africa co-producer, he is the Lead Growth Strategist at Raising IT which uses a unique and proprietary platform to help charities improve their digital efforts for events, appeals, ecommerce, and more. An evident and successful multi-tasker, Pruijsen was the youngest-ever President of Oxford Entrepreneurs at the University of Oxford, from which he matriculated at age 17. And just a few months ago, he organised the two-day Startup Launchpad conference for NACUE which was hosted in London with over 435 attendees and 75 speakers.
Pruijsen, as with StartupBus Africa, has helped start several youth enterprise programmes but has also expanded others and gained a number of fellowships as a result, including the prestigious “Global Shaper” award from the World Economic Forum. For example, his work with the Kairos Society landed him a seat on their Global Advisory Board. This part of his work has seen him negotiating partnerships between corporates, start-ups, nonprofits, government bodies and various high level organisations. On the StartupBus Africa side, Pruijsen has arranged several of the larger partnerships; the likes of which include BBC, Bloomberg TV, UN Foundation, and Mozilla.
As co-producer, Pruijsen is also responsible for part of the StartupBus Africa marketing as well as the mentor programme. He has something to boast about when he explains, “Our social media has contributed a large part to making possible the success of our Thunderclap (140,000 people reached) and IndieGoGo (10,000 Euro raised) campaigns, as well as our applications (over 200 received for just 30 spots)”. On the mentor programme side, Pruijsen has secured 50 mentors for the StartupBus Africa buspreneurs.
His passion for the project is apparent and not surprising when one considers that Pruijsen and Magnus Petersen-Paaske had the initial idea for StartupBus Africa. Both men were previous organisers of FounderBus UK and StartupBus Vikings/Denmark and have used this experience to build the African version. They have worked alongside the experienced FounderBus co-founder and StartupBus Africa’s leader of the team Fabian Guhl and the amazing and dedicated local team members in Zimbabwe and South Africa to pull off this complex programme in Africa. While Pruijsen hopes that some of the ideas developed on the bus will be realised in reality, his emphasis is on StartupBus Africa’s main goal to create a global community that allows the coming together of diverse individuals to solve real African problems. Pruijsen synthesises what a StartupBus Africa success would look like by saying, “It’s about fun, it’s about bridging cultural and generational divides and it’s about solving real problems. To me, that is what StartupBus is about”.