Meet: "Gossy Ukanwoke" - Nigeria's Visionary Education Entrepreneur

Early Life and Education

Gossy Ukanwoke, born on September 21, 1988, in Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria, is a prominent higher education investor, venture capitalist, and entrepreneur. His upbringing in a family with a teacher father and pharmacist mother laid the foundation for his passion for education. Gossy attended the Living Word Academy Secondary School in Aba, Nigeria, where his academic journey began.

He completed his secondary education at Living Word Academy in Aba and went further to pursue a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Management Information Systems at Girne American University, Cyprus, graduating in 2013 with high honors as the best-graduating student of the class. During his time at the university, he actively contributed to the academic community by introducing entry-level programming languages for web development, showcasing his commitment to innovative education.

Career Highlights

Gossy's entrepreneurial spirit emerged during his university years. In 2010, he founded the Students Circle Network, an academic platform connecting students, teachers, and institutions. The network's success earned him the title of "Africa's Best Tech Entrepreneur" by ITNews Africa in 2011. After completing his university education, Gossy returned to Nigeria with a commitment to transforming education. He established BAU Research and Development, laying the foundation for significant contributions to the educational landscape.

Beni American University: In 2012, Gossy Ukanwoke took a bold step by founding Beni American University, the first online university in Nigeria. This digital institution marked a significant leap in advancing education technology in the country. His commitment to providing better access, quality, and relevance of learning in higher education institutions was further demonstrated by his involvement in policy development with African governments.

Alistair Maine Group: Gossy's entrepreneurial journey expanded as he co-founded the Alistair Maine Group, specifically Integrated Intelligent Imaging West Africa. This venture focused on government technology solutions, including intelligent toll and transport management, surveillance systems, explosive detection, RF jamming solutions, and parking management systems.

BetKing and KingMakers: In April 2020, Gossy Ukanwoke assumed the role of Managing Director at BetKing, a leading sports betting company in Nigeria. Simultaneously, he served as Executive Chairman at KingMakers, where his focus was on transforming sports, gaming, and digital entertainment in Nigeria through innovation, technology, community development, and investment in people.

Vend Capital: As Chairman at Vend Capital, a family office investing in regulated sector businesses operating in emerging markets, Gossy continued to contribute his expertise and insights.

Honors and Awards

  • Best Graduating Student, Girne American University: Gossy's academic excellence was evident early on, marked by being named the Best Graduating Student at Girne American University.
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2015): Gossy received the esteemed Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, acknowledging his visionary leadership and significant impact in the entrepreneurial realm.
  • Finalist, Young CEO of the Year 2016 - Africa CEO Forum: Recognized as a finalist, Gossy showcased exceptional leadership abilities and contributions to the corporate world.
  • Forbes 30 Most Promising Entrepreneurs 2018: Gossy earned a spot in Forbes' prestigious list, emphasizing his global influence and potential as an entrepreneur.
  • Finalist, Future Awards: Acknowledged for shaping the future, Gossy was a finalist for the Future Awards, recognizing his forward-thinking leadership.
  • Global Shakers - 50 African Innovators to Watch: Named among the "Global Shakers," Gossy solidified his status as a key influencer, contributing innovatively to Africa's progress.

Gossy Ukanwoke's journey as an education-driven entrepreneur, investor, and government advisor has not only left an indelible mark on the landscape of higher education in Nigeria but has also positioned him as a global influencer in the realm of education technology. His vision for creating impactful, accessible, and innovative learning experiences continues to shape the future of education in Africa and beyond.