Board Members

The Gearbox Board currently comprises an Advisory Board including the two Advisory board Members ane the Executive Director.

  • David Li
  • Board Member

Brief Introduction

David Li is the Executive Director of Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL) which facilitates the collaboration between global smart hardware entrepreneurs and the Shenzhen Open Innovation ecosystem.

Prior to SZOIL, he co-founded XinCheJian in 2010, the first hackerspace in China to promote hacker/maker culture and open source hardware. In 2011, he co-founded Hacked Matter, a research hub on maker movement and open innovation. In 2015, he co-founded Maker Collider, a platform to develop next generation Internet of Things from the Maker community.

  • Emeka Okafor
  • Board Member

Brief Introduction

Emeka Okafor has a diverse, interdisciplinary background focused on developing, building, and deploying initiatives across Africa. He curated the only full TED Conferences held on the continent in 2007 and 2017, and co-founded Maker Faire Africa, which held events in five African countries from 2009-2014. He is also the co-founder of the acclaimed TED Fellows Program launched in 2009. Emeka has advised organisations including the X-Prize Foundation and Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE).

He was previously a board member for Samasource and a Global Poptech Fellow. Emeka is also the author of the publicly acclaimed blog Timbuktu Chronicles, which covers the confluence of entrepreneurship, science, and technology in Africa, and Africa Unchained, a blog examining issues that include governance, policy, education, an institution building in Africa. He is also a contributing author to the book: Worldchanging: A Users Guide for the 21st Century.

  • DR. Kamau Gachigi
  • Co-Founder & Executive Director

Brief Introduction

Dr. Kamau Gachigi is the Founding Executive Director of Gearbox, a hardware accelerator providing access to machines for prototyping and low volume manufacture, which is widely seen as a model innovation hub for the promotion of industrialisation. The success of Gearbox recently led to his being contracted by UNDP to design similar hardware platforms in 13 African countries which were launched in 2023.

He also founded MachineANI, funded through a grant from the Mastercard Foundation, aimed at formalising manufacturing in the informal sector. MachineANI is equipped with many of the industrial automation machines designed at Gearbox. In addition in 2019 he co-founded Gearbox Europlacer, a state-of-the-art surface mount technology (SMT) electronics manufacturing firm, which is a JV with global leader in manufacturing SMT equipment, Europlacer.