African Startup Aya, Receives Grant From Coinbase Giving

September 5, 2022
4 min read

A new partnership looks to not only create opportunities for African talent but grow startups in a strategic way.

Coinbase Giving, a charitable program within Coinbase focused on the goal of increasing economic freedom, and Aya, an online platform that connects the best African talent with organisations all over the world, recently came together to help fund Aya’s Web3 Fellowship. 

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Aya provides a platform where the African workforce can work with organisations that know the worth of their skills and talents. It has achieved tremendous success by not only connecting talent and organisations, but by bridging the trust between them.

"We want to unleash the resilience and resourcefulness of Africans to the world. And we are leveraging innovative technology to build tools that will enable African talent to be connected to the global marketplace," says Eric Annan, founder, and CEO of Aya. 

Aya assesses the needs of an organisation very carefully by understanding its vision and desired outcomes and discussing these with the founders and executive team. Pishikeni Tukura, the co-founder of Aya, says this has been instrumental to the company's strong growth trajectory.

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"We are looking to redefine how talent is matched to startups," he says. "This is why we go into a startup and talk to the founders, get to know them and their vision, and assess their needs." We know what they need as we are founders ourselves. With our A.I. tools, we are able to discover the right people for these organizations that we believe will propel them further into their vision and success. "

The workforce can truly live borderless by opening up the blockchain and crypto to Africans.

"Aya provides an opportunity to do jobs you actually enjoy while increasing your capacity to earn beyond your physical borders," says Annan. "It also gives businesses the opportunity to access the finest talents available, vetted and trusted to get the job done. In this way, we take the pressure off founders and executives. "

While, to this date, the company has linked talent to organisations spanning three different continents, it now wants to go beyond just finding talent but nurturing it. 

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"There's no shortage of talent in the world, but there is a shortage of talent with the right mindset to suit the company they are working for." Especially when it comes to startups, which is where we are focusing. We want to do much more than just create a hiring platform like Upwork or a cryptocurrency wallet," says Annan. "This kind of arrangement needs training, education, and mentoring."

To fund this new training, Aya sent a proposal to Coinbase Giving. The feedback from Coinbase Giving was overwhelmingly positive, says Annan. 

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"They felt it was an inspiring and futuristic approach to talent," he says. "With the funds, we are looking to pilot a training program with 50 people, and then build an education tool into the Aya system and also convert our existing talent,"

Tukura says that whether people have ten years of experience or just one year of experience, Aya wants to be able to give them what they need to join a startup strategically and execute the vision.

"This is not just a tool to get people hired, it's a tool that grows companies—and opens up more opportunities. If we can be at the forefront of a new economic movement, we will be happy," he says.

Interested applicants can register to participate in the program by filling out their details in the attached form. Successful applicants will undergo a rigorous vetting process as we aim to work with top early-stage African talent who are passionate. The program is set to begin at the end of September, 2022.

Ayagigs can be accessed at and you can sign up either as a business to get access to vetted African talent or as a freelancer to access global opportunities. Join the Aya community to get the latest updates on our progress.

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