A Champion for Chocolate

How one student's winning boot camp project is helping to advance a vital African industry

August 10, 2021 | By GTPE Communications
Georgia Tech Digital Marketing Boot Camp student Jonathan Ayimambenwe with cocoa

Earlier this year, Jonathan Ayimambenwe, a graduate from Georgia Tech’s Digital Marketing Boot Camp, won 2U’s Next Level Contest with his data-driven social marketing platform, Kakao Mundo.

Ayimambenwe created Kakao Mundo with the mission to support African cocoa farmers. Over 70% of the world’s chocolate comes from Africa, but the largeness of the industry is not indicative of its workers’ prosperity. By tracing cocoa products’ life cycles from “farm to bar,” Kakao Mundo aims to shed light on the grueling, and often unfair, process of cocoa production.

By participating in the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Ayimambenwe was equipped with the knowledge and skillset he needed to leverage and communicate data about the African cocoa industry succinctly, clearly, and powerfully. “Before the boot camp, I didn’t know what to do with all the farmer data we had collected—as far as presenting it to the end customers and making sure it’s appealing to them through the right interface and on the right platforms,” Ayimambenwe explained in an interview with 2U. “I have a much better sense now of the ‘marketing funnel’ to know how and when to reach out to customers at the right time in their journey.”

The boot camp also provided Ayimambenwe with the opportunity to present Kakao Mundo to a panel of leaders in the technology sector through 2U’s Next Level Contest. 2U is a mission-driven organization that aims to provide greater access to higher education, partnering with institutions around the globe, including Georgia Tech, to provide a wide variety of online education and services. Every year, 2U hosts its Next Level Contest, which encourages 2U boot camp graduates to share their “next level” ideas in fields such as data, coding, and UX/UI.

Having won the contest, Ayimambenwe now receives ten hours of mentorship from tech and venture capital professionals, free enrollment in a 2U-powered short course of his choice, and continued support from the 2U community.

Read the full story on 2U’s website.