Who is Brian Gitta?
Brian is one from a humble background, heavily interested in computing and has been in the innovation ecosystem for six to seven years, interested in artificial intelligence, breaking and creating stuff.
When did your passion for I.T start?
I started gaming when I was in Primary Two and at about the same time I had my first computer lesson and the interest was built.
For most people when they hear Brian Gitta they think of matibabu, what is matibabu?
Matibabu is a portable device that detects malaria without a blood sample. The idea of matibabu was birthed at a Microsoft boot camp when we were tasked to come up with an innovation. That is when I thought of creating a shazam for diagnosis and luckily my team liked the idea.
Why then did you choose to diagnose malaria of all diseases/infections?
We chose malaria because we relate to malaria more since most of us have been infected by it. Also it was at a time when malaria was really prevalent.
Just to be clear, who is we?
The ‘we’ is the whole team and currently we are eight.
The name matibabu has a nice ring to it, why matibabu?
Matibabu is a swahili word for treatment. We wanted to get the closest word that could identify with what we were creating and also close to our African roots.
What inspires you?
I enjoy positive energy and get inspired by anyone doing great transformational work because I am always asking myself how I can learn from them.
We also know Brian to be the CEO of ThinkIT, what is it and why was it created?
ThinkIT Limited is a design-thinking driven software company aimed at delivering eHeath and enterprise solutions to customers. We were looking and always look for ways to translate the knowledge we have to other startups. For example pushIT is a project we worked on with UNICEF to empower young people in refugee settings with IT skills and knowledge.
ThinkIT was mainly started to foster development, consultation and translate knowledge into communities.
As a CEO, what are you most proud of?
The resilience of my team because they have stayed no matter the circumstances and this keeps me going.
What has been your greatest achievement?
I cannot point to one thing but our very first funding, our very first contract for our products are some of my biggest achievements.
What are some of the lessons you've learnt running an IT company?
Most of the lessons I have learnt are around funding and grants. Not to rush because different funders have different objectives and some of these are not aligned with your objectives.
I also wish I had known earlier what it takes to set up a medtech company, because it is very hard especially when you don't have a medical background and when people don't believe in what you're doing or have different goals from yours.
What is your dream and are you living it?
My dream is to leave a legacy in what I love doing so I am not yet there yet, although at the same time I feel like the beginning of every dream is being happy.
What is your advice to young dreamers out there?
Never stop dreaming.