Edwin Bruno, CEO & CVO, Smart Africa Group -Biography

Feb 16, 2023
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Feb 16, 2023

Edwin Bruno is a Tanzanian entrepreneur and transformational leader passionate about Technology, Creative Marketing & Investment. He is the CVO & CEO of Smart Africa Group (SAG), an innovation and digital consulting company with a mission to build integrated platforms that connect people and organisations to unlock infinite possibilities in Africa and beyond.

Education

Edwin studied Private Equity and Venture Capital at Harvard Business School, which propelled him to think as an investor and build partnerships skewed to future investment readiness.

He also attained his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Engineering at St. Joseph College of Engineering while majoring in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics for his Advanced level Secondary school education. Growing up, he had the ambition of becoming an engineer, although his mother wanted him to be a pilot.

Career

In his second year of software engineering studies, Edwin started his entrepreneurship journey, inspired by Salesforce’s mission to drive a cloud computing journey, moving from a hardware/software culture; which was super expensive, inefficient and not scalable. He believed in Salesforce mission at that time, and he knew that was the future of tech.

“I am a curious and futuristic-driven individual. I believe in thinking globally while acting locally. Looking at Tanzania’s tech space and market 15 years ago, I wanted to bridge the gap in tech-related solutions by making them affordable, efficient and scalable anywhere, anytime. Through my practical training in university, I showcased value for the company I volunteered by digitalizing their services, from domain & hosting, personalizing their emails to creating a website to increase their business and communications reach. I showed them why it was important for a company to have global reach even though they were locally based.”

Fast forward, Edwin started a company focused on technology and Creative Marketing. He identified a need to elevate the conveying of messages through digitally-driven means as traditional ways kept declining. The aim was to expand further and expose the Tanzanian market through digital communication, which drove him to start, Smart Codes in 2010 as a technology and creative digital marketing agency.

This further compelled Edwin’s thoughts about the additional value he could provide his business partners while helping them understand their consumer needs better. He wanted the company to be more than just an agency, which prompted the question, "How can the company connect people and organisations with a mission to solve African challenges"?

The company grew from a Tanzanian start-up to a full African-reach and re-structure, Smart Africa Group (SAG), an innovation and digital consulting company with a mission to build integrated platforms that connect people and organisations to unlock infinite possibilities in Africa and beyond.

Smart Africa Group is a five-subsidiary company, focusing on product Innovation and development (Smart Foundry), Connecting start-ups and corporates (Smart Lab), Developing and managing cutting-edge technology (Smartnology),Creative marketing & advertising (Smart Codes) and Innovative content production (Smart Studio)

Smart Foundry is a digital product agency that seeks to form partnerships with corporates and investors to build and launch digital products that help organizations and individuals thrive.

On the other hand, Smart Lab is an innovation platform that links start-ups, learning institutions and other partners in the innovation ecosystem to empower ground-breaking solutions that impact African communities.

Dealing with core technology, Smartnology is a close-knit team of programming professionals and tech brains making the most of modern technology to power clients' ideas.

SAG also offers advertising, marketing and media services through Smart Codes driven by creativity and digital transformation.

And for businesses looking to tell their story with captivating audio-visuals and content through photography, videography and voice artistry, Smart Studio is the place.

Awards & Accolades

Edwin has received recognition for his contribution to business, entrepreneurship and leadership.

  • In 2022, through Smart Codes, he was awarded the Digital Marketing Agency of the Year by the Tanzania Marketing Science Association.
  • In 2020, through Smart Codes, he was awarded the Best Digital Marketing Agency by Tanzania Digital Awards.
  • In 2019, through Smart Lab, he was awarded the Best Accelerator/Incubator Start-up the Southern African Startup Awards
  • In 2017, he was honoured for contributing to the Making an Innovator event by YPO Tanzania.
  • In 2016, he was listed under the BillGates Quartz Africa Innovators.
  • In 2016, he received the African Digital Innovator Award by the South Africa Innovation Summit (May 5, 2016)
  • In 2016, he was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 (May 30, 2016)
  • In 2015, Edwin Bruno was named Young Achiever of the Year (Under 25) by the Tanzania Leadership Awards.
  • In 2015, he received the Innovation Award from Africa Apps for the M-paper App.
  • In 2014, he was named amongst the Digital Heroes by Bold Magazine (May 14, 2014)
  • In 2014, he was listed amongst Young and Bright Tanzania Innovators by THE CITIZEN (Jun 24, 2014)
  • In 2012, he was recognised for the Social media monitoring Agency by Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) (Nov 1, 2012)
  • In 2012, he was recognised for the Tanzania Digital Monitoring Heroes by DTV (Oct 1, 2012)
  • In 2012, he was named amongst the Tanzania Social Media innovators by Bang Magazine (Sep 1, 2012)

 

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