The make-up of our team
We investigate, research, design, experiment and learn. We are excited about finding solutions.
We innovate and pursue new ideas. We are ambitious and constantly grow our thinking and learning.
We strive to be open, transparent and approachable. We believe in the collective power of collaboration.
We each have a deep conviction for what we do and the change we want to see in the world.
Mark has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics and is a former Shuttleworth Fellow. He initiated the Free High School Science Texts project way back in 2002. This formed the foundation upon which Siyavula is built today.
Neels manages Siyavula’s growing business front, managing and pursuing new relationshps, partnerships and opportunities, both locally and internationally. With a wealth of experience in diverse contexts, he is focused on making Siyavula a sustainable company with a global impact.
Yogo has an extensive experience in telecoms industry spanning over 15 years in Sub-Saharan Africa where he worked for Bharti Airtel (Former Celtel, MNO), Integrat Africa(VAS) and MFS Africa(Fintech). He has a honours degree in business administration.
Adam has a BSc (majoring in Physics, Astrophysics, Mathematics & Applied Mathematics) and a PGCE from UCT. In addition to being an Educational Technologist he still teaches Physical Sciences part-time and is also a senior marker for Physics.
As Operations Manager, Anthea manages the internal work processes that help Siyavula run smoothly and efficiently.
Bianca hails from a small town in the Eastern Cape where she has seen first hand how some learners struggle with STEM subjects. She enjoys solving puzzles, learning new things and being super organised.
Deborah has a degree in Journalism and English from Rhodes University. She has a background in corporate communication and marketing, and has worked for a number of years in the education sector.
Delphino is the Project Support Specialist providing the link between Siyavula and the community. Training educators and learners on how to effectively use Siyavula Practice.
Gina has a B.A from the University of California and an M.Phil in Development Studies from the University of Cape Town. She engages with partner organisations and under-resourced communities to ensure that we meet the needs of all South Africans.
Hannelie has a BSocSc(Hons) in Social Development and also studied child and youth development and Montessori education. She is the account manager for the Sponsored Projects team.
Heather handles an assortment of development tasks for Siyavula from fixing annoying bugs to creating new features to ensuring that all maths rendering works. She enjoys software that works, first time and dabbling in different programming languages.
As front-end developer, Hein ensures that Siyavula's online products look and work beautifully. When not wrangling code, he thinks about civic engagement, education, and openness.
Kate has a Ph.D. in X-ray Crystallography from UCT and is the Chemistry specialist for the EdTech Production Team. Her role includes creating, curating and implementing chemistry content for Siyavula's online practice service.
John has over 12 years experience in all things internet, from graphic design, to online marketing and a liberal dose of frontend development. Having worked in multiple creative spheres has been an inspiration and a ever evolving path of discovery.
Kevin has a BSc in computer science and economic history from UCT, and a BSocSci (Hons) in economic history from UCT. He aims to help create solutions to simple and complex problems, and to aid the marginalised of society.
Kosma has a MSc in Astrophysics and Space Science. At Siyavula she heads up the EdTech Production team who design and create Physics, Chemistry and Maths content. Kosma also presents shows at the Iziko Planetarium and does Astronomy outreach whenever she gets a chance.
Léhan has a passion for technology and especially enjoys writing software, finding simple solutions to complex problems and experimenting with new technologies.
Louise has a MSc in Astrophysics and Space Science. She is an Educational Technologist with a focus on Mathematics, and is excited to be a member of the Siyavula team.
Marcel volunteers at the local PMI chapter and is a special advisor for PMI globally. 2018 will be a big year for Marcel as he rounds off his BSc Hons degree and industry-level certifications.
Matlhodi is a Project Support Specialist, who effectively trains learners and educators on how to use Siyavula Practice. She maintains an open line of communication with all stakeholders, assisting them with any questions or issues they may have.
Mbali is a Project Support Specialist and has her PGCE and a BSocScIi (Hons) in Counselling Psychology. Her focus is providing support and training to teachers and learners whilst maintaining open communication between stakeholders to nurture working relationships.
With a MSc in Molecular Biology, Megan followed her goal to make STEM education engaging, relevant and accessible. She leads the research, analytics and pedagogical design for Siyavula's current and future e-learning experiences. She works to advance open education.
Natalia has a BA in Anthropology and Psychology from Rhodes University. She initiates first contact with prospective clients and works at building trust to ensure effective lines of communication are established with key decision makers in the industry.
Nicole has a BMusEd and a PGCE from UCT with specific focus on Maths Pedagogy. Her teaching and authoring experience inform her Ed Tech content creation role. She sees Africa’s intrinsic need for Siyavula’s liberation of open-sourced resources.
Rich enjoys writing software AND working with people, solving real problems with meaningful impact. With a a BBusSc (IS Hons), he really wants every learner to have access to improving their maths and science skills.
Ros has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from UCT and a master's in mathematics education from the University of Cambridge. Her experience teaching high school maths in South Africa informs her approach to content development at Siyavula.
Roy has a Bsc (Hons) in mathematics at Stellenboch University. As a teaching assistant, he found joy in sharing the beauty and utility of mathematics with others. He is very excited to be part of a team that does this on a much larger scale.
Saymore has a MPhil in Energy Studies. He has been in the education industry for number of years now; firstly, as a classroom teacher and now as an Educational Technologist. Saymore is committed to helping students master the concepts in Mathematics.
Tanya is the Office Administrator and provides support to the team ensuring that the office runs smoothly and efficiently. She has a strong belief in developing working relationships that will last and help to sustain the business functions.
William is Siyavula's sales manager and focuses on developing new relationships and nurturing existing ones. Adjustment of sales strategies and internal goals to align with the wants and needs of our client base is essential to the successful adoption of Siyavula's technologies.
We are always on the look out for exceptional people to join us on our mission.
Our investors' representatives
The Shuttleworth Foundation is a social investor that provides funding, support and community to dynamic leaders who are at the forefront of social change.
As a director of the Shuttleworth Foundation, Karien focuses on identifying potential investments, both for and not for profit, and working closely with these towards realising their shared vision. Interests include a wide range of themes, from education to telecommunication. Karien studied business and economics at the University of Stellenbosch and the University of Cape Town. She is an advocate for openness.
PSG Group is an investment holding company consisting of underlying investments that operate across industries which include financial services, banking, private equity, agriculture and education.
Dries qualified as a chartered accountant after completing his articles with PwC’s Cape Town Financial Services practice. He has been employed by JSE listed PSG Group since 2010 where he has been involved in various companies in the group, he acted as secretary to the PSG Group Exco and currently forms part of the PSG Private Equity Investment team.
Omidyar Network invests in entrepreneurs who share our commitment to advancing social good at the pace and scale the world needs today.
Shikha is an investment adviser at Omidyar Network where she focuses on the firm’s education strategy and investments across Africa. Over the last 16 years, Shikha has worked across the development and private sector. Prior to joining Omidyar Network, she worked at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) where she led investment and management of programs to improve basic literacy and numeracy for children in India and sub-Saharan Africa. She was responsible for a portfolio of over $60 million including CIFF’s investment in Early Learning Partnership (a multi-donor trust fund with the World Bank), Educate Girls India (the world’s first education development impact bond), and Tayari (a low cost, early childhood education model across 1,500 schools in Kenya).
What are we passionate about?
"I have an opportunity to make an impact on thousands of students scattered in several countries. It’s a responsibility that I take seriously."
"I am enthusiastic about education because it is a tranformative and empowering process. Education improves societies. I am also keenly tuned in to maths, which is unique in its pristine elegance and provides numerous surprises."
"I love the fact that the work I do is in some small way contributing to improving society. I believe change has a ripple effect."
"I am fascinated and enthralled by the experience and possibilities at which maths, science, art, design and curiosity collide."
"I enjoy tackling large and seemingly unsolvable problems and learning a lot in the process of solving the problem."
"I'm dead passionate about striking a balance between purely academic knowledge, practical experience as well as creative endeavours."
"Chemistry opens up a whole other way of seeing things, a different way of understanding the world around us. That fascinates me, and I'd like to pass on this interest in understanding the world we live in."
"I think what I like most about Siyavula is the deep sense of personal fulfillment that I get from working with a technological product that assists young learners."
"I am fascinated by how we (as individuals and groups) think, learn, create and communicate."
"My passion is to get things done."
"I am passionate about assisting the youth from disadvantaged backgrounds reach highest standards in education in spite of what they lack in resources."
"Teaching others so that they can harness the power that physics knowledge grants as well as appreciate the intrinsic beauty of the subject is one of my greatest passions."
"I love being surrounded by people who challenge and push me to better myself. Working as part of the Siyavula team definitely has this covered!"
"As someone who is not originally from South Africa, I am passionate about making a positive impact in this country, which has been so good to me."
"I care deeply about helping people reach their full potential and think that education is a tool for true empowerment. I love astronomy."
"I believe that science is really about learning how to ask and answer questions about the surprising, fascinating world in which we live."
"I am passionate about the way education can shape and change someone behavior and approach to life. That moment a student realises he/she has applied something they thought impossible to grasp at first."
"I really love that energy that comes from a group of us collectively finding a better way to do things more effectively. I also love solving problems."
"I really enjoy working with teachers to understand their individual and very, very unique situations."