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Northwestern University

About the Speaker

Nikki Okrah '11
Founder and CEO, Chaku Foods

Nikki is a Ghanaian-American entrepreneur innovating at the intersection of food, agriculture & technology. She is the Founder and CEO of Chaku Foods. Based in her home country of Ghana, she is building an AI/ML based platform that maps African farmers' land and predicts crop-yields in order to efficiently collect crops post harvest, which alleviates poverty and mitigates against climate change while building resilient global food supply chains. Prior to founding Chaku, she worked on solving global payment challenges at Visa Inc. in product, merchant business development and strategy roles working across US, Africa, Middle East and Central Europe. Her experiences gave her inspiration and critical skills needed to leverage technology to solve pressing problems facing small shareholder farmers back home in Ghana. Her work was initially doubling the incomes of farmers who live 2 hours away from her childhood home in Kumasi, Ghana, through sourcing of plantain which was used as an input for an exported snack product. Through the development of ChakuTech (AI/ML based crop-prediction and traceability platform) she intends to scale the economic impact across millions of smallholder farmers throughout Africa.

She received her B.A. in Political Science with minors in Business and African Studies at Northwestern University in 2011 and her MBA at Harvard, where Chaku Foods won the Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge (PIC) in 2021. She is a 2023 Mulago Rainer Fellow. She enjoys reading, running, weight-lifting and hiking. She grew up in Worcester, MA, USA after her family emigrated from Ghana when she was 5 years old.


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