Jon Gosier, Founder and Principal
Jon Gosier is a technologist and investor. He’s the founder of Southbox a venture capital fund investing in technology and content creators disrupting media. As a technologist and data scientist he’s worked across many industries including fintech, humanitarian response, programmatic advertising, influencer marketing and music/entertainment.
In 2008 Jon pivoted from an early career in the entertainment world to move to East Africa where he founded Appfrica, one of the more prominent tech consultancies in Africa at the time, and to join humanitarian response company Ushahidi. Over the life of the company Ushahidi has raised more than $14M from groups Omidyar Networks, the Knight Foundation, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, doing a great deal to change the way crisis around the world is responded to using data and mapping technology. He the co-Founder of Hive Colab and AfriLabs, a network of the technology and innovation hubs established across Africa since 2009.
In 2009 Jon established the Appfrica Fund (then known as Apps4Africa) in partnership with the U.S. Department of State which offered early-stage investments to tech companies across the continent. The effort was lauded for its role in accelerating African entrepreneurs by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2010 and again in 2012.
Jon’s work as a data scientist has also been widely recognized. Jon later went on to found MetaLayer , a big data platform that provided contextual analysis of real-time social data for customers in the Department of Defense, Lockheed, and FEMA. MetaLayer was instrumental in a DOD effort to use social media for counter-terrorism campaigns. He wrote a white paper on his methodologies for InQTel on methods for contextualizing real-time streaming data from mobile phones and social media sites that were at the time ground-breaking. He spoke about some of his lessons learned in this area at TED Global in 2014 in a TED Talk called “Trickle-down Techonomics”.
He returned to venture capital in 2014 raising and managing an early-stage angel investment fund with peers from Goldman Sachs’ 10KSB program. He later became a venture partner at Social Starts an early-stage venture capital fund based out of New York with nearly 300 companies in its portfolio including Boxed.com, Mashable and TripleLift.
Jon is alumni of the TED Senior Fellowship program and the THNK School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He is a frequent public speaker and has shared stages around the world with folks like British TV presenter Jon Snow, singer and philanthropist Akon, and inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee.
Jon began his carrer working as an audio engineer and producer for folks like Andre Benjamin (Outkast, Dungeoun Family) and with a number of prominent record labels. He was one of the earliest hires in the Audio Department of Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jon Gosier has consistently been ranked as one of the most influential technologists of Black/African descent by publications like TIME, USA Today, The New York Times, Business Insider, Pitchbook and Black Enterprise.