Chike Ukaegbu | Bio
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Born in Nigeria, Chike is one of six siblings currently living in 5 countries on 4 continents. A well travelled lover of people and cultures, Chike draws inspiration from the beauty in the things that both bind us together as well as those that make us unique. He is an ardent believer in the social and economic benefits of inclusive diversity and continues to advocate for its adoption.

Chike studied Venture Capital & Investments at Stanford, General MBA courses at UPenn, Executive Leadership and Management at Cornell University, and Biomedical Engineering at The City College of New York, where he taught Math for seven years and served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence for two.



Chike left Aba for UNILAG at age 17. At 19, he left Nigeria for New York City to study biomedical engineering. At 25, Chike began teaching Math at The City College of New York, where he would stay on as an educator for seven years, while pursuing other endeavors that helped shape his experience.

Chike became a Colin Powell Fellow on Public Policy in 2004. His passion to find the right solutions to curb youth poverty and disconnection, educational disadvantage and opportunity divide resulted in the development of the HEROES Model for effectively engaging youths and communities in 2006. In 2009, Chike used his HEROES model to co-found Re:LIFE Inc, a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower at-risk and disconnected youth populations through tech, entrepreneurship and education.

In 2014, Chike launched the Education and Entrepreneurship Leadership Fund in Nigeria that awarded 13 academic scholarships, as well as seed capital to students and youth entrepreneurs. In 2015, Chike founded Startup52, NYC’s premier and award winning diversity-focused accelerator to provide better access to capital and resourceful networks for founders from untapped communities – People of Color, women, veterans, founders with special abilities, immigrants, seniors,and other marginalized groups. Since its launch, Startup52 has been called America’s Most Diverse Tech Accelerator, recognized by NYC’s Mayor De Blasio, named one of America’s  Best Entrepreneurial Businesses by Entrepreneur Magazine, a Top 20 Business Accelerator by Small Business Trends, among other accolades.

Chike  is an Educator, Entrepreneur, Investor, Humanitarian, Biomedical Engineer and more, who is passionate about empowering untapped communities and increasing representation through diversity and inclusion in tech, corporate, educational and entrepreneurial spaces. As a leading voice on several topics relating to millennials and untapped communities (empowerment, engagement, diversity, inclusion, and more), Chike continues to develop and implement effective frameworks, models and novel methodologies relevant to effectively building, inspiring and engaging audiences and communities.

Chike has also consulted and advised several international delegations, including those from China, England, South Africa, The EU, Brazil, Denmark, Argentina, Chile, Nigeria, etc. on engaging millennials and Gen Z, supporting founders and building inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems.


The HEROES Model and more

The HEROES Model for effective engagement is a framework that has proven to be very effective in engaging different communities and ecosystems. An acronym representing Heritage, Education, Relationships, Opportunities, Entrepreneurship and Service, these SIX crucial areas are important to effectively building, engaging, empowering and retaining communities.

Also, Chike’s current research on how we best learn by leveraging the four ‘learning’ triggers (incentives, consequences, connection and repetition) in understanding and designing educational and engagement models (Eduengageology) provides insight into how best to engage communities. The HEROES Model and Eduengageology combo, when effectively implemented drive engagement and positive outcomes exponentially.

Chike was awarded the US Permanent Residence under the National Interest Waiver category for his exceptional work with Re:LIFE and Startup52 in creating opportunities for underserved populations.


Worthy Mentions

Chike’s endeavors have been featured in WIRED Magazine, Fast Company, Black Enterprise, Forbes, Ebony, BizJournal, AlleyWatch, HuffPost Live, Opportunity Lives, Entrepreneur, UrbanGeekz, Harlem Times, et cetera.

Chike has been a guest contributor on Huffington Post Live TV segments as well as a former Journal and Book Reviewer for the Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy (ASAP) system. He was the executive producer, creator and host of Tech:inCOLORS, a facebook live show that explored the intersection of tech, entrepreneurship, diversity and culture.

Chike has been interviewed on several podcasts, radio and TV shows including, by Randi Zuckerberg on her Dot! Complicated SiriusXM show. He served as a consultant and recurring speaker on Organizational Branding and Marketing at the Center for Nonprofit Success’s Lecture Series.

Chike has also spoken and continues to speak at several entrepreneurship, tech, culture, and venture capital conferences across the country and internationally, including at The White House, Harvard, NY Gov Cuomo’s MWBE Forum, NYU Stern, The Wharton Executive Investment Summit in Marrakech, Morocco, TEDx in Hawaii, and so much more.