Iynna Halilou

Pro Board 2019

Global Programs Manager

About Iynna

After acquiring experience in the international organization/government space, Iynna found her truest passion in entrepreneurship and its interplay with tech and social impact. She returned to her home country of Cameroon to start a sanitation venture whose mission was to provide access to toilets to the 1M individuals in marginalized communities in the city of Douala. After developing this, Iynna returned to New York and worked in clean tech at the Urban Future Lab for the incubator, where she provided strategic and communication support to the 27 portfolio companies. She continued her entrepreneurial and tech career managing operations for a startup that provides STEM and entrepreneurship education to underrepresented underserved minorities in New York. She combined her social business and entrepreneurial expertise to manage Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus’ digital global accelerator - to support the growth of social ventures across the world.

Iynna is currently the Global Programs Manger at the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, one of New York’s largest early-stage startup accelerator and venture capital (VC) fund. In her role, she is responsible for building partnerships with global startup ecosystems; identifying investment opportunities globally; creating and running US market entry acceleration relevant for the startups.

Iynna is originally from Cameroon and Madagascar, by way of Paris (France), the UK, Senegal and now New York. She is a native French and English speaker as well as fluent in Spanish. She holds a Master in International Affairs, specializing in International Development from NYU and a Bachelor in International Relations and Spanish from Durham University, in England.

Who inspires you?

There are many women who truly inspire me (Sheryl Sandberg, Michelle Obama, Arianna Huffington etc.) for what they have been able to build and the lessons they share today using their platforms. That being said, the women who inspire me are the women from my village in Cameroon who have absolutely nothing (less than half of what I have in terms of material, financial, human resources etc.) and yet are able to produce the maximum output for their families and communities. These are my cousins, aunts, who have been deprived from an education (what usually happens in Cameroon especially in the region I come from) these are the unsung heroes and for the remainder of my life, I will continue to use my own platform to fight for them, their lives and to give them a voice.

What are you most proud of?

My journey from Cameroon, to France through the UK, Russia, Senegal and now NY. I believe I have acquired a certain amount of resilience to go through some challenging times. I am proud to have overcome some moments who have been life-threatening, tragic and for continuing to fight for what I believe is worth.The fight for making this world a better place by continuing to enable women and girls (who otherwise would not have the opportunity) to access and unleash their full potential.