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.
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 matric marker for Physics.
Cynthia has a BA in Fine Arts. She is Siyavula's Office Manager. She ensures that her colleagues can get the job done with everything they need at hand.
Eric has a MSc in Physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His interests at the time were Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. He spent most of his career, however, as a Maths teacher, and Eric focuses on maths content development at Siyavula.
Ewald is a senior developer at Siyavula. He has a MSc in Astrophysics and Space Science from the University of Cape Town. His interests include machine learning, data science, high-performance computing, simulations, and electric guitars.
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 is one of Siyavula's account managers. She studied child and youth development and is also a qualified Montessori teacher. Hannelie is currently studying business administration part-time.
Heather handles an assortment of technical tasks in aid of Siyavula's textbook production - from creating epubs to tweaking page layout. She enjoys software that works, first time and dabbling in python, LaTeX, html and css. Heather has a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry.
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.
Kosma has a MSc in Astrophysics and Space Science. At Siyavula she coordinates the EdTech Production Team and creates Physics content. Kosma also presents shows at the Iziko Planetarium and does Astronomy outreach whenever she gets a chance.
With a MSc in Molecular Biology, Megan followed her goal to make STEM education engaging, relevant and accessible. She leads the research and pedagogical design for Siyavula current and future e-learning experiences. She works to advance open education.
Melanie has a BSc (Med)(Hons) in Medical Biochemistry and a MSc (Med) in Exercise Physiology. She is an Educational Technologist with a Chemistry focus. Her role includes creating and curating the chemistry content on Intelligent Practice.
Nadia has a B.Ed FET in Mathematics and Natural Science from the University of Pretoria and is working towards her B.Com. (Informatics) degree. Nadia is an Educational Technologist, focusing mainly on the creation and curation of Mathematics content on Intelligent Practice.
Nandi has a Diploma in Journalism, two years training in Graphic Design and ten years experience working in community-based projects. As a School liaison she builds relationships, carefully facilitating interactions with schools to ensure they are well executed and involve all stakeholders.
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.
Nicky has a BA in Fine Art. As Product Manager her creativity is directed at pragmatic problem solving. She works to support the rest of the team and ensure that Siyavula's combined efforts go into making products that are valuable, usable and feasible.
Rebecca focuses on delivering prompt and professional customer service and strengthening relationships with our school clients. With a BSc (Hons) in Economics from Bristol, Rebecca comes from a career in brand research where customers were her focus, something which remains the case today.
Rich is a Senior Developer and enjoys writing software that solves real problems and has a meaningful impact. With a a BBusSc (Information Systems) and background in various industries, he feels that working to improve education and empower our youth serves as a worthy goal.
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.
Thembile is Siyavula's Accounting Officer and takes care of the company's banking, budgeting, financial reporting, accounting and regular audit and tax requirements. He graduated with a B.Com. (Financial Management).
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.
Vineet is responsible for leading Omidyar Network’s education-related investments across Africa as well as globally applicable platforms coming out of Europe. His work includes ed-tech, after-school, early childhood, K-12, remedial education and school-based deworming programs. He joined Omidyar Network in mid-2011, before which he spent three years as an investment manager at The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. Prior to that, he worked for 14 years in Europe’s structured and illiquid fixed income markets. Vineet received a BA with honors from Cambridge University and an MSc in development management from the London School of Economics.
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."