Christopher Ategeka was Voted a Forbes top 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneur.

Chris founded which helps people in rural Uganda to receive critical health services. They are focused on building and distributing locally made bicycles and bike-ambulances to reduce maternal and child mortality.

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We are going to hear more about how and why he started his non-profit Cabikes, while finishing his PhD in engineering at Berkeley.

What will you learn in this interview?

– How did Chris function and survive living in a village with no electricity and no running water?
– How did he manage to live in a small house along with 9 other family members?
– How did would you feel the first time you buy your first pair of shoes at the age of 17?
– How did his younger sibling inspire him to start cabikes.
– How did he manage to take care of his 5 siblings at his young age after his parents died?


He can run a 3:58min mile.
He wore his first pair of shoes when he was 17
The first time he was on a flight was when he was 22 coming to the US from Uganda
He speaks 9 languages

Business Mentors, Tools, Books mentioned:
Kira Adams

A little background about Christopher Ategeka:

Chris Ategeka, is the founder and CEO of CA bikes. He is an engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur at heart. Chris is the eldest of five siblings, and was orphaned after losing both parents due to HIV/AIDS.

Chris’ father died of a common cold at 33, and his mother followed thereafter due to an HIV/AIDS epidemic and when he was only about 7 years old. He became an Orphan and being the oldest of the five children, he became the head of the household and caretaker of his younger siblings at that early age. Within a year, while still getting used to these adult responsibilities, his brother died while walking him to the hospital. These personal tragic losses taught him that with low cost emergency vehicles, these lives may not have been lost and also many lives could be saved. He spent many years, in poverty in his native rural Uganda struggling and laboring in fields. Chris got picked up by an orphanage in his native Uganda that later connected him to his adoptive family in California. Through many life events, Chris ended up in engineering school.

CA Bikes is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization built to connect individuals and communities in rural Uganda to critical health and education services by building and coordinating the distribution of locally made transport vehicles, such as bicycles, wheelchairs, and bike-ambulances.

Honor and Awards:

• Echoing Green Fellow 2013 • Segal Family Foundation Award 2013 • Featured of the Front page of San Francisco Chronicle 2013 • Radio Appearances: NPR, KQED, VoiceAmerica (Impact Africa) • US Embassy (PEPFAR) Community grants award 2012 • UC Berkeley BigIdeas Winner 2012 • Gave a TEDtalk 2012 • UC Berkeley’s Chancellors Award for Public Service 2012 • Student Speaker at the college of Engineering graduation Ceremony May 2011 • Recipient of the prestigious Judith Lee Stronach Award 2011 • Chevron Award 2011 • Student Speaker at the Charter Gala 2011; the University of California, Berkeley • The Achievement Award Scholar 2011

Chris has been awarded several awards for his work at CA Bikes, including the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) award, a Chevron award, and the Judith Lee Stronach award. He spoke at TEDxSacramento in 2012 and delivered the commencement student address at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering graduation ceremonies in 2011. Chris holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and is currently taking time off from pursuing his Ph.D at the same institution to concentrate full time on CA Bikes.

Chris hobbies includes Flying (student pilot with Oakland flyers), running marathons, dancing, singing, writing (working on a memoir), photography and Manufacturing.

Thank you to LaunchTower and Alex Champagne to their great design and development company who reached out and told me about Christopher and what he was doing.

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