Afari green logo

Social media has become intrinsic to communication in the modern age. People are creating and sharing more photo, video, text and voice artifacts about their lives than ever in human history on social media platforms.

However, the sharing of user data without consent in the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal made the world realize that social media users don’t own their data and have little control over who data is shared with, while their activity makes companies like Facebook and Twitter billions in ad revenue. Moreover, problems such as platform censorship of content and unjustified account closure on platforms like Twitter show that social networks control whose voices get heard in the marketplace of competing ideas. Furthermore, algorithmic newsfeeds imposed on users have left them craving more control over their content consumption and more authenticity in their connections. Afari seeks to offer a solution to these problems.

Afari (formerly BlockX) has built a social network that puts people first. Afari aims to help people better control their data and privacy, monetize their production and consumption of social media content, and have more authentic connections with those they care about on social media. Afari currently supports microblogging and photo sharing and is compatible with Blockstack, a blockchain-based naming and storage system, to give users ownership over their data.

Afari was founded by 3 Princeton Computer Scientists during their senior year of college. They were 1st out of 300 teams from the USA and France in the TigerLaunch student startup competition and have secured $100,000 in seed funding to continue making the Afari vision a reality after the conclusion of eLab.


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    Richard Adjei '18

    Richard Adjei is a senior in the Computer Science Department at Princeton University. Although he is from New York, he spent a considerable amount of his childhood in Ghana. It is during his time in Ghana that he experienced the power of technology as a driving force for development. This sparked his interest in innovation and has been the driving force behind his desire to explore relatively new technologies and build products that can be of use to the general population.

    Program: 2018 eLab Summer Accelerator

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    May Jiang '20

    May Jiang is a sophomore from California studying Computer Science at Princeton University. Growing up in Silicon Valley, she has always been fascinated by the power of entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation. As an engineering student, she is passionate about not only learning about and developing new technologies, but applying technological tools and methods to solve real-world problems. 

    Program: 2018 eLab Summer Accelerator

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    Felix Madutsa '18

    Felix Madutsa is a Princeton senior from Zimbabwe studying Computer Science and Chemical and Biological Engineering. His biggest motivation in life is to use technology as a driving force for progress and improving the quality of life around the world. As such, he sees entrepreneurship as a way to use the advances in research and theoretical understanding of natural and manmade systems to create efficient solutions to problems that we face, and to develop new ways of interacting and engaging with our environment and things that matter to us. During his time at Princeton, he has done multiple research projects in Computer Systems, multiple side projects on the application layer, TA-ed the notorious Princeton Operating Systems class, and interned at Microsoft twice (after sophomore and junior year). He was also one of the few interns who were selected by Microsoft to attend the Microsoft 2017 Developers’ Build Conference.

    Program: 2018 eLab Summer Accelerator

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    Seyoon Ragavan '21

    Seyoon is a freshman from Australia planning to major in Computer Science. His love for solving problems developed through his participation in the International Mathematical Olympiad while in high school, and he aspires to harness technology as a means of applying these problem-solving skills to real-world problems. He is particularly excited by recent developments in artificial intelligence and security, and is keen to work with blockchain technology to help address problems in security and privacy this summer.

    Program: 2018 eLab Summer Accelerator

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    Avthar Sewrathan '18

    Avthar is a graduate of United World College Costa Rica and currently attends Princeton University. His vision is to create products and systems that empower people everywhere and to help people who want to do the same. As a South African with international experience, he wants to explore how transformative technologies can positively impact lives through entrepreneurship. He's fascinated with technologies like blockchain applications, cryptocurrencies and AI, as well as human behaviour, habits and learning.

    Program: 2018 eLab Summer Accelerator