The launchpad for emerging technology and trends

22-26 September 2014, Lagos

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Mentor turned investor: Meet the diaspora angel who invested in startups Njorku & Kiro’o Games in Cameroon

By Ben White on August 29, 2014

Cameroon is not an ‘investor favorite’ and few non Cameroonian investors consider supporting entrepreneurs building companies there. What is the value African startup funding portal VC4Africa creates and how is this relevant to entrepreneurs and investors building companies in countries like Cameroon?

Rodrigue Fouafou, member of the VC4Africa community since 2013, is a Cameroonian born Canadian entrepreneur and angel investor who originally moved to Ottawa, Canada to pursue his studies. He now lives and works there, where he set up his own company.

In the last 10 years his business endeavors have proved to be successful and he has been able to build up his personal wealth. During the last two years, Rodrigue has been thinking a lot about Cameroon and to what extent entrepreneurs [...] Continue reading Mentor turned investor: Meet the diaspora angel who invested in startups Njorku & Kiro’o Games in Cameroon »


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4 mistakes you don’t want to make when launching a social enterprise in Africa

By Niti Bhan on August 27, 2014

This article was originally published on Niti Bhan’s personal blog and is published with permission.

Niti Bhan is one of the mentors in VC4Africa’s Mentorship Marketplace where African entrepreneurs get coached by more than 100 business experts from all over Africa and the world.

A couple of years ago, I was frequently in East Africa, consulting with a consumer product company set up as a social enterprise in the renewable energy sector. An extensive distribution network across Kenya had been established through what they called TT – traditional trade. Yet their sales were nowhere near the figures one would expect from such an extensive exposure to the market. They were struggling to reach their target audience efficiently and cost effectively. Soon after starting fieldwork, I began to get the [...] Continue reading 4 mistakes you don’t want to make when launching a social enterprise in Africa »


Bitcoin: a financial revolution driver in Africa & the developing world?

By Nikunj Handa on August 22, 2014

Nikunj Handa, one of the entrepreneurs behind DEMO Africa 2014 selected company Kitiwa, explains why and how Bitcoins may be a vehicle for a financial revolution in Africa and other parts of the ‘developing world’.

Cheap and easy access to global payment networks and international money transfers is a first world luxury.

For many in developing nations, making online payments on websites like Amazon or eBay can be extremely difficult or even impossible. Merchants in developing countries also find it incredibly difficult to accept payments using globally renowned payment services like Visa and MasterCard. Comparatively, merchants and consumers in countries like the United States enjoy a full suite of convenient services from e-payment companies like Paypal.

As a result, merchants in major African economies like Nigeria (GDP: 262 bn) find [...] Continue reading Bitcoin: a financial revolution driver in Africa & the developing world? »


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Ghana’s messaging startup Saya acquired by US based mobile services company Kirusa

By Miguel Heilbron on August 21, 2014

Congratulations to VC4Africa member Saya, acquired by US based mobile services company Kirusa!

Do you have an investment success story to share with the whole VC4Africa community too? Let us know!

“In launching Saya, we wanted to create a world class product that was made by Africans, for Africans,” says Saya’s CEO Robert Lamptey.

Robert Lamptey and Badu Boahen are the two Ghanaian entrepreneurs who founded Saya in 2011. They are both graduates of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) program in Accra. Saya provides a chat application that cuts the costs of SMS and also gives low-end phones users access to functionalities such as Facebook chat, group discussions, location-based chat, and exchange of multi-media. Today their apps are used in over 35 countries worldwide. Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, India, and [...] Continue reading Ghana’s messaging startup Saya acquired by US based mobile services company Kirusa »


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Growing list of women tech entrepreneur initiatives in Africa

By Hilda Moraa Morara on August 20, 2014

This article by Hilda Moraa originally appeared at AfriHive and is published with permission.

Hilda Moraa presents 36 African women tech entrepreneurs initiatives, linked to tech hubs and other organisations across Africa. More to add? Please add initiatives and ideas in the comments below!

I think it’s time discussions and debates on whether there are few women in tech, their low participation in the tech hubs, or whether we should be developing more female based tech hubs across Africa, should take a different direction.

The true direction and goal should be for the existing hubs to start thinking through what is their priority and guiding principles in involving female tech entrepreneurs in their spaces. More importantly, figure out the gaps and needs of those young women to then ensure they [...] Continue reading Growing list of women tech entrepreneur initiatives in Africa »


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Why the next Steve Jobs will come from Africa

By Daniel Epstein on August 18, 2014

This article by Daniel Epstein originally appeared at Unreasonable and is published with permission.

“Africa is at a techno-cultural turning point that will prove to be as pivotal there as the Industrial Revolution was for Europe” writes Daniel Epstein, co-founder of VC4Africa partner Unreasonable Institute. Who do you see as “Africa’s next Steve Jobs”? Please add it in the comments below! 

I was fortunate enough to spend part of July in Uganda with the team behind Unreasonable East Africa. In addition to being both humbling and inspiring, my experiences there convinced me that Uganda is just a part of an incredible transformation sweeping the whole of Africa. On my flight back home, I wrote “Africa is THE future” in my journal and underlined it a half-dozen times.

Here’s why:

Seven [...] Continue reading Why the next Steve Jobs will come from Africa »


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How the rise in corporate venture capital can close Africa’s 100 billion US dollar finance gap for SMEs

By Tara Sabre Collier on August 15, 2014

This article by Tara Sabre Collier originally appeared on NextBillion and is published with permission. 

If GE, the fourth biggest company in the world, is willing to bet on local SMEs in Africa, it could potentially catalyze other large companies, writes Tara Sabre, impact investing specialist at GroFin Capital, part of VC4Africa’s investor network. This could have major implications for Africa’s venture capital and SME finance ecosystem, which has a funding gap of nearly 100 billion USD.

If it takes a village to raise a child, then it must take an ecosystem to grow and scale thriving businesses. We place a lot of emphasis on the role of financiers, business development service providers, incubators, government and donors to grow this ecosystem in Africa. But what’s really [...] Continue reading How the rise in corporate venture capital can close Africa’s 100 billion US dollar finance gap for SMEs »


Avatar of Miguel Heilbron

New tech incubator ‘think’ invites tech startups from across Africa and the world to Rwanda

By Miguel Heilbron on August 13, 2014

VC4Africa works with entrepreneurship development partners all across Africa. Meet Julienne Oyler of new VC4Africa partners African Entrepreneur Collective and think, Rwanda’s first tech incubator.

What is think and what is the current call for applications?

“In March 2014, Millicom launched a new technology incubator in Kigali. The incubator called “think” is looking for innovative startups and early-stage technology companies from all over the world with products or services that have the potential to scale across Africa. think will select 5 teams per 6-month cohort and will offer a comprehensive incubation program. The full package includes an office in state-of-the-art facilities, technical and business support, mentorship, and networking. In addition, teams will receive 15,000 USD upon selection into the program, in exchange for [...] Continue reading New tech incubator ‘think’ invites tech startups from across Africa and the world to Rwanda »


Avatar of Miguel Heilbron

Investor Summit at DEMO Africa 2014 – the first pan-African angel investor gathering in history

By Miguel Heilbron on August 12, 2014

On Wednesday September 24, VC4Africa presents the “Future of Angel Investing in Africa” Investor Summit at DEMO Africa 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria, together with various partners.

The event will be the first time networks like Cairo Angels, Lagos Angels Network, Ghana Angel Investors Network, Africa Angels Network, Angel Africa List and others come together to meet, exchange best practices, share lessons learned and set the road map for the future. Experts from organisations such as infoDev, the WorldBank, African Development Bank, the European Business Angels Networks (EBAN), the VC4Africa Investor Network and others are invited to join the conversation too.

This Investor Summit on the afternoon of Wednesday September 24 will bring together internationally renowned investors and will conclude with [...] Continue reading Investor Summit at DEMO Africa 2014 – the first pan-African angel investor gathering in history »


Avatar of Miguel Heilbron

South Africa’s 8Bit raises USD 110K from local & international angel investors

By Miguel Heilbron on August 11, 2014

Congratulations to VC4Africa member 8Bit and the investors (also including a VC4Africa member) with whom they secured a new round of investment deals!

Also have an investment success story to share with the whole VC4Africa community? Let us know!

Tom Kennedy, founder and CEO of South Africa based advertising platform 8Bit, announced the company closed a round of USD 110,000, consisting of deals with multiple South African and international investors.

The company went through 88mph’s Cape Town accelerator program and raised funding from them earlier this year. Also VC4Africa member Ernst Hertzog of early stage angel fund Action Hero Ventures and Neil Emmerick of hotel booking platform Nightsbridge, both based in South Africa, committed investments.

After additional investments secured at a Net Prophet [...] Continue reading South Africa’s 8Bit raises USD 110K from local & international angel investors »