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22-26 September 2014, Lagos

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Jason Njoku opens VC4A Investor Summit at DEMO Africa in Lagos – Check out the program & speakers

By Miguel Heilbron on September 17, 2014

On Wednesday September 24, VC4Africa presents the Investor Summit the “Future of Angel Investing in Africa” at DEMO Africa 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria, together with various partners. This is the first time angel investors come together from across the continent to connect as a Pan-African network.

Speakers and panelists include Jason Njoku (iROKO, Spark), Tomi Davies (Lagos Angels Network), Baybars Altuntas (European Business Angel Network), Leonard Stiegeler (Ringier), Dipo Adebo (Angel investor), Dehab Ghebreab (US State Department), Collins Onuegbu (Lagos Angels Network), Sylvia Brune (88MPH), Viktor Okigbo (IDEA Nigeria), Dr. Inderpal Mumick (Kirusa), Tope Ajao (Leadpath), Ben White (VC4Africa) and others.

Over thirty investors have confirmed their attendance. These investors, both local and international, include angel investors, impact investors, venture capital funds, and corporate [...] Continue reading Jason Njoku opens VC4A Investor Summit at DEMO Africa in Lagos – Check out the program & speakers »


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EXCLUSIVE: Africa’s payment venture SimplePay secures SeedStars World’s Best Startup prize money!

By Miguel Heilbron on September 15, 2014

While an Asian startup was announced as the winner of the Seedstars 2014 “Best startup in the world” competition, in the end an African startup secured the prize money! Congrats to VC4Africa member Simeon Ononobi, CEO of SimplePay! He shares his story below. 

Congratulations on the funding you secured! What did you win?

“SeedStars World’s first prize is up to 500,000 USD in seed investments from European investors, managed by SeedStars. Because we didn’t need up to that for seed funding we negotiated for just 300,000 Swizz Francs, around 330,000 USD.”

What happened exactly?

“After a grueling deliberation by the jury members at the SeedStars World finale, actually Flitto from South Korea was announced the winner – and we got second place. But then it became clear [...] Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: Africa’s payment venture SimplePay secures SeedStars World’s Best Startup prize money! »


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Top business minds confirm attendance to DEMO Africa & Investor Summit in Lagos

By Harry Hare on September 12, 2014

A sneak preview into the list of expected guests for DEMO Africa and associated African angel investor summit has revealed the names of some of the most influential business and technology personalities.

The list features Mr Tony Elumelu, the Chairman of Heirs Holdings and founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation; Mr Jason Njoku, Founder of iROKO; Mr Fernando de Sousa, General manager of the Microsoft for Africa Initiativel; Mr Baybars Altuntas, Vice president of the European Business Angels Network (EBAN);   Mr John Momoh, CEO of Channels TV Nigeria; Ms Cristina Riesen, General Manager Europe of Evernote; and many more.

The DEMO Africa forum which will also be addressed by the Minister for Communication Technolgy, Mrs Dr Omobola Johnson and her counterpart       Mr [...] Continue reading Top business minds confirm attendance to DEMO Africa & Investor Summit in Lagos »


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Applications Now Open: The 2015 Green Pioneer Accelerator Program launches in Kenya and South Africa

By Ben White on September 11, 2014

A new acceleration program was announced for green entrepreneurs today at the Seed Africa Symposium 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya. This ambitious, continental acceleration program targets green entrepreneurs looking to take their innovations to scale in Africa.

Are you an entrepreneur working on a highly scalable product or services that mitigates the effects of climate change? Does your business introduce renewable energy sources to market or reduce energy consumption? Maybe you are working on a different innovation that makes our society and planet both greener and healthier? If this is case, consider joining the 2015 Green Pioneer Acceleration Program and participate in either the Kenya (apply here) or South Africa (apply here) cohort.

The Green Pioneer Accelerator Program has been developed for early stage companies looking to [...] Continue reading Applications Now Open: The 2015 Green Pioneer Accelerator Program launches in Kenya and South Africa »


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New global series of VC4Africa GEW meetups this November – Join in your city!

By Miguel Heilbron on September 9, 2014

VC4Africa believes entrepreneurship development in Africa can be accelerated when we connect a global network of knowledge and capital. On November 20th the VC4Africa community will host a global dialogue on African entrepreneurship and investment as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2014, building on the initiative we started last year. Signup to host one too with the form in this article!

On Thursday, November 20th, VC4Africa members from around the globe are taking the initiative to host a meetup in their own town. These informal networking events bring together entrepreneurs, angels and VC investors eager to contribute to the continent’s next great success story.

Last year the VC4Africa meetups we organised in Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 attracted 2000 people at meetups in 26 cities in 20 [...] Continue reading New global series of VC4Africa GEW meetups this November – Join in your city! »


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DEMO Africa alumni company Fairwaves joins prestigious Techstars accelerator, shoots up ‘mobile network in a box’

By Miguel Heilbron on September 8, 2014

Today’s featured member of the VC4Africa community is entrepreneur Alexander Chemeris, CEO and Founder of the company Fairwaves, one of the great 40 startups launched at DEMO Africa last year.

Fairwaves’ innovation is making mobile communications affordable in rural and remote areas with a ‘network in a box’. They just raised new investments and got accepted at the prestigious Techstars accelerator in Boston, US!

Congratulations on the new milestones! What have you raised so far, and what are you still looking for?

“So far, we raised USD 240,000 from nine business angels in the previous round. We are currently raising another USD 400,000 as a bridge round. This includes taking USD100,000 from Techstars’ Star Power Fund and raising another USD 300,000 from angels on the [...] Continue reading DEMO Africa alumni company Fairwaves joins prestigious Techstars accelerator, shoots up ‘mobile network in a box’ »


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MEST & Hub Accra: two interesting tech hub models from Ghana

By Dan Evans on September 3, 2014

Dan Evans of the Network Science Center at West Point (US) discusses insights from his trips to collect data on entrepreneurial ecosystems in various cities in Africa. Below he discusses two of Ghana’s key tech hubs. Also see his previous discussions on Kampala and Nairobi’s startup ecosystems.

MEST

Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) is drastically different than any other incubator I’ve visited. MEST was founded in Accra by Jorn Lyseggen in 2008. Lyseggen, a Norwegian, established an internet consultancy company in 1995, which has grown into the Meltwater Group, a software as a service (SaaS) company, providing cloud-based computing solutions to more than 16,000 global clients.

The Meltwater School House in the East Legon area of Accra

MEST has a rigorous application process and accepted students [...] Continue reading MEST & Hub Accra: two interesting tech hub models from Ghana »


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Nigeria’s CcHUB launches USD 500k investment fund

By Miguel Heilbron on September 1, 2014

Lagos based incubator the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), part of VC4Africa’s partnership network, has launched a USD 500,000 seed investment fund to boost its incubation program and support early stage startups over the next two years.

Start-ups will receive sums ranging from $10,000 – $25,000 from the new fund to support business model experimentation and operations. The first beneficiaries of the seed program are the ventures 500shops, Vacantboards, Truppr, Traclist and GeniiGames.

This initial group op ventures went through CcHUB’s Pre-Incubation program which identifies and supports aspiring technology entrepreneurs looking to address local market problems with relevant solutions. Through the $90,000 Tony Elumelu Foundation/CcHUB pre-seed fund, beneficiaries started out with a grant award of $5,000 each to support their ideas, build working prototypes, carry out initial market [...] Continue reading Nigeria’s CcHUB launches USD 500k investment fund »


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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 »