The launchpad for emerging technology and trends

22-26 September 2014, Lagos

Tickets are available now.

Avatar of Laura Catherine Baker

Angel investors in Africa – who they are and what they can offer entrepreneurs

By Laura Catherine Baker on August 1, 2014

InfoDev, an innovation and entrepreneurship program of the World Bank Group, recently published an international guidebook on angel investing focused on both entrepreneurs and angel investors from around the globe. VC4Africa is publishing a series of articles based on texts from this guidebook, by Laura Catherine Baker / infoDev - The World Bank Group. See the first part, published last week, here. Read the second part below.

Who are ‘angel investors’?

Typically, ‘angels investors’ are high-net worth individuals with considerable business experience. Of course, “high-net worth” is a relative term that varies from country to country. In the United States, Canada, and the UK most angels have “accredited investor” status as defined by [...] Continue reading Angel investors in Africa – who they are and what they can offer entrepreneurs »


Avatar of Miguel Heilbron

Investor profile: Lagos Angels help build the next generation of tech companies in Nigeria & Africa

By Miguel Heilbron on July 30, 2014

Collins Onuegbu, founder of Lagos based technology investment company Sasware, ICT company Signal Alliance, and a member of the Lagos Angel Network, recently joined VC4Africa’s investor network as a Pro member. VC4Africa connects local and global networks of angel investors interested in Africa’s greatest startups. “Nigeria and Africa are full of budding entrepreneurs with smart ideas”

Please introduce yourself and how you got involved in the African investment space?

“I’m the Founder and Executive Vice Chairman of Lagos based ICT Company Signal Alliance. Having founded this company and after running it successfully for 18 years, I recently left the CEO post to focus on a new role allowing me to invest in and develop technology startups – initially in Nigeria and later [...] Continue reading Investor profile: Lagos Angels help build the next generation of tech companies in Nigeria & Africa »


Avatar of Michelle Atagana

Embracing startup success & failure in Africa – It’s okay to fail, but does this mean you MUST fail?

By Michelle Atagana on July 28, 2014

This article by Michelle Atagana originally appeared on Ventureburn, a VC4Africa publishing partner.

I recently read a very insightful piece in the Guardian about failure and the culture of failure that currently exists in Silicon Valley. In the startup community, the concept of failure has both positive and negative connotations depending on what continent or country you are in.

The Guardian’s piece talks about Silicon Valley’s need to not just invoke failure but celebrate it as well. The oft repeated phrase most entrepreneurs have begun to live by is: “Fail fast, fail often.”

“Entrepreneurs give speeches detailing their misfires. Academics laud the virtue of making mistakes. FailCon, a conference about ‘embracing failure’, launched in San Francisco in 2009 and is now an annual event, with [...] Continue reading Embracing startup success & failure in Africa – It’s okay to fail, but does this mean you MUST fail? »


Avatar of Laura Catherine Baker

Angel investing in Africa’s startups: Join the movement!

By Laura Catherine Baker on July 25, 2014

InfoDev, an innovation and entrepreneurship program of the World Bank Group, recently published an international guidebook on angel investing focused on both entrepreneurs and angel investors from around the globe. VC4Africa is publishing a series of articles based on texts from this guidebook, by Laura Catherine Baker / infoDev - The World Bank Group. Read the first part below.

Why is ‘angel investing’ important?

Filling the funding gap: Entrepreneurs around the world often face funding gaps between what friends and families can offer and what banks, VCs, and private equity (PE) firms are willing to contribute.

In 2008 a WorldBank / InfoDev study showed that in developing countries, friends and family usually contribute up to $50,000, enough for an entrepreneur to get started but not enough to generate [...] Continue reading Angel investing in Africa’s startups: Join the movement! »


Avatar of Niti Bhan

Africa’s emerging market news – comparing notes from China & India

By Niti Bhan on July 23, 2014

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

Niti Bhan, founder and principal at the Emerging Futures Lab consultancy, is one of over 100 business mentors at VC4Africa’s Mentorship Marketplace. Below she argues that first impressions will matter more for entrepreneurs in Africa than they did when India and China came up, and also mentions: “the choice is not how much money can foreign investment bring into the country but whether you want it in the first place and from whom.”

Africa’s economic and consumer market opportunities, as covered in mainstream media as well as press releases, has begun to remind me of the way India and China used to be covered back in the [...] Continue reading Africa’s emerging market news – comparing notes from China & India »


Avatar of Miguel Heilbron

Get on the AMPION Venture Bus, joining DEMO Africa in Lagos too!

By Miguel Heilbron on July 22, 2014

AMPION Venture Bus is calling for applications for its five startup road trips in Africa this year. A global fellowship program will be launched together with VC4Africa and AfriLabs, and at the opening session of DEMO Africa 2014 in Lagos one of the Venture Bus teams will get a chance to pitch on stage!

AMPION Venture Bus brings together young African change-makers and tech experts from all over the world to turn business ideas into real projects. During a 5-day competition and road trip, the “Ampioneers” create start-ups and develop innovative solutions to local challenges.

After a successful first journey in 2013, through Zimbabwe and South Africa, three start-ups (including VC4Africa members) have launched operations: Sterio.me, a learning system via GSM, Workforce, a [...] Continue reading Get on the AMPION Venture Bus, joining DEMO Africa in Lagos too! »


Avatar of Bill Zimmerman

Flat6Labs – Accelerating Entrepreneurship Across the MENA Region

By Bill Zimmerman on July 21, 2014

VC4Africa connects partners running physical tech hubs and accelerators across the African continent. When visiting a country, doing market research, meeting entrepreneurs, or conducting due diligence, our colleagues at these organizations are an invaluable resource. Today, we’re pleased to announce our partnership with Flat6Labs, the leading accelerator supporting startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Flat6Labs is a regional startup accelerator program that fosters and invests in bright and passionate entrepreneurs with cutting-edge ideas. They provide seed funding, strategic mentorship, a creative workspace, entrepreneurship-focused business training, and directly support startups through an expansive network of partners.

We recently had a chance to speak with Ramez Mohamed, CEO of Flat6Labs, to learn more about their approach to serving startups at their locations in Cairo, [...] Continue reading Flat6Labs – Accelerating Entrepreneurship Across the MENA Region »


The Silicon Savannah – an insider’s view

By Ken Griffith on July 18, 2014

This article by Kenneth Griffith originally appeared on LinkedIn and is published with permission.

Nairobi has gotten a lot of press over the past few years as the rising “Silicon Savannah” of Africa – a hub for tech start-ups in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the press is legit, but there is also a bit of hype. I’ve been a participant in Nairobi’s tech scene since 2012 when I discovered the iHub, a year after moving here in 2011. I thought I would share my notes here for those who want to get a real picture of what is going on in the “Silicon Savannah.”

Overview – What is the Silicon Savannah?

Kenya is the classic “savanna” climate, with massive grasslands supporting large herds of animals. Likening Nairobi’s [...] Continue reading The Silicon Savannah – an insider’s view »


Avatar of Josiah Mugambi

‘NGO’ Money: Really?

By Josiah Mugambi on July 16, 2014

This article by Josiah Mugambi originally appeared on IHub and is published with permission.

I opted not to immediately get into the heated debate that this Wired article sparked and spent some time mulling over this debate. Here are my thoughts.

I find the premise that hype around NGO funded apps is stifling innovation in Nairobi rather simplistic, NGO in this case being used as a catch all for any entity that’s not for profit. I believe this argument does not factor in the differences between the ecosystem in Kenya and that in other parts of the world. Obviously many people like to see how one ecosystem stacks up against another. Hence we have the term Silicon Savannah, likening the budding but still very young Kenyan tech ecosystem with the Silicon Valley. [...] Continue reading ‘NGO’ Money: Really? »


Avatar of Michelle Atagana

9 innovations we need from Africa’s entrepreneurs

By Michelle Atagana on July 14, 2014

This article by Michelle Atagana originally appeared on Ventureburn, a VC4Africa publishing partner.

There are times when it seems like there is an app for everything and entrepreneurs would have to reach pretty far to keep building new things. But in Africa, there are many things that need to be invented and problems that need to be solved. As an interested party in the African startup and entrepreneur ecosystem, we obviously have a few things we think need to be built on the continent.

We decided to put together a list of things we wish African entrepreneurs could get going on. Now, some of these may be in the works already or some version of them might actually [...] Continue reading 9 innovations we need from Africa’s entrepreneurs »