By Ben White on February 10, 2012
People ask the question, does VC4Africa produce success stories? First off, this is the wrong question. VC4Africa doesn’t ‘produce’ success stories rather our members do. In just the same way people make meaningful connections via Twitter, our members are able to progress their African business interests via connections they make on VC4Africa. We don’t manage the networking process but leave that business to you :) At the end of the day, we believe people know who they want to meet and what they want to achieve. It’s our job to ‘get out of the way’ and focus instead on the technology, the platforms, tools and services that make the experience more enjoyable, easier and efficient.
This aside, we are working to understand what works and where we need to invest more of our time and energy. Bottom line, we want entrepreneurs to realize their potential. One way to measure their progress is to document both the financial and non-financial matches entrepreneurs make along the way. From the ongoing survey we see that 15% of the entrepreneurs have been able to establish a joint venture partnership or secure finance via the VC4A network. Clearly we will be working to better understand the dynamics that go into successful matches and drive this number moving forward. We also encourage members to share their successes with the community. Some other points we have distilled from recent user feedback;
- 86% of our members are registered as entrepreneurs and 12.8% of our members are registered as investors;
- 90% of our members have been a member for less than two years. 55% have joined in the last 6 months;
- 56.7% of entrepreneurs who have registered a venture found it worth their time and effort. 43% have gained increased exposure and 26.7% find the service ‘awesome.’
- 36.9% of entrepreneurs have attended a VC4Africa meet up. The VC4A services least known include Questions & Answers, Free Feedback Friday, the Mentorship Program and the Booster Program (interview forthcoming);
- 14.3% of members say VC4Africa does not create any value. 44.9% say we create some value while 26.5% say a lot of value and 14.3% claim the service is outstanding;
- 65% of members have gained interesting insights while 43% have been able to make meaningful connections.
Members in general find VC4Africa an effective tool for making meaningful connections. The site is personal, and the membership is focused and professional. Moving forward, it was also made clear we need to be doing a lot more. VC4Africa needs to be better known, secure increased exposure, bring on board more entrepreneurs and expand the investor network. We also need to make a number of our services better known, improve the user interface in a number of areas and offer more support in matchmaking. This includes offering dedicated channels for connecting entrepreneurs and investors.
We thank everyone for their feedback and constant support! Feel free to leave comments on this post or add your thoughts to the thread: How can we improve VC4Africa? Indeed, together we can achieve more.