Introducing the Africa Media Business Exchange, startups pitching to media focused VCs

By Ben White on July 2, 2012

On July 11th, 2012, Film Biz Africa, in collaboration with AITEC Africa, is organizing the first ever Africa Media Business Exchange. This is a platform for African media start-ups and SME’s to pitch their business propositions to Venture Capitalists (VCs) and other potential investors. We recently had the chance to speak with Chiaka Esther Orjiako, the creative brain behind Film Biz Africa and a passionate proponent of Africa’s art and entertainment industry. 

Please tell us about Film Biz Africa Magazine?

“Film Biz Africa Magazine is a bimonthly film and entertainment business magazine. Combined with our website we offer plug and play solutions for small and medium sized enterprised in the African entertainment sector.”

What are your latest milestones / developments?

“2012 has been a great learning experience as we have just turned one. We have delved into Africa’s media and entertainment industry and worked with known brands like Wananchi Group’s Zuku, Kenyan Acting database Actors.Co.Ke, South African broadcast giant DSTV, the Nigerian Film Censors and Classification Board, the Kenya Film Commission, Show Biz Africa, Aitec Africa and many more. we are working towards making FBA the number one film and entertainment marketing and distribution platform in Africa.”

Can you tell us about this upcoming event?

“This year, Film Biz Africa, in collaboration with AITEC Africa, is organizing the first ever Africa Media Business Exchange. This is a platform for African media start-ups and SME’s to pitch their business propositions to Venture Capitalists (VCs) and other potential investors.”

What makes it so unique?

“For the first time in Kenya, several African media startups will be given an opportunity to pitch their business plans to international investors. This has not happened before in Kenya, or with such a focus, making this event quite unique.”

Why do you feel there is a need to focus on Media startups in particular?

“From observation and personal experience, I know for sure, one of the hardest things most media companies in Africa face is the lack of access to funding. We have the opportunity to establish a creative platform for young African start-ups to connect with investors.”

Who are the investors who will attend?

“We have confirmed 6 investors, including the Africa Media Venture Fund, Investeq Capital, In returnCapital, Speed Africa Capital, 88 Mph, and the Acumen Fund.”

How do you see the space changing from say 3 years ago?

“Three Years ago, Film Biz Africa did not exist and we only had the idea of promoting Africa’s film and entertainment industry. We only launched the business in May 2011. But so far so good! There has been a steady demand for our products and services and I am certain we will only grow larger as months go by.”

What are the main challenges moving forward?

“Unfortunately, many Africans have overlooked the entertainment industry. Many do not see the creative industry as a serious area of investment. We are getting used to hearing funders say “this is a high risk business with potentially ‘very low’ returns so it is not worth investing in.” We as Film Biz Africa want to make a difference and show the world that the entertainment industry is a high income generating sector….. particularly in Africa! Many people spend more money in one weekend on watching things like dance shows, film screenings, and fashion shows than they do in an entire week for food.”

Can you highlight one or two things that have happened that make you excited about the future?

“Quite a number of things have happened this year that makes us very excited.

A) Our last issue of the magazine: ‘La Crème de la Crème of Acting in Africa’ almost sold out which was very encouraging.
B) In April 2012 we held a red carpet event for Actors and Actresses in Kenya to raise funds for a Community Social Responsibility project of ours called FISA (Foundation for Indigent Students of Africa), and the event was well attended.

These two occurrences have given us motivation to keep doing what we do best i.e. provide professional information and entertainment solutions to Africans in a responsible and sustainable manner.”

Do you have a final message for the community?

“Please do come for the Africa Media Business Exchange. It is a rare opportunity for young entrepreneurs and startups to connect with international venture capitalists. See the details for the event or contact me on editor@filmbizafrica.com for further details. We have several other exciting programs in the works so keep an eye on Film Biz Africa!”

At VC4Africa we are always pleased to see efforts like this come together. It’s also great to see such a focus being placed on the African media sector. Too often the space is overlooked when we know it is critical to the continent’s future. See the venture profile on Film Biz Africa or connect with them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/filmbizafrica and twitter @filmbizafrica!

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