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5 things to know about the Green Pioneer Accelerator, with €100K for Africa’s best sustainability startups!

By Miguel Heilbron on October 20, 2014

A new acceleration program for green entrepreneurs was announced last month, targeting green entrepreneurs looking to take their innovations to scale in Africa. Below you’ll find 5 key things to know about this ambitious program.

The application process still runs for little over a month, until the 1st of December 2014. Don’t wait until the last moment to apply!

1. Why this program?

Finding solutions for pressing social and environmental issues has traditionally been the domain of the public sector and civil society. However, entrepreneurs have recently emerged as a powerful force for change. But as Africa has just begun to test the Green social enterprise/inclusive business approach, the impact investment market place has yet to find its feet. To date, few efficient mechanisms have [...]

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Orange & VC4Africa launch online acceleration program for Orange African Social Venture Prize finalists

By Miguel Heilbron on October 13, 2014

Orange & VC4Africa lancent un programme d’accélération en ligne. Version en français plus bas / See below for French.

Orange teamed up with startup funding platform VC4Africa to set up an online acceleration program for the top ICT entrepreneurs from the 2014 Orange African Social Venture Prize. The programme will help entrepreneurs position themselves for growth and prepare for investment.

The Orange African Social Venture Prize rewards entrepreneurs developing products or services that use ICT in an innovative way to meet the needs of Africans in fields such as health, agriculture, education, energy, industry or trade. Applications for the prize closed in September.

New this year is that Orange will offer a professional and expert coaching not only to the winners but also to the 10 finalists [...]

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Live Blog: Top 40 startups launch at DEMO Africa 2014

By Miguel Heilbron on September 25, 2014

DEMO Africa is the premier platform for the best and brightest companies throughout Africa seeking to launch their products in front of a global audience. On Thursday and Friday, September 25 and 26, 40 entrepreneurs are launching their innovations at DEMO Africa 2014, in Lagos, Nigeria. VC4Africa has a front row seat and live-blogs the event in real-time, follow the updates as they happen below! Investors with a VC4Africa Pro Account have access to background documents and full details of the startups who launch.

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It’s a wrap, see you at DEMO Africa 2015!!

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Closing remarks: Bunmi Okunowo, Special Assistant on Information Technology to the Honorable Minister, Federal Ministry of Communication Technology

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Chura (Kenya)!


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Live Blog: VC4Africa Investor Summit at DEMO Africa – the Future of Angel Investing in Africa

By Miguel Heilbron on September 24, 2014

On Wednesday September 24, 2:00 PM – 5:30 PM West African time (GMT+1), VC4Africa presents the Investor Summit “The Future of Angel Investing in Africa” at DEMO Africa 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria. We’ll be live-blogging the event in real-time, follow the updates as they happen below!

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Join us tomorrow for a new live blog: live from DEMO Africa!!

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David van Dijk (VC4Africa) & Harry Hare (DEMO Africa) thank all participants and invite all the investors to join the next days at DEMO Africa where Africa’s top innovators will present their pitches!

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Closing remarks from Dehab Ghebreab Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State / LIONS Partnership.

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Ben White (VC4Africa) closes [...]

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Global Entrepreneurship Week to expand investment in Africa

By Jonathan Ortmans on September 22, 2014

Read how the U.S. Department of State, one of the supporters of both DEMO Africa this week and the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in November, is expanding its work to support new firm formation in Africa. Read more about VC4Africa’s GEW meetups in November too.

At the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Liverpool in 2012, GEW’s principal leaders from across the African continent sat down our global staff to call for a change in our approach to promoting entrepreneurship in Africa. Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) had grown to 140 countries very deliberately using a global “one size fits all” strategy that had worked in building a global ecosystem for mutual support… except in Africa.

We heard the message and got to work. Within a few months, we [...]

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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 [...]

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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. For more details about eligibility see the Green Pioneer Accelerator Brochure.

The Green [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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