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DEMO Africa 2015 applications open – Apply now!

By Miguel Heilbron on March 18, 2015


The application window for DEMO Africa 2015 is now open: entrepreneurs can apply today! DEMO Africa partner VC4Africa hosts the application process.

The application window will remain open throughout the months of March, April to close by end of May. This will be followed by all the qualifying applications being taken through an adjudication process after which the top thirty will be invited to pitch on the DEMO Africa stage in September during the DEMO Africa event in Lagos, Nigeria.

Commenting on the announcement, Ben White, Co-Founder and CEO of VC4Africa said: “We are looking forward to having even more mature applications this year. This means that competition will be stiff and I would encourage start-up entrepreneurs to present their best.”

Harry Hare, Executive producer for DEMO Africa […]

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Innovation from Africa at Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Milan this week #GEC2015

By Miguel Heilbron on March 16, 2015


This Wednesday, March 18, ecosystem innovators from across Africa will share their insights at the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Milan, Italy, “the premier inter-disciplinary gathering of startup champions from around the world”. Check out the names below.

In the session “Building Cohesive Entrepreneurial Ecosystems for Africa”, experts and practitioners will present the efforts they are making to bring their countries’ entrepreneurial ecosystems together to better support the entrepreneur. African and international speakers will provide a range of solutions to consider. The session is presented by Global Entrepreneurship Network and the LIONS@FRICA partnership, in which VC4Africa is one of the partners. The session takes place on Wednesday, March 18, 4pm to […]

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Cameroon Angels Network selects #YouCAN Pitch Competition winners

By Miguel Heilbron on February 9, 2015

Congrats to the #YouCAN Pitch Competition Winners selected by Cameroon Angels Network (CAN)! Three startups will receive cash prizes and up to $40,000 in investment each.

The #YouCAN pitch competition was organized by Cameroon Angels Network (CAN) in partnership with ActivSpaces, VC4Africa and Sanaga Ventures. Via a campaign page on CAN’s VC4Africa Partner Page the competition was open to all startups in Cameroon. CAN invests in all sectors and industries with a particular interest in technology. Founded in 2014, Cameroon Angels Network (CAN) is the first network of angel investors in Cameroon.

The #YouCAN competition attracted over 45 applicants from all over Cameroon vying for the opportunity to be selected as the first investment of the newly created CAN. After an initial selection process, […]

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Top entrepreneurs selected for the Green Pioneer Accelerator in Kenya & South Africa

By Miguel Heilbron on January 27, 2015

Impact Amplifier, Growth Africa, VC4Africa and Hivos are pleased to announce the entrepreneurs selected to participate in the 2015 Green Pioneer Acceleration Program.

The Green Pioneer Accelerator is a comprehensive business accelerator that seeks to support early stage enterprises contributing innovative solutions to environmental issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and degradation of soils. 11 committed entrepreneurs were selected for the program in Kenya and 12 entrepreneurs for the program in South Africa.

The selected entrepreneurs were identified after a rigorous multi-phase selection process which focused on the viability of their businesses, the strength of the teams, and their potential to solve huge challenges through innovative products and creative solutions.

The 16 week acceleration programs are starting end of January and early February. Continue reading Top entrepreneurs selected for the Green Pioneer Accelerator in Kenya & South Africa »


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DEMO Africa 2015 returns to Lagos, Nigeria!

By Miguel Heilbron on January 22, 2015

Preparations for the 2015 edition of DEMO Africa have begun with Lagos successfully bidding to host the global event for the second year running.

The event dates have been confirmed as 24th and 25th of September at the Eko Hotel and Suites.

This presents another chance for 40 more start-ups from across Africa to showcase their innovations on the DEMO Africa platform. The launch of new innovations is expected to prompt the attending audience of potential investors, IT buyer and consumers towards actions that will gain Africa further traction in the global start-up scene.

Lagos success to host the event for the second time is a direct result of the Federal Government’s endearing support to the ICT sector through the Ministry of Communication Technology. Notable moves include […]

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Social entrepreneurs: Join the Inclusive Business Accelerator bootcamp!

By Bertil van Vugt on January 20, 2015

We recently launched the Inclusive Business Accelerator, an initiative of VC4Africa, BoP Innovation Center, SNV and Nyenrode Business School. Entrepreneurs who are working in low-income markets can now apply for a special online bootcamp on marketing and distribution starting in March. The registration period has started and the deadline for applications is February 15th.

The topic of the online bootcamp is ‘marketing and distribution to the BoP’, as behavioural change and last mile distribution are key to setting up a successful business with low-income groups. The target group of the bootcamp is entrepreneurs who are working on innovative products in rapidly expanding sectors such as sustainable energy, food/agriculture and water/sanitation.

The participants will learn from the best inclusive business cases, have the chance to strengthen their capabilities and use […]

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Kenyan incubator Nailab has announced the new startups selected for its fifth cohort

By Bankole Oluwafemi on January 14, 2015

Kenyan incubator Nailab has announced the new startups selected for its fifth cohort, a five-month programme beginning in January.

Nailab has secured this $1.6 Million Tech Incubation project from the Kenyan Government to incubate 30 startups by 2016, and the current intake is the third group undergoing this initiative.

The five startups are:

Byt: A Bitcoin purchase facilitator that allows users to buy bitcoins using local mobile money platforms, and offers guidance on where to use bitcoins purchased.

Tracopay: Maker of a near field communication (NFC) smart card to facilitate retail transactions, bill payments, money transfer and online payments; while ensuring security through biometric technology.

Service line: A unified toll-free service line to access emergency services and businesses hotlines. The solution targets small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and […]

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Cameroon’s First Startup Accelerator to Launch January 2015

By Ryan Yoder on December 28, 2014

Cameroon’s leading technology hub, ActivSpaces, is launching an intensive six month accelerator program called “Activation Bootcamp” in January 2015 for technology startups based in the country.

The program is the first of its kind for Cameroon and is valued at 4.6 million FCFA for each startup, with 1 million FCFA given to the startup in cash. Applications for Activation Bootcamp will be open from January 5th through January 19th. The goals of the accelerator program are to help startups make sales, gain traction and attract investment from external partners.

Launching a startup is hard — launching one in Cameroon is even harder. For this reason the selection process is very rigorous. Submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance.

The selection process will consist of a review of the […]

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Exciting times to invest in Africa – Expert comments to 2015 Venture Finance in Africa results

By Jasper Grosskurth on December 23, 2014

The VC4Africa 2015 Report: Venture Finance in Africa shows the progress of early-stage growth companies across Africa. Jasper Grosskurth, Managing Director at Research Solutions Africa Ltd, reacts to the results below. This article is also included in the report.

These are exciting times for those who invest in Africa. We observe a strong increase of interest ranging from small scale investors to global multi-billion dollar funds. Their money meets an increasing number and diversity of businesses. New ways to match funds with businesses, such as VC4Africa, are catalysts for this growth of activity.

Less than 1%: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, CAR, Chad, DRC, Gambia, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, […]

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Tech hub sustainability in Africa: a complex challenge that requires a systemic solution

By Tayo Akinyemi on December 8, 2014

Across Africa up to 200 young tech hub organizations exist, important but without a clear path to long-term survival, writes Tayo Akinyemi, Director of Africa’s tech hub network AfriLabs. What’s the solution to this thorny problem?

In an odd way, hub sustainability is an existential problem. There is a proliferation of African hubs, at least 100, maybe up to 200, depending on who’s counting and how. These entities have a variety of names (tech hub, innovation hub, lab, coworking space), service models (community building, pre-incubation, incubation, acceleration, nexus) and arguably, reasons for being. Most want to create or support tech communities, incubate start-ups, bolster skills, and enhance technical literacy, although the exact formula varies per hub.

However, despite (or perhaps because of), this staggering amount of […]

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