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Meet the DEMO Africa Innovation Tour in 16 countries across the continent!

By Miguel Heilbron on April 25, 2014

DEMO Africa has kick started its innovation tours of various capitals across Africa. These tours will see the DEMO team visiting 16 countries around Africa meeting various tech start-ups to get them ready for the DEMO event in September!

The tours will begin in Nairobi where the first DEMO event on African soil took place in 2012. While commissioning the team, DEMO Africa’s Executive Producer Harry Hare expressed optimism about the fate of technology in Africa. “The best solutions to the African needs will be engineered by us” he said.

East, South, West and North Africa

Today, Nailab gets to host the first innovation tour this year. The Nailab’s CEO Sam Gichuru is confident about the participation of Kenyan start-ups in the DEMO Africa [...]

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Invitation: Calling the world’s leading investors to back Africa’s top innovators

By Ben White on February 11, 2014

Now is the time. Now is the time to be investing in Africa. A billion consumers, improving political stability, a rising middle class, continued penetration of mobile and Internet, these are just a few of the underlining trends that continue to introduce an increasing number of opportunities. Most important… Africa is exploding with talent and a rising generation of entrepreneurs are determined to build great businesses that transform their countries, quickly finding markets across the continent and around the world.

We are well passed idea stage now.

64% of the ventures on the Venture Capital for Africa platform generated revenue by their second year. On average, startups secured USD 80,000 in funding vs. expansion companies that secured USD 237,000. When we asked 90 companies about their progress, 70 [...]

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Join a global series of VC4Africa meetups as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013

By Ben White on October 8, 2013

We believe entrepreneurship development in Africa can be accelerated when we connect a global network of knowledge and capital. As part of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 18th – 24th), the VC4Africa community initiates a global conversation on African entrepreneurship.

On Thursday, November the 21st, VC4Africa members from around the globe are taking the initiative to host a meetup in their own town. These informal networking events bring together entrepreneurs, angels and VC investors eager to contribute to the continent’s next great success story. Maybe even more importantly, these local meetups are also a chance for us to engage new people, otherwise the individuals who have yet to get [...]

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Results of VC4Africa’s 2013 SME Performance Index

By Ben White on October 7, 2013

The team at VC4Africa recently reached out to entrepreneurs part of the community to find our more about their progress. These are the results of the first VC4Africa SME Performance Index 2013.

Africa is a hot-bed for innovation and a source of world changing solutions. To realize the potential of the continent’s most promising entrepreneurs, vital resources need to be unlocked i.e. the required network, knowledge and capital. The VC4Africa community is a global peer-to-peer network where entrepreneurs and investors come together to build great African success stories. But do we know these companies are making a difference? Do the companies we engage as a community already add to the tax base of African economies and are they [...]

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MEST, Ghana: preparing Africa’s tech entrepreneurs to compete with Silicon Valley

By Ben Bertenbreiter on April 16, 2013

Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), based in Accra, Ghana, is one of the partners in VC4Africa’s partnership network, bringing in various ventures to VC4Africa, including Dropifi, ClaimSync, Saya Mobile and RetailTower. MEST offers a three-phase entrepreneurial program designed to foster the growth of globally successful software companies from Africa through training, funding, and incubation. Since 2008 MEST has trained over 100 tech entrepreneurs and has invested over $1.5M in 13 tech start-ups in Accra. Below Benjamin Bertenbreiter interviews Michael Szymanski, Director of Business Development at MEST, and manager of the MEST seed fund. “I think there will be big success stories out of Africa.”

What is the central goal of MEST, what are you all striving for?  

“One of the driving ideas behind MEST is [...]

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Entrepreneurs in Africa: forget innovation, focus on profitability

By Michelle Atagana on April 15, 2013

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

Let’s forget building the next Facebook, Google or Apple, writes Michelle Atagana. Instead African entrepreneurs should build “boring companies” that simply make money and provide useful services. “Wouldn’t that crazy idea work and wouldn’t that profitability attract foreign investment?”…

You will be hard pressed to find anyone in Africa who doesn’t agree that a wave of something big and game-changing is coming. In fact, the way the world is turning, it’s a school of thought that seems to be a soaring fire bird — it is starting to feel like everyone is thinking it.

Innovation is the key energiser. Having leapfrogged with wicked-smart and insanely useful mobile solutions, it seems the continent has no choice [...]

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Towards a vibrant venture capital sector in Africa

By Lerato Nage on April 5, 2013

What needs to be done, by policy-makers of African governments and others, to create a thriving economic environment for emerging entrepreneurs in Africa? Lerato Nage, an independent finance professional based in South Africa, will share results of his research on this question in a series on VC4Africa on venture capital and IPOs in African markets. 

For the economic development of African economies, a vibrant venture capital sector is critical. For any economy to thrive; to create employment and combat poverty, whilst contributing positively to economic growth, the creation of new ventures is important.
The current economic environment in African economies needs to improve if the venture capital sector is to thrive. The lack of relevant and appropriate legislation hampers the rapid establishment of new enterprises. [...]

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Third VC4Africa meetup in Amsterdam is a success

By Miguel Heilbron on March 25, 2013

Last Thursday, members of VC4Africa came together for a VC4Africa meetup in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. We had a chance to catch up with VC4Africa’s Head of Investor relations Saskia Reus-Makkink, and with one of the entrepreneurs who visited the meetup.

Saskia Reus-Makkink: “It was great meeting such a diverse group of people who do or want to contribute to the African entrepreneurship place. We met with mentors, entrepreneurs and investors. PUM, with an expertise network of 3200 retired professionals offered support for entrepreneurs with established companies. A media expert who expands activities to Kenya offered his support to startups. Two energy companies shared their high level expansion plans and we met with experienced as well as a new investor to the scene. It was [...]

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Connecting innovators with capital, meet 40 investors from the VC4Africa investor network

By Ben White on March 14, 2013

At VC4Africa our mission is to support the continent’s most promising entrepreneurs and to connect them with the resources (network, knowledge and capital) they require to realize their potential. Specifically, we focus on the less than 1 million range currently underserved by the market. We do everything we can to help entrepreneurs tackle both their non-financial and financial needs. Launching the VC4Africa investor network in May of 2012, entrepreneurs with venture profiles listed on VC4Africa now have exclusive access to the continent’s largest and most dedicated network of Africa focused investors actually interested in early stage companies.

We selected 40 investors from the VC4A network and profile them here:

4Di Capital is an [...]

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10 African startups offering green energy solutions

By Miguel Heilbron on March 8, 2013

The energy crisis in Africa is immense. Around three quarters of the population in Sub Saharan Africa have no access to electricity, and also companies express access to power as their biggest obstacle. At Venture Capital for Africa, the biggest online community connecting African entrepreneurs and investors, many startups are focused on offering (green) energy solutions. See the selection below, and follow the ones you like!

 GreenEnergyPark™ – South Africa – Philipp Steiner
GreenEnergyPark™s are small commercial developments in rural areas that convert biomass (agricultural residues) into energy, chemicals and commercial products. They’ll provide rural jobs, contribute to food security (additional farming revenue) and its goods replace fossil based products. See their VC4Africa profile >>

 Solarkiosk Solutions PLC – Ethiopia – Sasha Kolopic
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