"Entrepreneurs Talk Africa" is a captivating podcast dedicated to exploring the dynamic landscape of African entrepreneurship. The show offers listeners an opportunity to learn from the experiences, challenges, and successes of African entrepreneurs and start-up founders, as well as gain valuable insights and practical tips for their own ventures.Hosted by Gerald Ami, Jason Delorie and Marc Israel, seasoned entrepreneurs and business experts with a passion for African innovation, the podcast features weekly in-depth interviews with a diverse range of entrepreneurs and start-up founders from various sectors across the continent and African founders across the world. With each episode, "Entrepreneurs Talk Africa" aims to uncover the unique stories of these trailblazers, celebrate their achievements, and provide a platform for knowledge-sharing and inspiration.
VC4A Venture Showcase Mini Series - Kenza Lahlou
VC4A Venture Showcase Mini-Series - Episode 4: The Investor Perspective
Want insider tips on raising investment in Africa? Tune into this episode of Entrepreneurs Talk Africa as we speak with Kenza Lahlou, founder and managing partner at Outlierz Ventures.
Kenza shares her unique perspective as an investor in African startups. She provides valuable insights into what investors are looking for and how programs like the VC4A Venture Showcase can help entrepreneurs get investor-ready.
## Key Takeaways
- Understand which acceleration programs add value and carefully choose the right one for your startup (00:03:06)
- Exposure and connections to investors are a huge benefit of programs like the VC4A Venture Showcase (00:04:51)
- The VC4A program is structured to provide value to both entrepreneurs and investors (00:06:01)
- Investor interest breeds investor interest - having the backing of other investors adds confidence (00:11:48)
- Focus on execution, metrics and unit economics to attract investors even in tough times (00:20:37)
- Valuation corrections happening - raise at sensible valuations that bring the right investors (00:21:08)
## Referenced in the Episode
- [VC4A Venture Showcase](https://vc4a.com/venture-showcase/) - learn more about this flagship program for African startups
- [Y Combinator](https://www.ycombinator.com/) - top US accelerator
- [500 Startups](https://500.co/) - global seed fund and accelerator
VC4A Venture Showcase Mini Series - Bram Van der Bosh & Lillian Musoke
Emata: Building Fintech Solutions for African Farmers - Entrepreneurs Talk Africa
**Summary**: In this episode of Entrepreneurs Talk Africa, host Jason Delorie interviews Bram van den Bosch and Lillian Nassanga Musoke, founders of Ugandan fintech startup Emata. They discuss Emata's journey building digital financial services for smallholder farmers in Africa, from its early days gathering data to predict creditworthiness all the way to launching partnerships with banks and agricultural companies. Bram and Lillian share insights on the value of startup accelerators, the resilience required as a founder, and their experience in VC4A's annual Venture Showcase program.
**2:30** - Bram and Lillian introduce themselves and their backgrounds before starting Emata. Lillian was passionate about designing solutions for everyday Africans while Bram wanted to move beyond just shuffling money between the wealthy.
**5:07** - The origin story of Emata - realizing banks weren't financing farmers and building a data-driven solution.
**7:14** - On the value of startup accelerators for constant learning, expanding your network, and discovering unknown challenges on the horizon.
**10:18** - Why Emata applied for many accelerators early on, but has gotten more selective over time. There's always a new level to reach.
**15:02** - For startups in nascent ecosystems, the exposure and learning accelerators provide is crucial.
**18:46** - Expectations for the VC4A Showcase: learning from other founders, meeting investors, and bringing conversations to the next level.
**23:05** - The relationships and "emotional support" between cohort founders last long after programs end.
**25:01** - Don't do it alone - keep going and keep putting yourself out there until you find the right programs and supporters.
**27:26** - Behind the success are often many rejections - persistence pays off.
**28:40** - A message to VC4A: thank you for building the African startup ecosystem and keep going!
- Emata website: https://www.emata.ug
- VC4A Venture Showcase: https://vc4a.com/ventureshowcase/
- Africa Early Stage Investor Summit (AES): https://vc4a.com/aes/
Get inspired by the resilience and vision of African startup founders like Bram and Lillian. Tune in to Entrepreneurs Talk Africa to hear more startup journeys, lessons learned, and tips for aspiring founders across the continent.
VC4A Venture Showcase Mini Series - Daisy Isiaho
In this episode, host Jason Delorie interviews Daisy Isiaho, co-founder and CPO of Zuri Health, a healthtech startup in Kenya. Daisy shares her experiences participating in the 2022 VC4A Venture Showcase Women's Founder Edition program.
Key topics covered:
Daisy's background and mission with Zuri HealthThe importance of accelerator programs for African startupsKey benefits Daisy gained from VC4A and other accelerators: mentorship, peer learning, funding accessUnique aspects of the VC4A Women's Founder EditionTips for entrepreneurs considering applying to accelerator programs
0:00 - Intro0:33 - Daisy introduces herself and Zuri Health3:09 - Daisy shares her journey into healthtech and starting Zuri Health4:50 - Overcoming obstacles as a female founder in Africa5:49 - The value accelerator programs brought Zuri Health8:06 - Specific benefits: knowledge, mentorship, peer learning, partnerships9:38 - The importance of tailored mentorship12:48 - What makes VC4A Venture Showcase unique15:06 - Supporting female founders in Africa16:59 - Tips for getting the most out of accelerator programs19:53 - Key takeaways and encouragement to apply22:40 - Final advice: go for it!
Zuri Health: https://zurihealth.co.ke/VC4A Venture Showcase: https://vc4a.com/ventureshowcase/Anthropic, creators of Claude AI: https://www.anthropic.comThe shownotes provide a quick engaging overview of the podcast episode, highlighting Daisy's journey building Zuri Health and her experience in the VC4A accelerator program. The timeline marks key parts of the discussion to help guide listeners. Additional references give context and links to learn more. Overall, the shownotes serve as a valuable companion to summarize and promote the podcast episode.
VC4A Venture Showcase Series - Abu Cassim
In this episode of Entrepreneurs Talk Africa, host Jason Delorie interviews Abu Cassim, Lead for the Acceleration Team at VC4A, about their Venture Showcase program.
The VC4A Venture Showcase provides acceleration support including mentorship, training, and investor connections to growth-stage startups in Africa and Latin America. With deep investor involvement throughout the program, 65% of participating startups raise funding within a year.
- [1:20] Key differences between incubation and acceleration programs
- [5:26] VC4A Venture Showcase aims to increase early-stage funding in emerging markets
- [8:11] Continuous investor engagement makes VC4A unique
- [12:25] 65% of startups raise funding within a year of participating in the program
- [15:41] Support provided for seed and Series A startups
- [18:46] Focused on high-impact sectors like climate, agriculture, and cities
- [22:13] Access to top investors and mentors throughout Africa
Get involved with VC4A programs and meet investors and mentors:
- VC4A Venture Showcase website: https://ventureshowcase.vc4a.com
- VC4A platform to connect: https://vc4a.com
- Harvard Business Review - "What Startup Accelerators Really Do" https://hbr.org/2016/03/what-startup-accelerators-really-do
- INC Magazine - "Do Accelerator Programs Really Make Startups More Successful?" https://www.inc.com/magazine/201505/tom-foster/do-accelerators-work.html
Special Episode - Buntu Majaja - South African Innovation Summit
In this episode, host Gerald Ami interviews Buntu Majaja, CEO of the South African Innovation Summit, one of the largest startup events in Africa. They discuss the innovation landscape across the continent, promising industries and solutions from African entrepreneurs addressing local needs.
Buntu shares insights on the industries receiving the most startup investment in Africa - fintech, healthtech, edtech and clean energy. He sees these as building critical infrastructure to enable further entrepreneurial growth.Examples of innovative African startups making an impact: off-grid IoT energy solutions in Malawi, growing oyster mushrooms in harsh conditions in Botswana, cybersecurity company expanding globally out of South Africa.The South African Innovation Summit on Sept 27-29 unites thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and thought leaders to grow African innovation. Buntu invites listeners to join and learn.Episode Timeline
[00:50] Welcome and introducing Buntu Majaja[01:46] How is Buntu feeling ahead of the Innovation Summit[03:28] Top startup investment industries in Africa[08:02] Examples of innovative African startups solving local problems[12:12] Overview of the South African Innovation Summit[15:01] Closing wordsResources Mentioned
South African Innovation Summit: https://innovationsummit.co.za
Investor Readiness - Joseph Rutakangwa - Rwazi
Listen to Founder Joseph Rutakangwa Share His Entrepreneurial Journey on Entrepreneurs Talk Africa
In this episode of Entrepreneurs Talk Africa, host Gerald Ami speaks with Joseph Rutakangwa, founder and CEO of consumer insights startup Rwazi. Joseph shares his unique journey across Africa and into entrepreneurship, from early community development projects to launching a profitable startup poised for growth.
0:39 - Joseph introduces his background growing up in Tanzania and Uganda before becoming a student in the US. He started doing community development projects in Tanzania at 19.
4:55 - Joseph pivoted from graphic design and videography to focus on sustainable community impact, leading him to launch Rwazi.
9:53 - He explains Rwazi's model of leveraging mobile technology and local consumers to capture granular consumer data and insights in African markets.
14:45 - Joseph discusses the challenges faced by African startups, including lack of early funding and dependence on revenue versus external capital.
19:52 - Rwazi is now growing quickly in the US, helping American companies export using hyperlocal data from emerging markets.
24:13 - Joseph shares advice for aspiring founders, stressing the importance of sales skills and focusing on revenue generation.
For more on emerging market consumer insights, listen to BCGTalks' episode on "The Human Cloud".
Joseph mentions benefiting from Google's AI Impact Challenge grant.
Rwazi's data-driven approach connects with principles in the book "Data-Driven Business Decisions" by Sharda, Delen, and Turban.