London (United Kingdom) and Frankfurt (Germany), February 2020. Last week, Maxime Bayen attended an Africa Focused VC gathering hosted by Google for Startups UK in London, United Kingdom. Maxime joined a select group of Africa-focused investors and African start-ups to discuss challenges, successes, and learnings of investors in supporting high potential start-ups from across Africa.
The event featured members of the first Google for Start-ups UK Africa Immersion Cohort as well as investors such as TlCom, Enza Capital, Microtraction, Ventures Platform, and GreenTec to discuss ways to better support African entrepreneurs. Several learnings and take-aways resonated well with attendees, many of these closely track with GreenTec’s experience. Among these was the growing trend of founders who gain 3-4 years of experience working for locally built #startups like @paystack or @InterswitchGRP. This generation of founders have learned first-hand what it takes to build a tech company from the ground up in Africa and will be making their mark soon.
Several of the Google cohort’s founders had several years’ experience at African start-ups before founding their own ventures. Support provided by investors or company building firms was also an important point discussed. Two areas of highly sought-after start-up support that the event attendees identified as still missing were: regulatory support and business development. This idea was qualified with the important caveat that no amount of investor support would overcome the challenges of a company with poor business fundamentals.
The event also presented the opportunity for Maxime to introduce the attendees to GreenTec Capital and the “Results4Equity” model as well as walk the audience through data-backed insights on the year 2019 for the African Tech Ecosystem. This presentation can be accessed below:
The size and set-up of the event allowed for investors and entrepreneurs to discuss very openly. We also believe some of the key learnings brought up during the discussion are further validate the positioning of GreenTec’s company building and investment model.
We would like to end this post by thanking Marta Krupinska, Anthony Catt, and the broader Google for Startups UK team, for the quality of this event and inviting us to take part in it.