Over the course of 2012, we have put into place the outlines for the VC4Africa Partnership Network. Here is a useful FAQ on the program and we look forward to developing many new collaborations moving forward.
Our idea is that the ecosystem for African startups, at such an early stage of development, needs all the help it can get. And the only way we are going to get big things done, is if we work together. The VC4Africa Partnership Program works to connect the VC4Africa community (now spread across 159 countries) and our resources i.e. online networking tools and services, access to our mentorship program and investor network, etc.. with Universities, accelerators, incubators and other hubs that support the growth and development of high potential entrepreneurs. Where our partners excel at building a base of promising entrepreneurs locally, VC4Africa can work to augment their efforts and create meaningful connections internationally.
What value does VC4Africa create for its partners?
In short, partners receive a dedicated badge that we use to create overviews of the entrepreneurs they support (see the ActivSpaces profile as an example). We see this as a badge of honor and a qualifier for entrepreneurs that come from these programs. Many potential partners, mentors and investors recognize the brand of our partners and see it as a sign of quality. As their members make use of the VC4Africa network, tools and services, we feel it is important they are recognized as part of their network. At the same time we see this as the first step that allows us to jointly support the entrepreneur in their efforts, whether it’s celebrating major milestones, helping navigate a term sheet, getting an expert to look at a difficult problem, or securing a few personal introductions with investors.
At the same time, we look to promote our partners. In addition to a branded page and badge, we list our partners on the website and look at ways to incorporate them into our communication. When they host a major event, or other activity, we look at ways we can help. We also invite the opportunity to collaborate on joint meetups, workshops, competitions and/or challenges… anything that serves to increase the resource base for entrepreneurs.
This all stems from the simple idea that we can better connect network, knowledge and capital by working together.
How does VC4Africa help entrepreneurs?
The VC4Africa community is free to join and our tools and services are available to any entrepreneur in need of additional network, knowledge or capital. VC4Africa is a social networking tool for extending the entrepreneurs professional network and expanding their reach.
Is VC4Africa able to create exposure for entrepreneurs?
Sure. Simply contact the VC4Africa team and we will be happy to conduct an interview with the entrepreneur and promote their achievements. We love success stories and are happy to support in this way.
Can VC4Africa help entrepreneurs implement their business?
Quite possibly. We run a peer-to-peer mentorship program. Entrepreneurs can register their needs and we will work to connect the entrepreneur with an expert in the VC4Africa community. Sometimes a lot can change by engaging someone outside the box.
Can VC4Africa help entrepreneurs fundraise?
As a member of the VC4Africa Partnership Program you can recommend your entrepreneurs to the VC4Africa investor network. Our team will work to introduce the entrepreneur to investors and we will refer any leads to you and the entrepreneur for follow up. The entrepreneur is always the one who makes any and all decisions. If VC4Africa is successful in raising capital, we ask the entrepreneur and investor to consider our community fee (not obligatory). Essentially 3% if a deal is closed because of our website (practically speaking 1.5% from the investor and 1.5% from the entrepreneur). The money we receive from successful matches is invested back into the community and in our drive to help facilitate new matches.
Who else is part of the partnership program?
Current partners include outstanding organizations like ICE Addis, ICE Cairo, the Meltwater Institute of Technology in Accra (MEST), the NaiLab Nairobi, Growth Africa and Growth Hub Nairobi, Mara LaunchPad in Kampala and Dar es Salaam, Wennovation Hub in Lagos, CTIC Dakar, Enviu in Accra, and ActivSpaces in Buea and Douala.
Are you interested in connecting with the VC4Africa community and joining our partner network? Please contact David van Dijk (David@vc4a.com) for more information.