Diaspora Angel Investor Network: training agribusiness entrepreneurs in Ghana

The Diaspora Angel Investor Network (The DAIN Network)
 is focused on getting Africans in the Diaspora engaged with entrepreneurship in the agriculture sectors – to help alleviate the food crisis in Africa. On April 23rd – 24th DAIN Network is organizing a free “Entrepreneurship Bootcamp Traning” for agribusiness startups in Accra, Ghana. DAIN co-founder and VC4Africa member Nii Simmonds explains the concept. 

If you’re a first-time entrepreneur with an idea you want to scale into a business, you probably need mentorship and advise, and some startup capital — banks, angels, friends or family members — to give you funding. The Diaspora Angel Investor Network (The DAIN Network) offers a free entrepreneurship bootcamp training to entrepreneurs, farmers, startups, and SMEs who are in the agribusiness verticals. These bootcamps teach the average entrepreneur how to build a sustainable agribusiness venture using various critical-thinking exercises and business frameworks. They include a lot of group activity focused on getting entrepreneurs to think outside the box.

DAIN’s bootcamps are designed for the average person on the street who needs help, to scale an idea or business in the agribusiness verticals in Africa. Most participants in our past bootcamps are looking at building and scaling value-addtion enterprises, enterprises that can be household names in someone’s fridge or cupboard – but to also help alleviate the food security situation.

The purpose of the bootcamp is to teach you how to think critically – more specifcially, thinking outside the box to address a market opportunity. Furthermore, we give participants the opportunity to interact with mentors, who give some input on scaling a business, and pitching it to potential partners and investors. It’s also a chance for participants to address any issues or resource gaps in their ideas – and develop answers to the tough questions investors or partners would ask before handing you capital.

Ideas Financiers Like To Typically Fund:
• Ideas that have great mass-market potential
• Ideas to stop spoilage of foods
• Tropically tolerant packaging
• Cold Storage/Dry Storage
• Consumer Brands (Value Addition)
• Financial Innovations for farmers (Credit, warehouse receipts)

DAIN designs it’s bootcamp trainings to make the learning material fun and interesting to it’s participants, with a lot of group activity, critical-thinking skills, video’s, and elevator pitch sessions.

Participants of the Bootcamp will learn:
• How to partner and scale an idea; and learn how to run a venture
• Gain understanding on how to use critical-thinking to scale a venture
• Ways to build a winning team, and finding ways to build your value chain
• Key business model concepts, and learn how to apply them
• Tools for assessing product and market fit; including understanding target markets and market segmentation and performing effective industry and competitive analyses

The hope after the two-day event is to give the participant, skills and training – to help participants make better decisions, with the hope of obtaining capital. On the last day of the event, there will be an elevator-pitch competition. The judges will be a mix of local investors and other professionals. Prizes will be given to the best elevator pitch and overall business models. The winners of the pitch will be matched with local mentors and potentially, mentors from the Diaspora.

The DAIN model builds on a hybrid “Silicon Valley” framework for investing, Mentoring, and growing SMEs, utilizing the Diaspora. Our initial focus is Food Security, targeting the African Diaspora. Apart from the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp For Agribusiness Startups, DAIN also offers Agribusiness Incubation In Urban & Rural Areas, Business Mentorship & Technical Expertise, Access To Capital (through our partners), and Vocational Training for African Youth in Agribusiness.

The free DAIN Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for SMEs, Farmers, and startups will be held in Accra, Ghana on April 23rd – 24th. More info can be found at www.dainnetwork.org

For mentorship opportunities, also see VC4Africa’s Mentorship Marketplace. VC4Africa is the biggest online community connecting African entrepreneurs and investors. Register as an investor on VC4Africa to see which screened ventures are fundraising, track their progress and review private documents. Entrepreneurs who join VC4Africa can register their venture and follow five steps to fundraising on VC4Africa.