Last Friday, members of VC4Africa came together for VC4Africa meetups in London and New York! The next VC4Africa meetup in the US will be July 24th in Texas. If you’re interested in organizing a VC4Africa meetup in your city, in Africa or on another continent, just pick a date! Below we catch up with New York meetup organizer Claude Pierre to find out more about last Friday’s meetup.
Please introduce yourself, how you got involved in VC4Africa and why you decided to organize this meetup?
“I’m a banking professional who is very interested in international development and entrepreneurship. I’ve just returned in New York from a year long Fellowship in India working with a Social Venture Fund. After having met VC4Africa founder Ben White at the Sunkalp Summit 2013 in Mumbai a few months ago I became involved with VC4Africa. I learned that the “meetup” is a basis of the VC4Africa model, thought it was a great idea and wanted to try it out.”
What is happening in the entrepreneurs’ and investors’ scene in New York focused on Africa?
“In New York City there is a ton of activity happening between entrepreneurs and investors who are focusing on the continent Africa. The list of interests are expansive, everything from manufacturing to real estate to agriculture to banking, and of course technology.”
How did the event go?
“The New York ‘meetup’ was excellent, the weather was great, the restaurant staff was nice, the drinks were flowing, everyone was introducing themselves and talking.”
Around how many people attended and what were their backgrounds?
“Around 30 to 35 people attended. They had interests or projects in Kenya, Ghana, Madagascar, South Africa, DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania, Botswana, Cameroon, Uganda, Sera Leone, Burundi and other countries, and were working on travel, restaurant, clothing, fridge/chillers, agriculture, housing, cell phone communications … and more.”
Please tell us about the most interesting person you met and why?
“No one person was “the most interesting” everyone was dynamic in their own right … each person, story and project was unique.”
What are your conclusions, final thoughts and message to the VC4Africa community?
“I would recommend to everyone to organize a VC4Africa meetup – truly a rewarding experience!”