African diaspora links and networks are increasing in scale and effectiveness. At the beginning of March the African Business Angel Forum will bring together investors and entrepreneurs. I spoke to its organizer, Sean Obedih, of NewGenAngels to find out more about this event.
Obedih’s background is like that of a lot of diaspora Africans. He was born in Rwanda, grew up in Kenya and left to live in Germany before making his life in the UK:”It means I can take a Pan-African view of what’s going on.”
In 2006 he started Ynotplast, which later became Tru-Colour Bandages when Sean exited the company. Sean ran the business for four years with the mission to sell plasters and bandages that match Black and/or otherwise a wider range of skin tones: these products are now produced under license.
When he sold out the company in 2010, he decided to form an advisory company for start-ups called Founders Hive and started doing seed funding. Eighteen months ago he decided to refocus his efforts on the African startup space.
He noticed that there was no Angel Club in London focused on Africa and so he created NewGenAngels:”It set out to achieve two things. Firstly, we wanted to bring together people who were interested. Secondly, we were looking at things that were available but people were not using (for example, tax breaks). Diaspora professionals were often not aware of these.”
On the programme for the Africa Business Angel Forum as speakers are:
* Simon Glossop- CEO, CAMSCORP and Chairman of EOC Committe, Octopus Investments
* Eric Osiakwan- Chanzo Capital
* William Tindall -Emerging Crowd
* Okun Beachwear -Bola
* Ellen Van den Broek -AXA Strategic Ventures , Jean Paul Melaga -Mitsubishi
* Dr Shyighan Navti -TechEquity
* Anthony Sheehan UKTI-GEP
* Seyi Taylor, Techcabal
Addis Alemayehou- Investing and starting businesses in Ethiopia
Paul Smith -Ignite100
The Africa Business Angel Forum is a day-long event on the Thursday 3 March 2016 with the theme Scale-Up Africa. See event page for more details and to register for the event.
This article and video was produced by Russel Southwood, the Founder of Smart Monkey TV and VC4A Partner.