Expansion VC4A Startup Academy: 19 new modules and 44 additional industry experts

Kick off the new year with cutting edge insights from leaders across the African startup ecosystem. The VC4A Startup Academy has been expanded with 19 new modules and insights from 44 new experts from across the industry.

The VC4A Startup Academy is designed to empower founders to take their business to the next level. Split up in different courses, participants can learn about ‘Starting your business‘, ‘Growing your business‘ and ‘Financing your business‘. In each course we’ve added new modules such as ‘Product development’, Strategic partnerships’, Marketing and Business Development’ and how to ‘Pitch your business’ to investors.

Your legal business

The new course is called ‘Your legal business‘ and introduces the importance of ‘Legal basics’, such as the steps to take to register a company, how to do VAT filings and why this matters from day 1, and how to protect Intellectual Property. The other module in this course, ‘Funding concepts explained’, looks at the legal side of landing an equity investment from early stage investors.

VC4A Startup Academy experts

During key industry events such as the AfriLabs Gathering, the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit and the High Growth Africa Summit we’ve interviewed investors, hub managers, entrepreneurs and other people in the ecosystem to capture their insights about the topics introduced in each module. Among the new experts are Egyptian investor Khaled Ismail, Ventures Platform founder Kola Aina, investor Lauren Cochran of BlueHaven Initiative, Village Capital’s Adedana Ashebir, Mustafa Othman of Shaqodoon, Stephen Gugu of Viktoria Ventures in Kenya and many, many more.

7.484 participants so far

Since the launch of the online learning environment in September 2017 a total of 7.484 VC4A members have started one or more free courses – with a completion rate of 11,43%. In the design of the academy we’ve chosen to take the ‘pick and choose’ approach instead of a linear learning experience, which has an effect on the completion rates, but it allows users to immediately consume the content they find most interesting.

Based on an in-depth user research in Nigeria, Egypt and Somalia we’ve implemented an UX-upgrade to the online learning environment, making it much easier to navigate the content on both mobile and desktop, being able to track the progress of each course better and allow comments on each content item. We’ve also listened to the needs of the users by creating new content that came up during the feedback sessions.

Each learning module contains:

  • Theoretical breakdowns where concepts are introduced – relevant to the African context.
  • Video clips of leading business professionals, entrepreneurs and investors, sharing practical expert advice,
  • Transcripts of all videos in English, French, Arabic and Somali,
  • Quizzes where you’ll be challenged to apply what you have learnt,
  • Useful downloadable templates and documents.
  • A personalized certificate available for download after course completion

The VC4A Startup Academy has been developed as a fundamental pillar of the ‘Work in Progress!’ programme funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Work in Progress! Alliance is focused on unlocking the economic potential of young women and men in Egypt, Nigeria and Somalia. The project aims to enable them to generate sustainable and living incomes – by finding regular employment or starting enterprises.

Blended learning

The VC4A Startup Academy is designed as a self-learning tool, but at the same time VC4A is working with a pan-African network of partners to integrate the online curriculum into incubator and accelerator programs to make sure participants start with the same business foundation. VC4A partners use the Startup Academy in combination with face-to-face discussions and in-person sessions hosted at local startup hubs, and to further strengthen their support offering to entrepreneurs.