Sometimes you just need a little help.

Community#

Happens to the best of us. Go to the login panel by clicking on ‘Sign In’ at the right top corner of the page and and click ‘Lost your password?’ Here you will see the option to enter your username or e-mail address. Click ‘Get new password’ to activate. You will receive an e-mail needed to access your account again. Don’t see the e-mail? Make sure to check your spam folders.

The team at VC4A screens each new member requests. We process new requests on a rolling basis 24 hours a day. If you haven’t heard back within a day, please contact us at support@vc4a.com.

Application form#

Some application forms may ask you whether you want to use your venture profile data to pre-fill the application form. When you click Yes, you can minimize the time spent on the application, as many questions will be already filled in based on the details you provided on your venture profile. Therefore, you only have to add double-check and update or adjust the information where you see fit, add the remaining questions, and submit.

When you opt-in to ‘Use this data to update my venture profile’ at the end of the form, all the questions you updated in the form, will be updated on your venture profile as well.

This is us, trying to make application processes as swift and seamless for you, so you can seize your chances to join as many great programs as possible, without having to spend too much time on each application. Good luck!

This is usually the case when the question is asking for a particular value type. Please read the question carefully and check if the answer field could be accepting specific value types only.

Example question:  “Please provide your phone number”
This field might only accept number inputs. Therefore you cannot enter a “+”, instead, you can only enter numbers such as “0027…”

Other input fields may only accept URLs, e-mail addresses, dates, addresses or text”

To apply for any program, you need to create a user account on VC4A. Click here to do so.

When this is done, you can log in, go to the program page you wish to apply for and click on the “apply” button to start your application. Most application forms allow you to ‘Save & continue later’ so you don’t have to complete the application in one go. You can always find your saved and submitted applications in the Applications tab in your profile.

Some programs require you to have a venture profile on VC4A too. If you don’t have a venture profile yet, click here to set up a venture profile, or go to your account and click on “add a venture”.

Make sure you have filled in all the required input fields of the application. These are characterized by a red star. When you have done so, and you have agreed to the terms and conditions, you can submit your application by clicking the blue “Submit” button at the end.

After you have submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation email.

First, check where you are asked to upload documents for this application.

  • If it has to be uploaded within the application form, make sure the file has the requested format (usually PDF) and does not exceed the maximum file size of 10 MB. Now you can drag and drop the file into the upload field.

If you can’t find an application you have started in a previous session, please follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you are logged in with the same account as when you started your application. Often we find that users have multiple accounts, as they create one by entering an email address and password, and later use the social media sign-in button and thereby creating a second account. So please, first double-check if you are logged in to the right user account.

  2. Go to the My Applications tab on your user profile. Now you should see all your applications and can click on “view” or “edit” to keep working on it and submit as you wish. You can also download your applications anytime.

Ventures#

Yes, the ‘In the news’ section on your venture profile overview is where you can do this. Simply copy-paste the news article’s title and URL and chose to display this on the profile. Now everyone visiting your profile can see this and check out the article right away.

The team at VC4Africa is constantly looking to highlight ventures making progress. Keep your profile updated and share your wins and successes with the community. Build your following on VC4Africa and get yourself noticed!

Want to get noticed? Here are some tips and tricks you can use to promote your venture.

1) First impressions count! Make sure your venture profile is complete featuring your logo, cover image and an accurate description.

2) Do you have a pitch video? Add this to your venture profile as a great way to introduce yourself as an entrepreneur and your business.

3) Have you added links to your startup’s social media profiles (i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YoutTube)? This is a great way to keep people up to date on your activities and gives them a chance to find out more about you.

4) Have you made great progress building your company? Make sure you are sharing the latest news and developments in the update section and traction tab. Let people know what’s happening and allow them to follow your adventure through both the good times and the bad times…we all have them!

5) Check out the documents tab on your venture profile. Have you uploaded a pitch deck or any other documentation that helps investors understand what you are working on? Add a copy of your business’ certificate of incorporation or any other evidence that shows you are serious.

6) On your venture profile you will see a short URL you can use to promote your venture profile across the web. Also, you can tweet your venture profile. Leverage these functionalities to get the word out!

7) Start fundraising for your startup on your venture profile to get featured on the platform and gain more visibility amongst the investors on VC4A.

We hate to see you go. On your venture profile, click on the three little dots in the top right corner and select ‘Delete venture profile’.

The answer is Yes!

Entrepreneurs are often working on multiple projects. Sometimes the work you spent building one venture ends up being the preparation for the next. Feel free to create and publish multiple venture profiles.

Easy, just visit the Ventures section of the platform and click ‘Add your venture.’ You don’t have to answer all of the questions at once, you can always add more details and update your venture profile later on.

The team at VC4A screens each venture profile after it has been created and if everything looks good and complies with the venture guidelines your venture profile will be approved. This can sometimes take a few hours. If your profile hasn’t been approved after a day, please reach out to support@vc4a.com.

Visit your venture profile and click on the three little dots in the top right corner. Now, select ‘Administration’ and add your team members. They need to have signed up with a user account on the VC4A platform, in order to be selected as venture profile admins. This will give them the right to edit and update the profile as well. Make sure your team is also listed on your venture profile’s Team section.

Fundraising#

When trying to decide whether to engage with an entrepreneur, investors look for evidence. Nothing sends a stronger signal than already having an investor on board. This shows that someone believes in you enough to trust you with their money. A lead investor has researched your business in detail and is a valuable source of information for others who are interested in your venture. A lead investor can help others understand where the business is in its development and play an important role in negotiating terms to close the deal.

Learn everything you need to know to kick-off a fundraising round in the free Finance your business course in the VC4A Startup Academy. To promote your fundraising round on the platform, please follow the 4 steps to fundraising!

Entrepreneurs who have set up a venture profile on VC4A, have the ability to register a fundraising request. For that, you can click on ‘Start fundraising’ on the Fundraising tab of your venture profile. But before you do so, pleasecheck out the 4 steps to fundraising on VC4A.

Partner pages#

You can do so by keeping the page ‘unlisted’. That way, it will not yet appear in the overview of opportunities on the platform, yet it can be visited by anyone (your team) you provide with the direct URL. To unlist a page, click on “Edit page content” in your admin dashboard, navigate to the “Visibility” tab and select to unlist the page.

  • Get a unique URL with your company (http://vc4a.com/yourname);
  • Customize the look by adding your own logo & header image;
  • Add a description of your organization;
  • Specify geographical and sector focus;
  • Embed a video;
  • Link to your website and social media;
  • List your team members with existing VC4A account;
  • Build a network of followers;
  • Publish campaign pages for your programs and events to reach the VC4A community of entrepreneurs;
  • Create a custom application form (this can also be embedded on your own website);
  • Showcase ventures supported by adding them to your portfolio;
  • Engage a wider community in conversation and dialogue.

At any time you retain administrator rights to your page(s) and are able to update/change/delete content as you wish.

For more info and step-by-step guidance to setting up the pages and all application tools, click here.

Go to the page and make sure you are logged in with the right account to have admin rights. Now, click on “edit page content” in your admin dashboard. Here you can upload new logo and header images or crop the existing ones.

  • Logos should be at least 150 x 150 pixels.
  • Header images should be 1280 x 300px and ideally don’t exceed 150 KB in file size, to make sure visitors with less bandwidth can see them too.

No. The Partner Pages are based on ‘parent-child relations. You cannot create a child (program or event or page) without having a parent (organization page).

If you use the organization page to publish information about your program, it will not be shown in the overview of opportunities or event calendar and it will not be possible for users to find it searching by program type. This will negatively affect the visibility of your program on VC4Africa platform.

Ideally, you first create the parent page, by adding a page for your “organization supporting startups”. Once that is done, from within the admin dashboard of this organization page you can then “add a page” for your program or event (child pages). More detailed step-by-step guidance, you can find here.

Yes, you need to signup on VC4A first. Later on, you will also be able to list yourself as a team member on your organization page. Make sure to add some info about you and a profile picture for a friendly impression.

We can definitely help out here! We can feature your campaign in various places on the platform to appear more dominantly. We can also support your campaign outreach through our social media channels (check out our follower numbers on Twitter, Facebook, and in the LinkedIn group), the VC4A blog, and community newsletters.

Please check out our partner campaign packages and reach out to us to plan tailored campaigns.

No, there are no costs involved to publish partner or campaign pages. Even better, using VC4A application and selection tools is free as well!

For our support in setting up the campaigns and promotional services, please consider our partner campaign packages to boost your results.

Your finalists, alumni, and otherwise supported ventures can be showcased in the portfolio section of individual program pages as well as on your VC4A partner page. By adding their venture profiles here, this connection will also appear on their profiles (on venture X it will say “Supported by {{name of your program/organization}}” with a link to your page). Following their progress overtime helps to create a meaningful track record for your program.

When using the VC4A application form, you can create a pipeline of potential candidates over the course of multiple cycles of your program. Use custom tags throughout the application processes to easily filter, track and invite past programs’ applicants for upcoming programs or events.

The VC4A platform supports the fastest-growing online community of entrepreneurs and investors in Africa and beyond. Check out the latest number of community members here.

By profiling your organization on the platform, you increase your visibility within the startup ecosystem significantly and get access to the most promising entrepreneurs.

From your organization page, you can publishing campaign pages per program or event of yours, link to your application form elsewhere, or leverage VC4A’s free customizable application form and selection tools. That way, you leverage VC4A’s reach and infrastructure to boost the number of applications for your next acceleration program, competition, conference, hackathon, or startup event. You will build a network of followers to be notified about your latest activities and new campaigns.

Any organization providing services, support, opportunities, and resources to the startup ecosystem globally is invited to create a free partner page. These can be:

  • Accelerators / Incubators / Co-working spaces;
  • Angel Groups / VCs / Impact Funds;
  • Innovation Hubs / FabLabs / Hacker Maker Spaces;
  • Event & Competition Organizers;
  • Corporations / Service Providers;
  • Foundations;
  • Public Sector Initiatives.

Please contact us for advice if you feel that your organization is an important startup ecosystem player in Africa and beyond but doesn’t fall into any of these categories.

The VC4A partner page is a tool that allows third-party organizations to publish and administrate campaign pages on the VC4A platform, to collect applications for startup programs and promote events.

The partner page is the central point from where organizations can launch these programs and event pages to engage with the VC4A community. Instead of having to rely on the VC4A team to promote partner activities, you can manage your own pages independently and collaboratively with your team. From the dedicated partner page for your organization, you can:

  • Introduce your organization, give an overview of what you do, for whom and why
  • “Edit page content” to:
    • adjust text, details, logo, and header image
    • manage the visibility of the page
    • grant admin or editor access to colleagues to manage the page collaboratively
  • “Add a page” to:
  • Launch dedicated campaign pages for programs or events, which will be listed amongst the overview of opportunities and the event calendar on VC4A, and gain incredible reach
  • Show who is part of your team
  • Showcase and navigate to all past and upcoming program and event pages
  • Showcase your portfolio of supported startups
  • Post updates for your followers

Application tools#

Click on “Edit page content” in your admin dashboard and navigate to the “Admins” tab. Here you can add colleagues as Admins or Editors (they need to have a user account on VC4A, please ask them to signup if you cannot find them).

People with Admin rights have full access, including to the form builder, where they can change the application form. If you just want them to be able to view applications and help with the pre-screening process, better to add them as Editors.

Yes and no.

Yes – You can send bulk messages to notify candidates who didn’t make it. This functionality is available in the “Rejected” tab. To use this, move all applications that shall receive this update to “Rejected” and click on the email icon to set up the mailer. Make sure to use the available merge tags to personalize the mailer.* Save the mailer and select all applications that shall receive this. Each recipient can only receive one mail from this interface.

Yes – each applicant who either clicks on “save & continue later” or finishes his/her application and submits, receives an automated mailer to tell them the inputs have been saved/confirm their submission.

No – All other applications (outside of “Rejected”) can only be messaged via individual PM’s through the system. If you want to message all “in progress” candidates, for example, we recommend exporting those and using other bulk messaging tools such as Mailmerge. Reminder emails as such are part of the promotional services we offer.

*They didn’t make it in your final selection? Yet, great if you can show that you appreciate their interest and effort of applying. Can you recommend other opportunities or resources to them that might be of value, such as the VC4A Startup Academy or the mentorship marketplace?

Once applications start rolling in, you will see that in the graph on your admin dashboard. Click on view applications, to check out what’s been submitted, and what is in the pipeline (‘in progress’ tab). Some key tips to managing the applications throughout the call for applications:

  • Open individual applications and check for your minimum eligibility criteria
  • Do a pre-selection by moving applications from submitted to “review” (I’m unsure, to be discussed with the team), “selected for rating” (Yes, this one shall move to the formal selection process) or “rejected” (no, not meeting the criteria). Move applications by changing their status individually or in bulk.
  • Create custom tags to be able to filter by those and keep track on key aspects. Need to know how many female candidates are applying to your program? Create a “female” tag and start tagging applications individually or in bulk
  • Use the quick-selection tool for efficient management and bulk actions. Not to overwhelmed here, better check-out this video (from min. 03:10).
  • Discuss with your team on application level. When you open an application, you will see a message interface on the right. Here you can leave comments for anyone who has been granted access to the applications in your team. Here you can also view all activity (i.e. if your team member has moved an application to “rejected”, you can see when and by who this was done).

More detailed and visual descriptions to managing incoming applications, you can find in step 4 here, as well as in the pre-screening guide.

This is normal. Anyone who clicks on “apply”, merely to check out the application form end’s up in this list. However, it is easy to determine who is serious about their application, by the progress score. It’s a good idea to follow up with “in progress” who show a high progress score (i.e. > 75% completed) a few days prior to your deadline, to remind them to finish and submit in time.

Your program’s application deadline is coming up, but you would like to extend it by another week or a few days?

Simply enter the form builder via the admin dashboard on your program page, navigate to the settings in the top right corner and select the “Dates” tab. Here you can select a new date, time, and time zone. Make sure to save your changes ;)

Yes, you can do so in the form builder. However, if you have already received applications, please note, that the ones who have already submitted, did so using the previous version of your form and cannot change their application. Best to make sure to test the form thoroughly, before launching the official call for applications.

Minor changes, such as adding a helper text or re-phrasing existing questions for a better understanding, are no problem at all. Simply click on the form builder on your admin dashboard, select the question to adjust and publish the changes.

Creating an application form on VC4A is easy. You can do so from your program page’s admin dashboard. You will find a pre-set-up form template with frequently asked questions.*

You can now use the drag-and-drop editor to adjust the form to your liking (add questions of various types, remove questions, etc.). Make sure to publish the form and any changes you make later on. Set the application dates in the form builder settings (top right corner), where you can also adjust the form intro text, confirmation messages and more.

*All questions of the VC4A application form template use smart linkages to user and venture profile information, meaning, that applicants with existing profiles on VC4A, will find most of these questions pre-filled. They only have to double-check and adjust the answers where applicable.

When you open a fully customizable application form via your program page on VC4A, you will get access to an admin panel to track incoming applications over time and monitor the impact of promotional activities easily. Together with your team, you can view and pre-screen the incoming applications and prepare the selection process. You can export individual, multiple, or all applications in various file types at any point in time.

Find more info about the application tools here and the rating & selection tools here.

Access the form builder via the admin dashboard of your program page. Scroll all the way down and find the “Embed” button there. Now you can simply copy the generated URL and implement this on your website.

Rating & selection tools#

Please double-check that the judge has been assigned to a judging group. Navigate to the rating and selection environment and select the “Groups” tab to check this. Then, make sure the judge is logging in with the correct user account (using the email you see next to their name in the groups section). Then, make sure they have the correct URL to access this. For this, click on “Rating & selection” in your admin dashboard and copy that URL and send it to the judge(s).

No problem. Please reach out to our campaign support team. We can easily set up an additional process for you. In that case you will get results per process, as well as overall results.

This depends on the number of applications you are including in the rating and selection process. Applications are assigned to judging groups, therefore all judges within one group are rating the same applications. You should have a minimum of 3 judges per group so that the final score per application is based on the aggregated scores of at least three judges.

The more applications you have, the more judging groups, ideally. if you have 50 applications in the rating process, great if you have 5 groups of 3 judges each, so each group rates 10 applications. The more applications per group, the more time you are asking each judge to contribute.

The rating criteria should ideally be determined when creating the application form already to make sure to ask the right questions. A criterion could be “Team capacities” and your application form should be asking about the number of team members and their skills for the judges to determine this.

Each criterion should be given a weight, depending on the importance of each criterion. All criteria weights have to add up to 100%. Please make sure to use the same scale (5 or 10-star rating) over all criteria. You can add a comment box with no weight if you want the judges to leave qualitative feedback, statement, or comment. This comment box can be set as optional or mandatory, this is up to you.

Please watch the video and follow the step-by-step instructions here for a thorough understanding of the process.

Investing#

‘Accredited investor’ is a term defined by various countries’ security laws that delineate investors permitted to invest in certain types of higher-risk investments, including seed money, limited partnerships, hedge funds, private placements, and angel investor networks. The term generally includes wealthy individuals and organizations such as banks, insurance companies, significant charities, some corporations, endowments, and retirement plans.

For example, in the United States, for an individual to be considered an accredited investor, he or she must have a net worth of at least one million US dollars (excluding the value of one’s primary residence), or have an income of at least $200,000 each year for the last two years (or $300,000 together with his or her spouse if married) and have the expectation to make the same amount this year.

See additional information on what it means to be accredited here.

Investors can see which ventures are fundraising and follow the progress of the ventures they find interesting. They can network with fellow members of the investor network and engage entrepreneurs with questions. Registered investors can set custom alerts and track ventures of specific stages, in specific target sectors and geographies, review the deal terms and gain exclusive access to private venture documents.

For more info about benefits for investors and the investor dashboard to explore up-and-coming ventures, see here.

The majority of ventures on VC4A are early-stage and require investments between USD $10,000 and USD $1 million.

The primary sectors include innovative technology, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, healthcare and education amongst others. Each venture is disruptive in its use of technology or in its application of a disruptive business model. Thirty percent of the registered ventures have some form of social mission and could be qualified as a social enterprise.

Are you an investor? Join the leading network of Africa-focused investors. As a registered investor, you can see which ventures are fundraising on VC4A, gain access to the investor dashboard and exclusive information:

» Customize your dashboard to discover great companies
» Set up intelligent alerts to follow their progress
» Access information when researching new opportunities
» Check fundraising history of any venture
» Contact entrepreneurs and investors to follow up directly
» Contact the VC4A team for support

Register to join the VC4A investor network!

Resources#

Yes, you can. We encourage members and community partners to contribute to the blog as well as the VC4A Founder Series and Mentorwise podcasts. Please contact the content team at VC4A to discuss and coordinate.

Mentors are experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and business experts who are willing to share their knowledge free of charge. Entrepreneurs who have registered a venture profile on VC4A can submit requests for mentorship support. These requests are screened by the team at VC4A before they are presented to the participating mentors.

It’s a free offering and you might just score the expert you need!

Site Policy#

VC4A is a champion for more entrepreneurship in Africa and beyond. We believe entrepreneurship is good for society and that more should be done to support entrepreneurs working so hard to strengthen the local economy. VC4A is a social venture and with the mission is to support entrepreneurs in a way that is financially sustainable for the organization over time. Our absolutely last intention is that somehow, somewhere, someone gets hurt in some way.

So we want to make this clear. Our team is comprised mostly of geeks, entrepreneurs and disillusioned idealists:) We are not financial, investment, accounting or legal experts and we do not pretend to be. We seek to provide the VC4A community with information and networking opportunities. Our aim is to foster a healthy and constructive dialogue that further promotes entrepreneurship development on the continent and beyond.

Anything business-related (or other) is done at your own risk and we highly recommend you get a lawyer or contact experts for these matters. If you are an entrepreneur approached by an investor, you are responsible for conducting your own due diligence. If you are an investor approached by an entrepreneur, you are responsible for conducting your own due diligence. If you are matched to another member via the VC4A team, you are responsible for your own due diligence. Bottom line, we are not liable for any outcome in whatever form. Before doing anything business-related, know that only you are responsible.

VC4A does not provide personal investment, financial or legal advice to individuals, or act as personal financial, legal, or institutional investment advisor, or individually advocate the purchase or sale of any security or investment, or the use of any particular financial or legal strategy.

Each member of this community is responsible for their own risk assessment before acting upon any information provided via VC4A or any one of her members or visitors or others. Before pursuing any legal or financial strategy, or taking any decision at all, you should consult with your legal or financial advisor or CPA. VC4A (and anything related to VC4A) does not take responsibility for any single member, piece of content, or any other object, person, or action.

We collect the e-mail addresses of those who communicate with us via e-mail, aggregate information on what pages consumers access or visit, and information volunteered by the consumer (such as survey information and/or site registrations). The information we collect is used to improve the content of our web pages and the quality of our services and is not shared with or sold to other organizations for commercial purposes, except to provide products or services you’ve requested, when we have your permission, or under the following circumstances:

It is necessary to share information in order to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person, violations of Terms of Service, or as otherwise required by law.

We transfer information about you if VC4A is acquired by or merged with another company. In this event, VC4A will notify you before information about you is transferred and becomes subject to a different privacy policy.

 

The following Terms of Service apply to your use of VC4A and all related properties. You are solely responsible for your conduct, and your content on VC4A, and compliance with these terms. By registering with us, or using or browsing VC4A, you acknowledge that you have read, understood, and agree to be bound by these terms. 

The only people who are authorized to create accounts on this site are professionals who understand risk and are willing to bear the consequences. If you aren’t an Entrepreneur looking for advice, and an introduction to potential investors, or you don’t think that you are both an Accredited Investor and sophisticated enough to protect your own interests, then you should not try to create an account on this site.

By using VC4A (including by simply viewing content on VC4A.com (the “Site”), you are agreeing that you, and each person you allow to access VC4A through your account, will abide by the terms of the following agreement, which is summarized here, and set forth in its entirety below. This agreement is between you and VC4Africa BV (“We,” “VC4A” or the “Company”), and it governs your access to and use of the services, websites, and applications offered by VC4A (the “Service”). Your access to and use of the Service is conditioned on your acceptance of and compliance with this agreement.

 The security laws applicable to private company finance are complicated and occasionally ambiguous. In general, they are designed to protect unsophisticated people from making ill-advised investments. The following terms are designed to minimize the risk that any unsophisticated/unaccredited individuals try to become investors through the Service, and to protect the Company in the event that anyone claims he, she or it was damaged by using the Services.

See the terms of service.