The VC4A Team
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Meet Our Advisers
@africatechie – CEO Appstech Software Firm – Cameroon: Rebecca is the CEO of AppsTech, global provider of enterprise applications with offices in Washington, D.C., Paris and Douala. She sits on the board of the Salesforce Foundation and ActivSpaces and was recognized as one of the 100 New Global Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum.
Investor & Coach at J2 Partners – United States: Joel has 20 years of experience in a diverse set of business roles. He is a founder of J2 Partners, Inc., a business consultancy, and acts as representative to a growing number of African SMEs. ?He has served as a VC4Africa Officer since the spring of 2009 and is involved in the mentoring program.
Researcher, Author & Futurist – Kenya: Jasper has 11 years work experience on the interface of research and consultancy. He holds a MSc. in Economics and a PhD in Integrated Assessment. He is the author of Futures of Technology in Africa. He is a key supporter of the Nailab Incubator in Nairobi and serves as the Director of Research and Strategy at Research Solutions Africa
Climate & Renewable Energy Finance Expert – Netherlands: Leo Soldaat has 20 years of working experience in the field of small enterprise development and promotion. In his job at Hivos he assisted MFIs and co-operatives to manage and improve their services to their clients both in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe. His expertise areas are appraisal, rating, management, business planning, product design and micro finance.
Global Consultant Dalberg – Unites States: Greg manages relationships with partners based in the US and helps lead both product and business development at VC4Africa. Greg is a development expert and has worked for Dalberg Global Development Advisors, served as an economic policy advisor to the Government of South Sudan, and led business development opportunities for a mobile health technology startup in Rwanda.
@tomidee – Lagos Angel Network, Nigeria: Tomi is entrepreneur, writer, speaker, mentor, investor and advocate of technology, education, mobile and Africa. He is CEO of TVCLabs a Technology Business Accelerator based in Lagos and also sits on the boards of Sproxil, Strika Entertainment, TechnoVision Communications and PeoplePrime. Tomi is co-founder of the Lagos Angel Network and President of the African Business Angel Network (ABAN).
Meet Our Team
@billzimmerman – coFounder & Technology Guru – Cameroon, Egypt, Netherlands: Bill is a software developer and serial entrepreneur having successfully built and sold companies. He is the founder of Cameroon’s leading technology incubator ActivSpaces. Bill is a founding member of AfriLabs, a network of African technology incubators, and is a driving force behind VC4A. Bill previously worked for Microsoft and a Seattle-based startup incubator.
@zia505 – coFounder & Community Evangelist – Netherlands, United States: Ben has been venturing in the African technology and media space since 2003. He has done ethnographic research on the emergence of software cultures in Kampala, Uganda, established the ICT Entrepreneurship program at Hivos, and later taught classes at the University of Amsterdam. Involved in multiple startups, Ben is also the cofounder of AfriLabs, a pan-African network of innovation hubs, and the African Business Angel Network (ABAN). Ben is on the board of ActivSpaces and in 2007 he founded Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A).
Director of Finance– Netherlands: Arnout heads the financial management of VC4A. Arnout is a financial expert by training, an entrepreneur and manager. He has run his own trading business on the Dutch stock exchange and acts as a financial controller for his company. He has a keen interest in emerging markets and the African investment opportunity.
Programmes & Partnerships Lead – Netherlands: Alina develops and manages startup support programs run by VC4A as part of larger donor-funded initiatives, such as Work in Progress! Project and World Bank’s Pan-African Accelerator. She builds out VC4A’s network of strategic partnerships with various startup ecosystem players and is constantly looking for fit between organizations, their objectives, and the goals of the VC4A community. MSc in Business Economics, MBA from Amsterdam Business School (UvA). In her corporate past she spent over 10 years working in various marketing, sales and business development roles.
@tsefua – Director Developer Team – Cameroon: Fua is the coFounder and CEO of Zinger Systems and heads VC4A’s development team in Cameroon. He is a seasoned mathematician and likes playing around with figures. He is also a founder of Zinger Systems, a full fledged software, web and mobile development firm based in Cameroon where he serves as a Developer and Managing Director. He is also the founder of Cameroon’s leading technology incubator ActivSpaces.
Bertil van Vugt
@brutuz – Projects Director – Netherlands: Bertil is overseeing the different projects VC4A is working on and he managed the 3-year ‘Inclusive Business Accelerator‘ programme that evolved into an independent organization VC4A is still working with. Bertil studied journalism (Ba) and Political Science (Ma) and gained content and technical experience while working in the African startup and media space since 2006.
Lead Developer – Netherlands: Hendrik is a web developer, designer, former label manager and event organizer from The Netherlands. Previously he launched event organizations and has worked for 10+ years as a freelance web developer. After exiting his own company he joined several tech start-ups where he gained valuable insights into their growth and the problems they can encounter.
Product Owner and Growth Lead – Netherlands: Originally from the U.S., Catherine has years of experience at the intersection between technology and business. A graduate of MIT, Catherine has worked in marketing, software development, project management, and consulting. Catherine is passionate about startups, investment, and the opportunities throughout Africa. Using her experience as an entrepreneur, investor, and board member, Catherine aims to make VC4A an invaluable resource for African startups, their investors, and their supporters.
Thomas van Halen
Pro Services – Netherlands: Entrepreneurship, being part of an inspiring community and driven to make a difference: this explains the match between VC4Africa and Thomas best. Linking people with the right opportunities is where Thomas gets his energy from. His focus has always been on entrepreneurship and Africa. As member of the board he manages the Twiga Foundation supporting bright students in Kenya. On a commercial level he invented, established and managed two companies.
David van Dijk
@vc4africamentor — Mentorship Program – Netherlands: David manages the VC4A mentorship program and coordinates a network of Industry professionals that volunteer their expertise and network to participating entrepreneurs. He is also co-founder and Director General of ABAN, the African Business Angel Network and member of the Impact Investment Committee of EBAN, the European Trade Association for Business Angels. David is also the Managing Director of Stichting IGNITE, a non profit supporting entrepreneurs in conflict affected countries and he is part of the Investment Committee of the IGNITE Fund.
Developer – Cameroon: Nelson Kana graduated from the University Of Buea with a Bsc in Mathematics and Computer Science and in the same year he joined the development team of the VC4A platform. He is a web-developer and his hobbies are playing guitar and piano. He strongly believes in the potential of Africans and African Entrepreneurs and he sees a role for VC4Africa to bridge the gap between the thinkers and the investors.