Saturday, January 14, 2012

VC4Africa reflects on first year - and into 2012



VC4Africa is one year old in its present form, though the idea has been around with co-founders Ben White and Bill Zimmerman for a lot longer. After experimenting with the ning platform, they (like me) were disappointed in the spam problem and decided to build their own platform. At a meeting last Friday they showed me all kinds of new features they are building for the coming quarter so they can tailor the functionality of the site to match the needs of both African entrepreneurs and investors. As bandwidth opens up on the continent, especially later in 2012, I'm helping the team with some experimental video projects. We're actually working from the premise that video isn't needed at all, unless it can add something to the story. Ben White recently gave a presentation which explained very clearly the thinking behind VC4Africa, why it's needed, how it's working with collaborative teams across the continent, and what's been achieved in such a short time so far. I confess to being very impressed by their ability to work WITH entrepreneurs rather than FOR them. This is turning sharing of expertise into a sustainable business model. Enjoy.
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