Friday, December 06, 2013

Smart Monkey TV & VC4Africa

Just been working with VC4Africa on a new service they are developing for those investors looking to back tech companies in Africa. The number of tech accelerators is still growing especially in East, West and South Africa- along with the quality of both the teaching as well as the teams. For the past few years, Russel Southwood has been interviewing entrepreneurs and articles on his travels around the continent. He has done some important work looking at the rather patchy transition from analogue to digital television. The study reveals the dominance of the Chinese in both the telecom and digital broadcast sector. He has also opened a new website called Smart Monkey TV which is a different way of presenting the material gathered so far. It is still in an early stage.

The team at VC4Africa have been looking at relevant sections of the content on Smart Monkey TV and reposting material connected with start-ups. In doing so, they are starting to build a much clearer picture of the several ICT incubators and accelerators across the continent. I really recommend you explore that article. Here's a taster taken from this blogpost.

There are now many ICT incubators and accelerator units across the continent and the beginning of what seems like a burgeoning start-up culture. An Angel network has been set up and there are both local and international funds for those whose business has some trading record. There is also now a network of impact investors who are interested in social as well as financial returns. 

Russel has looked at six ICT incubator and start-up funds I’ve interviewed and try to draw out some of things that are happening and the challenges ahead.

88 Mph, Nairobi and Cape Town: 
The first of these organisations is the accelerator 88Mph that has offices in both Nairobi and Cape Town. It seeks to find start-ups that need initial modest funding to get to the investment starting line. They select their start-ups and work with them to help shape the business and make introductions to potential funders. In the video clip interview below, Nikolai Barnwell, 88 Mph describes the work of the organisation:

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