Winnie Kimathi’s Take On The tenth Angel Truthful Africa

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I prefer to suppose that I’m fairly an bold individual, possibly to a fault as a result of I tackle new challenges a bit an excessive amount of, generally to my struggling 🙂 haha… it looks like candy ache to me, apparently this provides me pleasure, a kick and drive…attempt me 🙂

A few months in the past, I came upon that Eric Osiakwan of Chanzo Capital was planning Angel Truthful Africa by our mutual good friend. This was the 10-year anniversary, dubbed #AFA@10, and it was to occur in South Africa. I learn up on it and two issues got here to thoughts. 1) I immediately knew that I needed to be part of Angel Truthful Africa and a pair of) it was the form of a brand new expertise and inspiration that I used to be searching for! 

I knew Eric earlier than as we’re each shareholders in considered one of Africa’s pioneering & main TravelTech firms – HotelOnline. I joined HotelOnline by the acquisition of Cloud9 Experiences – a B2C traveltech platform. Eric was already a significant shareholder in HotelOnline at this level. We’d met as soon as briefly whereas he was visiting the workplace and I’d overseen planning of his travels whereas he was in Kenya. 

Quick ahead to July this 12 months after I’d examine Angel Truthful Africa, I reached out to Eric after not having been in contact in over 2 years. I wasn’t certain if he nonetheless had my quantity or would bear in mind me. I despatched him a message whereas doubtful pondering – this may come off bizarre — he in all probability gained’t bear in mind me… I imply.. the heart on me … however there was nothing to lose. I felt that I needed to reconnect with an investor I admired, I wanted mentorship within the space of enterprise capital and funding, which I’ve been eyeing and he’s usually somebody who’s nice to have in your nook. Enjoyable particular person too – as versatile as might be. So, I despatched him the message and ready to not get a response. But it surely didn’t take him lengthy, a few hours later I heard again from Eric. Sure, he remembered me, and he was joyful to catch up and discover what we may do collectively. Think about if I had let the small individual’s doubts get in the way in which.

Winnie Kimathi of Angel Truthful Africa and Mark Kleyner of Dream VC 

It’s been an excellent couple of months working in the direction of #AFA@10. We began with a briefing breakfast assembly and things-built momentum fairly quick. I’ve been honored to guide the occasion organizing, I used to be this system supervisor for this 12 months’s begin up cohort and supported in investor relations as nicely. This was probably the most thrilling and impactful position. 

In my earlier expertise as a startup founder, I went by a merger too early in my profession /business trip, after we merged my first enterprise – Heartbeat Adventures with Cloud9 Experiences and went by an acquisition a bit over a 12 months later and exited to HotelOnline. 

The grotesque journey that’s constructing a enterprise from scratch, rising it to a degree that different folks need to purchase it, isn’t any simple match. I needed to study and develop in a really quick time. We have been as agile as might be, constructed and examined stunning merchandise and pivoted in pursuit of a Product-Market Match. I left with precious enterprise acumen, administration expertise and with an curiosity in enterprise capital, investments and rising & scaling companies. 

That is why I felt a powerful need to accomplice with Eric Osiakwan to make Angel Truthful Africa a hit and have it as a studying floor. Angel Truthful Africa is a Chanzo Capital occasion that brings collectively chosen African entrepreneurs and curated buyers to facilitate deal making – investing in promising African Startups. 

A number of the founders hanging out with VCs 

For the final couple of months, I’ve interacted with and identified wonderful founders within the AFA@10 cohort from throughout Africa. We had founders from eight international locations – Nigeria, Ghana, CoteD’Ivore, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and naturally South Africa. We’ve helped a few of these startups reposition themselves for development, thrilling new enterprise alternatives for some and helped facilitate investor conversations and offers.

Whereas the occasion was initially to be held in East London, we hit a wall in early November after we bought into logistical challenges and couldn’t host the occasion in East London. Within the face of creating a tricky name, Eric couldn’t select to cancel the occasion fully. He as an alternative determined to maneuver the occasion venue to the mom metropolis – Cape City! Typically we don’t understand it within the second, however some issues are a blessing in disguise. Having the occasion in Cape City was the most effective thought ever! We had the pleasure of working in probably the most stunning metropolis in Africa, in my view – Cape City! This occurred to be my first time in Cape City, and I can’t let you know how thoughts blown it has been. My telephone’s reminiscence is full coz – c’mon- as a lover of nature and wonder, in every single place I look there’s an attractive, picturesque view of a mountain within the backdrop, the ocean or simply stunning colonial buildings in clear and orderly streets. This metropolis has given me hope that our African cities can get as organized and simple to dwell in (story for an additional day). We walked to conferences when potential as a result of the Central Enterprise District (CBD) space is so walkable, clear, conducive and never as hectic to walk round as many African cities that I gained’t point out names…😁. 

Unsurprisingly, this time of the 12 months is the most effective to be in Cape City – it’s summer time; nice climate, lots of tech occasions and investor summits have been taking place across the similar time and town was flocking with buyers from everywhere in the world, startups and ecosystem builders. We had a cocktail mixer occasion to attend nearly each evening. We met and interacted with wonderful people who’d be arduous to catch some other time – together with attending the sendoff celebration for Andrea Bohmert – outgoing managing accomplice of Knife capital at Innovation Metropolis, the tech safari mixer at Sew, a dinner with Medica group and Innovation metropolis’s second 12 months anniversary amongst others. 

AFA@10 was in two components – an entrepreneur bootcamp that occurred between the twenty seventh & twenty eighth November 2023 at WomHub. We had our startups pitch with out slides (they have been bowled over by this), we had wonderful conversations from skilled founders and buyers and nice periods from covetable VCs. Topping the checklist was a session by Zacharia George of Launch Africa Ventures – an investor I’ve adopted and admired from a distance, in addition to Mark Kleyner of Dream VC. 

The primary occasion occurred on twenty ninth & thirtieth November 2023 on the Fountains Resort. The primary occasion had investor panels, startups pitch periods, and conversations with skilled founders. We had an all-female investor panel that includes Andrea Bohmert of Knife Capital, Hanna Subayi of Launch Africa Ventures, Audrey Verhaeghe of Anza Capital and moderated by Justin James of Fireball Capital. Different impeccable investor panels have been with Keet Van Zyl – Managing accomplice of Knife Capital, Mia Von Koschitzky – Managing Associate at Future Africa, Idris Bello – Managing Associate at LoftyInc Capital, Sewu-Steve Tawia of Jaza Rift Ventures, Ian Lessem – Managing Associate at Havaic and Emmanuel Adegboye – Head of Medica. We had wonderful keynotes from Esther Dyson of Wellville and Jason Njoku of Iroko Companions. We have been honored by the data and gems shared by these impactful trade leaders in investing and entrepreneurship.

Second day Buyers Panel 

Two small companies touched my coronary heart. They weren’t ready for an occasion like this, and had not foreseen the alternatives awaiting them at AFA@10 – one was a water bottling and refilling enterprise who distills and sells refillable water, one other manufactures and distributes premixed cocktails. They have been vastly impacted by the alternatives that AFA@10 introduced. Above that, we had fintechs, edtechs, logistics and provide chain, manufacturing and different startups pitch at AFA@10 and the outcomes from the occasion are profound. We’re grateful to all of the buyers, panelists and audio system who joined and made AFA@10 nice, in addition to those that influenced from a distance. 

My gratitude to associates and colleagues who supported us vastly – Rowena Luk of Africa Well being Ventures, Mellisa Desmore from College of Cape City (UCT), Luri Fumane of BoxPlexus, Sly Khumalo who was the occasion MC, all primarily based in Cape City, Kell Barkorkor from Ghana and the multi-talented tremendous human – Pilot Joel Mureithi from Kenya who introduced our goals to life with such stunning art work for all our occasion supplies and relentless help. We couldn’t do it with out you colleagues. We’re endlessly indebted. Thanks.

I wouldn’t finish with out giving Eric Osiakwan his flowers. Eric is a pure chief who is aware of learn how to make folks round him comfy, encourage the most effective out of them and assist folks rise to their greatness. He did the identical with me. Greater than that, I’ve been amazed by his resilience, arduous work and imaginative and prescient into making AFA potential. The lengths he goes in ensuring the portfolio firms in his care are advancing in the most effective mild with no bounds. That is clearly the primary of many endeavors we’ll do collectively, and I stand to profit from his wealth of information, precious connections and zeal for all times! Thanks, Eric.  As we shut the 12 months, I look ahead to what 2024 presents and the endeavors we’ll undertake. What do they are saying…the world is simply however our oyster! 😀


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