I was lucky to have front row seat during Augie Rakow’s session at the Venture Out Challenge in Moldova. Venture Out focused on giving entrepreneurs the resources and skills necessary to internationalize their startup.

As expected, the question of funding required to scale a startup was on the horizon, Augie, having worked with over 100 startups, angels and venture firms to close investment rounds in Silicon Valley, gave insights from his experience.

In his talk, 10 observations on New Venture Finance, Augie expounded on 10 points, while observation number 4 struck me as Deja Vu – it still had untapped potency.

Network with venture backed CEOs and raise seed money from them.

Was this guy talking about Jason Njoku and SPARK? Must be. Or are there other Jasons (CEOs) and SPARKs (angels) in Nigeria? This got me thinking.

So who else do we have? There’s Tayo Oviosu of Paga (CEO) and He’s already done one angel investment- Yswara, a luxury african tea company in South Africa. Tayo may not be doing a SPARK but he has invested once and he will invest again.

Chika Nwobi of L5Labs- He’s done Jobberman, Cheki, etc. Chika has invested and he will invest again.

There are more out there. Startups spend a long time educating investors, and this is how it should be. But mostly as you don’t have that much time to spare, talking with CEOs of tech companies who already get your business model would save you precious time. Time to investment.

And there are other venture backed CEOs out there. I think we need to find them and activate them.

So I thought the best way to find them is to crowd source the information. I created a hackpad called Venture Backed Tech CEOs in Africa that we can collaboratively edit. I already put in the names of some of the people I mentioned above, and I hope you can find time to add other CEOs whose names belong in there and make that very important list.

Find them. Activate them.

Francis Onwumere Author

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