AAIS audience

Last Thursday, the 2016 African Angel Investor Summit came to an end. This was the third edition and it was organised by African Business Angel Network (ABAN), Lagos Angels Network (LAN) and VC4Africa and it was a one-day event that brought investors and thought-leaders in the early stage investing space together to exchange best practices, share lessons learned and plot the roadmap for the future.

The theme of the summit was ‘Co-operation and Co-investing’ and all the conversations addressed how different players in the ecosystem can work together to help maximise Africa’s entrepreneurial potential.

Some of the local and international investors, venture capitalists, founders and other stakeholders present at the event include Eghosa Omoigui of Echo VC, Folabi Esan of Adlevo Capital, Chika Nwobi of Rise Capital, Lexi Novitske of Singularity Investments, Monique Woodard of 500 startups, Chris Schulz of Invoca, Tom Terbell of Rise Capital, Olawale Ayeni of the International Financial Corporation, Paga founder Tayo Oviosu, Hotels.ng founder Mark Essien, Mikul Shah of EatOut, and David Osei of SiliconAccra.

Summit host and the Director General of ABAN, David van Dijk, explains the essence of the summit saying, “We see an enormous interest in early stage investing in Africa but people do not necessarily know how to start. There is a sincere need to collect and develop best practices and to make this knowledge available. We launched ABAN to do just that, to create a resource and contact point for promoting new networks, and supporting stakeholders looking to get involved in building the ecosystem. And that also what this Summit is all about.”

Participants at the summit learnt the tools for accessing the latest investment methods, best practices for sourcing deals, valuations, and even managing exits. Investors networked with the most influential thought leaders in the early stage investment space.

Lagos Angels Network co-founder and ABAN’s founding president Tomi Davies, described the launch of syndicated investment deals enabling investors to invest in groups or “hunt in packs.” In his words, “Making syndication scalable will unlock much-needed capital for Africa’s innovators” VC4A founder Ben White adds, “This is a potential game changer.”

“The rest of the world is excited about what we can achieve and is ready to support us. But first, we must support ourselves.” Mr Davies continues, “Angels bridge the critical funding gap between personal, friends and family seed funding and traditional venture capital funding. Opportunities in the African Angel space are considerable and establish a pipeline for later stage investments”.

ABAN co-founder, Rebecca Enonchong, concluded saying, “the quality of the speakers has been absolutely exceptional. My challenge to African Angels and prospective Angels is, there is more than enough talent to invest in. Go find it!”

ABAN, VC4A and other local organizations such as the Lagos Angels Network collaborate on events like this in an effort to better connect African focused investors, improve knowledge in African investing and better mobilize the capital needed to support the continued growth of Africa’s innovation sectors all in a bid to maximising the continent’s entrepreneurial potential.

Mobisola Atolagbe Author

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