The Lagos Angel Network (LAN) has appointed a new Board of Governors (BoG) to oversee its affairs, effective from today October 1, 2021. 

According to a LAN statement, the new board, chaired by Kola Aina, General Partner at Ventures Platform, has the mandate to reposition the organisation with a focus on recruiting and educating local angel investors and championing advocacy for early-stage investing in Nigeria. 

Other members of the BoG are Biola Alabi, founder, Biola Alabi Media, who will sit as Deputy Chair of the BoG; Yemi Keri, co-founder, Rising Tide Africa; Olumide Soyombo, co-founder, Voltron Capital; Iyin Aboyeji, founder, Future Africa; and Gerrad Olisa-Ashar, co-founder, Diaspora Angel Network.

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LAN was created to facilitate the development and emergence of an active early-stage investment community in Nigeria. Its mission is to facilitate investment in Lagos-based entrepreneurs and their early-stage businesses and give them access to networks and mentoring.

Since its launch in 2012, the LAN community of Angels claims to have mentored, advised, and invested in over a hundred Nigerian startups.

LAN has also birthed several Angel groups such as Rising Tide Africa (RTA), South South-East Angels Network (SSEAN), Abuja Angels Network (AAN), and the Diaspora Angels Network (DAN).

“Angel investors are very important to any thriving ecosystem and LAN can play a pivotal role in that regard to drive policy and education,” the new Chair, Aina tells TechCabal. “Under our dispensation, we will focus on ensuring LAN is even more relevant and perceived as the desired source of capital and advocacy.”

Aina adds that the new BoG will prioritise angel investor recruitment and education, policy advocacy, and deal pipeline and matching.

“As the founding velocity in our market has ballooned, we will work to ensure that the LAN membership and various syndicates within LAN play a leading role in providing the earliest and most hassle-free risk capital in Nigeria and Africa at large over the next decade.”

The new board will be taking over from the leadership of co-founders, Tomi Davies and Dotun Sulaiman, and the current Board of Directors, Collins Onuegbu, Segun Olukoya, Yemi Keri, Dipo Adebo, David Richards, and Bunmi Lawson.

“During this our first decade as Lagos Angels, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the unexpected in the Nigerian early-stage entrepreneurship ecosystem, and it’s been an incredibly worthwhile journey,” Davies says in the statement.  

“We’ve seen the Lagos startup ecosystem grow significantly bigger than when we started LAN 10 years ago and need to do more. We’ve seen what’s possible, and now it’s time to take Angel investing in Nigeria to the next level,” Sulaiman adds.

While other directors of the old Board will be stepping down, Davies, Sulaiman, and Keri will remain as guarantors of LAN, a company limited by guarantee under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

“I want to thank the founding LAN Board whose achievements cannot be overstated, and their legacy is visible for all to see,” Aina says. “Our appointment to serve the LAN community in this capacity is humbling. Our passion, commitment, and experiences will stand us in good stead as we embark on this journey. Welcome to LAN, the next chapter.”

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Michael Ajifowoke | Author

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