The Africa Early Stage Investor Summit 2023, concluded with resounding success, bringing together 350+ investors, founders, and industry leaders from across the continent. The two-day summit, organized jointly by VC4A (www.VC4A.com)&African Business Angel Network (ABAN), serves as the pivotal platform for robust discussions, networking and collaboration, propelling the African early-stage investment landscape forward.
“AESIS connects the early stage (angel) investor networks with VCs, mapping a path for founders’ fundraising journeys. The exchange of knowledge and experiences between the two is invaluable to the startup ecosystem, directly supporting founders in their entrepreneurial adventures.” – Vincent Hoogdyn, CEO of VC4A.
1. Insightful Opening Townhall&State of Industry Overview: The event kicked off with a thought-provoking Opening Townhall, moderated by the host Hope Ditlhakanyane, featuring AESIS advisor Eghosa Omoigui, and AESIS partner representatives Eleni Gabre-Madhin, Laurien Field, and Jean-Marie Kananura, who reflected on the theme of 10x-ing early-stage investing in Africa, and set the scene for the impactful conversations that followed.
Maxime Bayen of Africa:The Big Deal (https://TheBigDeal.substack.com) expanded this sentiment in his address sharing that the number of active investors in startups in Africa have doubled from 242 in 2019 to 529 in 2023, additionally funding raised by startups in Africa has grown 119 times in 10 years from $27M in 2014 to $3.2B in 2023 (YTD). The primary emphasis of the overall message underscored the importance of deriving lessons from failures we’ve seen, gaining a more realistic perspective on exits through data, and strategically incorporating this information into the efforts to strengthen our collaborative ecosystem.
“AESIS plays a pivotal role in fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing between angel investors and VCs, and investment activities within the African startup ecosystem, contributing to the overall growth and development of entrepreneurship on the continent” – Fadilah Tchoumba, CEO of African Business Angel Network (ABAN).
2. Masterclasses and Breakaway Sessions: Attendees immersed themselves in an array of masterclasses and breakaway sessions, covering pivotal topics such as The winning recipe for Deal Collaboration and The Anatomy of Effective Corporate VC, as well as AESIS partner series covering Impact in collaboration with UNDP’s Africa Sustainable Finance Hub, and Gender Lens Investing in collaboration with IFC’s She Wins Africa initiative.
Notably, we had the Angel Investing Roundtable which was the launch of the ABAN 2023 Angel Investment Survey Report (https://ABANAngels.org/insights/) – Research into ABAN’s network of angels indicates that 2058 angel investors invested more than $22.5M across 408 deals, out of 5,743 applications received, at an average ticket size of $55.2K in the first and second quarter of 2023.
3. Deal Morning: In partnership with VC4A, SU Launch Lab, Next176, JICA, GIZ SAIS, MADICA, and Founders Factory Africa – 28 founders had been given the stage to showcase their business together with their attending investors. This setup facilitated meaningful connections not only between entrepreneurs and investors, but also between investors unlocking potential co-investments.
4. Ecosystem Side Event: The 2nd official Ecosystem Side Event took place on Saturday the 2nd of December, hosted at the WomHub coworking space, spotlighting the symbiotic relationship between Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) and investors. Panels, case studies, and presentations such as The ESO as an early stage investor, by Cindy AI of Dream VC highlighted the collaborative efforts driving entrepreneurship development and active opportunities for co-creation and progressive innovation efforts.
The summit concluded on a high note with a Closing Cocktail, with the first AESIS awards handed out in the following categories:
- AESIS Most Valuable Players Award – to attending members that have attended more than 6+ annual Summits;
- #AESIS2023 Outstanding Investor Meetup Award – Serengeti Angels and Ennovate Ventures as the hosts in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
- #AESIS2023 Outstanding Angel Network Award – RisingTide Africa;
- #AESIS2023 Outstanding VC Company Award – Founders Factory Africa.
Throughout the year we have had a series of numerous events in the lead up to these amazing two days in Cape Town; including Investor meetups which took place across Africa and the globe in September and October. A special recognition goes to our investor meetup hosts who worked very hard and brought incredible energy into making our new record of 36 meetups happen for 2023.
#AESIS2023 is honored to have partnered with many influential entities to make this 10 year milestone a resounding success including Investec, Next176, UNDP, Timbuktoo, JICA, GIZ SAIS, GIZ MAKE IT, Madica, Womhub, OceanHub Africa, Founders Factory Africa, Untapped Global, US Consulate, Double Feathers Partners, SU LaunchLab, SA SME Fund, Value for Women, International Finance Corporation, Kigali International Financial Center, Dutch Good Growth Fund, and South Africa National Conventions Bureau.
The success of the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit 2023 underscores the growing momentum of collaborative efforts in driving synergy and investment across the continent. The insights shared, connections forged, and collaborations initiated during the summit are expected to contribute significantly to 10x-ing early stage investing in Africa.
“Only ecosystems that have knowledge exchanges survive — that’s the power that we have here!” – Tomi Davies, President of African Business Angel Network (ABAN).
Photos of the events that took place during #AESIS2023 can be found here (https://apo-opa.co/3v6lGmj)
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of VC4A.
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Community and Investor Events Lead
The Africa Early Stage Investor Summit (AESIS) is a collaborative venture between VC4A and ABAN, dedicated to advancing innovation and growth in Africa’s investment ecosystem. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, AESIS2023 brings together investors, industry leaders, and influencers with the aim of accelerating early-stage investing across Africa.
VC4A is an ecosystem builder that leverages its infrastructure, network, and expertise for the programs that contribute to the startup movement in emerging markets. Since 2008, the organization has designed, structured, and implemented successful entrepreneurship programs on the continent. VC4A runs an online platform featuring the world’s largest database of startups in Africa and Latin America, connecting entrepreneurs to resources, networks, and funding. Visit https://VC4A.com/ for more information.
ABAN (African Business Angel Network) is a pan-African non-profit association founded to support the development of early-stage investor networks across the continent. ABAN’s mission is to promote a culture of angel investing in Africa and increase the number of active angel investors who support startups.
For more information about the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit 2023, visit www.AfricaInvestorSummit.com. Follow us on X (https://apo-opa.co/3tu1XfO) and LinkedIn (https://apo-opa.co/41wAV4k) for updates and highlights from the Summit. Photos from the summit can be found here (https://apo-opa.co/3v6lGmj).