Dream VC opens application for its 2023 venture capital fellowship programs

Dream VC, an investor accelerator platform focused on African tech ecosystem, has today opened up applications for its 2023 venture capital fellowship programs.

Dream VC opens application for its 2023 venture capital fellowship programs
Dream VC Fellows in Zanzibar

Dream VC, an investor accelerator platform focused on the African tech ecosystem, has today opened up applications for its 2023 venture capital fellowship programs.

The programs offer an extensive curriculum, practical training, and direct exposure to world-class investors, providing the ideal launchpad for aspiring and current investors to break into the African venture space.

Africa remains one of the fastest-growing VC markets globally, and for good reasons: its young population, smartphone adoption, rising internet penetration, and the application of emerging technologies that have the potential to improve access to healthcare, financial services, education, and energy.

The venture capital (VC) landscape in Africa has grown significantly in recent years, with more investors and startups entering the market. This is in spite of the global economic crisis and a dramatic slowdown in the venture capital landscape.

Also, transactions recorded on the continent expanded at a compound annual rate of 32% between 2014 and 2021. This implies that the African venture capital ecosystem holds a lot of promise for present and future investors.

However, all is not as straightforward as the continent’s business environment is still marred by pervasive structural barriers (like low consumer purchasing power, inconsistent regulations and inadequate data communications infrastructure) which inhibit a lot of startups.

In addition, experience and expertise are required in the VC deal flow process to ensure that funds are adequately invested in the right startups. So investing on the continent has many nuances that don't necessarily fit traditional models and expectations of investing in areas such as Silicon Valley, and rightly deserves a comprehensive program covering this.

This is why platforms like Dream VC are building a community of active venture builders and venture scouts who want to dip their toes into the investing space. Founded in 2021 by a team of investors, ecosystem builders and tech founders alike, Dream VC has grown into a thriving community of 80+ alumni fellows, spread across 30+ countries, and growing with each cohort.

The platform is striving to democratize access and understanding of the venture capital space for professionals on the continent and among the diaspora. The institute is entirely remote and celebrates its return for 2023 by announcing 2x new programs, aiming to train a further 60+ future investors for the African continent.

Dream VC programs have a strong reputation in Africa, with over 50 Venture Capital Funds supporting the curriculum. To date, has successfully trained over 80 fellows through its flagship Investor Accelerator and Launch into Venture Capital (LIVC) Programs, and these fellows now span everywhere from North America to South Asia, though a majority are based in Africa.

“Dream VC took me from zero to one hundred in under four months. The program structure assumes no prior knowledge, and takes you from the origins of VC to advanced topics like fund formation,” Osaruyi Enofe, a VC Analyst at Oui Capital and 2021 fellow, said. “Before joining, I was getting no responses from the VC firms I applied to. However, with Dream VC, I ended up getting multiple interviews while I was still in the program and directly joined Oui Capital as an analyst upon program completion.”

Also, Lamin Darboe, a VC Associate at BDev Ventures and a Dream VC Fellow from the 2022 LIVC cohort had this to say about the LIVC, “the strong focus on Africa and the global presence of the Dream VC community alone differentiates them from similar programs. Dream VC gave me a great simulation of life as a VC, and I was able to successfully pivot from investment banking into venture capital within weeks of graduating from the program.”

Past fellows have gone on to launch investment funds, set up accelerators and startup hubs, and join new and established investment funds across Africa and beyond. Today, Dream VC fellows work with over 35+ VC and PE funds, including the likes of Ajim Capital, Capria Ventures, Future Africa, Lateral Frontiers, Oui Capital, Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures and more, and are investing in hundreds of startups.

Inside Dream VC’s 2023 program

This year, Dream VC will run two programs:

●   The 3-month-long Launch into Venture Capital Program (LIVC)

●   The 5-month-long Investor Accelerator Program

The Launch into Venture Capital Program is ideal for junior professionals and graduates who wish to build an unparalleled skill set and break into entry-level roles (interns, analysts, associates) in African-focused VC and investment firms.

The curriculum for the Launch into Venture Capital Program is very intensive and is structured like a bootcamp, with predominantly skills-based training throughout the program. Fellows on this program would get a crash course into VC and would learn fundamental venture capital skills like due screening, analysis, due diligence and more, and would be trained on post-investment value add and startup support. The program also includes extensive career-building, mentorship and network development.

The Investor Accelerator Program targets mid to advanced-stage career professionals who have the capital and experience to begin investment activities upon program completion.

The Investor Accelerator Program is an immersive experience that covers over 800 hours of on-demand content and multiple weekly lessons across skill-building, theory, fundamentals, venture capital, and angel investing, covering many topics, from VC 101 to Fund Launch and VC Career Development.

Fellows in this program would be immersed in the 0-100 of Dream VC's extensive curriculum and will be ready to begin investment activities or to launch an initiative of their own, upon program completion.

Dream VC’s application process is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of less than 10% based on past data and interviews with the founders. Applicants go through a four-stage application process involving motivational questions, research assignments, interviews with past fellows, and Dream VC staff.

Applications for both programs are now open and will close on April 16. The programs will run in Summer and Autumn, with the Launch into VC program running from June to late August and the Investor Accelerator program running from June to late October.

According to Dream VC co-founder, Mark Kleyner, "Dream VC is excited to open up applications for our Venture Capital Fellowship programs for 2023. We have had an amazing reaction from the startup and venture world in the past, and are excited to welcome new applicants from across Africa and beyond to our growing fellow community. Good luck to all the applicants!"

For any questions about the applications, potential fellows can contact applications[at]dream-vc[dot]com.

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