Venture capital is a field of business that provides capital to startup companies and small businesses. Venture capitalists (VCs) invest in these businesses in the hopes of achieving a large return on their investment down the road.
The venture capital industry has been around for decades, but it has exploded in popularity in recent years due to the growth of technology startups. According to an AVCA report, from 2014 to 2021, the number of VC transactions on the continent grew at a compound annual rate of 32%.
Fellowship programs in venture capital typically involve a year-long program of coursework and mentorship. They offer aspiring investors, entrepreneurs and general partners an opportunity to learn about all aspects of the venture capital industry and gain real VC experience while receiving mentorship, access to events and a network of peers.
A VC fellowship program is for you if you are a young graduate, an experienced professional looking to transition, or a startup founder looking to network or understand the nuances of venture capital. Like accelerator programs for founders, fellowships provide a platform for aspiring venture capitalists to be immersed in the world of venture capital.
If you are an African graduate, professional and entrepreneur trying to get into venture capital, here are five African VC fellowships you should consider joining.
Dream VC fellowship
Dream VC is an investor accelerator running remote community-driven venture capital fellowships specifically focused on the African continent. 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.
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.
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.
African Private Equity Fellowship
The African Private Equity Fellowship offers talented young investors the opportunity to meet their peers during an executive program covering all aspects of private equity, private credit and venture capital. The program brings together 50 young professionals, men and women, from the African continent, for a period of 6 months.
The fellowship combines the sharing of experience, in-depth technical and sectoral analysis, and networking through thematic videos, working sessions with experienced professionals, and case studies inspired by real investment cases.
The fellowship is supported by industry partners including: I&P, Adenia, Convergence Partners, Meridiam, Africinvest, Amethis, Oncologie & Diagnostic du Maroc, XSML, Mediterrania Capital Partners, Metier, Exeo Capital, Uhuru Investment Partners, DPI, TLcom Capital.
Africa Venture Capital Fellows
The Africa Venture Capital Fellows (AVCF) is an initiative of the World Economic Forum's Global Leaders of Tomorrow (GLT). The program is aimed at promoting venture capital in Africa by educating and training future venture capitalists and leaders of high-growth and early stage companies based in Africa.
Participants will receive an educational stipend to help them with living arrangements, as well as insurance and other or graduate degree preferably from an African university and possess 3 - 5 years full-time work experience in Africa
Aspiring VC fellowship
The Aspiring VC fellowship is a vocational program for young professionals looking to be the next generation of Young African Catalysts on the continent’s venture ecosystem.
Although a paid program, participants do presentations on the Demo day to stand a chance to get an internship opportunity at a partner's fund. The Fellowship is designed for all under the age of 35, whether you have 0 or 8 years of work experience or if you have a finance or marketing background.
Crucial topics examined in the right week-long program include market mapping, investment process, startup analysis, financial fund and modelling, impact investing, fundraising options and career options.
Africa impact investing fellowship
African impact investing fellowship is an initiative by the African venture philanthropy alliance to nurture deployers of impact capital - Grants, debts, and equity - into becoming more effective impact investing practitioners.
This fellowship builds the capacity and knowledge of Fellows in areas such as Innovative Finance, Impact Measurement and Management, and Leadership in Complexity. As a participant, you'll get to understand the latest regional and global trends, network, and enhance your impact investing skills.
To qualify for the Fellowship, you have to be deploying capital along the Continuum of Capital – Grants, Debt and Equity. The potential applicants would ideally come from Foundations, DFIs, Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds, Family Offices, NGOs, Aid Agencies, Governments, Corporates, Incubators, and Accelerators; those who have access to capital, or have responsibility for investment portfolios and are used to managing assets of High Net Worth Individuals, families or funds. These individuals are either deploying or intend to deploy capital with an impact investing lens in Africa.
By joining a venture capital fellowship, you'll learn how to differentiate the good startups from the great, build a network of other VCs, and gain insights into what VC firms are looking for. Even as a founder, you can use fellowships to secure VC funding by connecting with venture fellows and sharing information about your startup.