While the rest of the world was finishing up the third quarter of 2022 and anticipating a strong final quarter, the BCSL team and I were immersed in launching The Investors Corner, a biweekly online series.
This series took us on a journey across the continent, from Lagos to Nairobi to Cape Town, as we sought out prominent African investors, whom we engaged to discuss:
- Breaking into VC
- Starting their fund
- Formulating an investment theses
- Navigating the fundraising journey
- Lessons learned from investing in Africa
- Barriers to investing in Africa
- African startup trends and the future
After producing 11 episodes featuring influential figures within the VC industry, we concluded the inaugural season of the series on May 8, 2023. Among the wealth of content, here are the top 5 episodes that garnered the most reader engagement.
Top 5 reader’s favourites
How Maya Horgan Famodu built Ingressive Capital into a pan-African VC powerhouse
Before launching The Investors' Corner, I created a list of potential guests, where Maya's name stood out at the top. Her impressive credentials as a venture capitalist aside, she has made significant contributions to the industry ecosystem. It was only fitting for people to gain more insights into her journey and perspectives on industry matters.
Despite her demanding schedule, Maya was responsive and enthusiastic about the idea of sharing her experiences. She willingly shared her insights and even took the time to review the interview draft afterward.
Once the interview with Maya was published, it garnered substantial attention from readers. The episode was widely read, with Maya discussing her past setbacks in venture capitalism, revealing the key factors driving Ingressive Capital's success, and providing timely advice for aspiring founders.
How Luke Mostert rose from Intern at GreenHouse Capital to Head of Investments at Future Africa
While I had been closely following Future Africa since 2021, it wasn't until Luke Mostert, their former Head of Investments, posted a viral tweet about how to make one’s startup ‘VC backable’ that I knew him. Intrigued, I delved into Luke's background and contacted him for a potential interview. Thankfully, he graciously accepted my invitation, leading to what I consider one of the most remarkable interviews in my career.
During our conversation, it was evident from his demeanor and responses that Luke held a deep passion for venture capital. He delved into his journey of entering the venture capital landscape, recounts his experiences with his first deal, and distills valuable insights gained from his role in steering investments at Future Africa.
The interview, upon release, resonated strongly with BSCL readers, becoming the second most-read edition of The Investors Corner.
"Founders should focus more on their customers and less on fundraising" — Emmanuel Adegboye
In March, an email arrived from Emmanuel Adegboye, who is not only the Head of Madica but also a dedicated follower of our series. Intrigued, I researched and uncovered Emmanuel's extensive background in the startup realm, with notable stints at Andela, Utopia, and his current role at Madica. At Madica, he spearheads a program to provide structured investments to pre-seed-stage companies across Africa.
To my delight, our discussion flowed effortlessly, and it was evident that Emmanuel possessed a wealth of invaluable insights to offer our audience. During our conversation, we delved into topics such as the obstacles encountered by underrepresented African founders and strategies for fortifying the region's tech ecosystem.
How Jasiel Martin-Odoom helped 100+ startups that raised $2.5 billion in funding
I began following Jasiel Martin-Odoom's Twitter account in 2022, and from that point on, I was consistently impressed by the valuable insights he shared. His tweets were particularly relevant for anyone seeking success in the African tech ecosystem. Moreover, his personal journey from investment banking to VC added an inspiring layer to his profile.
Motivated by these intriguing aspects, I approached Jasiel for a feature in The Investors Corner series. He accepted the invitation, resulting in not just one but two interviews. Unfortunately, I lost the recording of the first interview, but this setback didn't deter us.
Throughout our discussions, Jasiel opened up about his transition from Wall Street to the realm of African VC, shedding light on his role at Accion Venture Lab. He also shared invaluable insights into his instrumental contributions in assisting more than 100 startups in securing billions of dollars in funding.
“Why social entrepreneurs need to stop relying on grants” — Karl Nchite, Impact Lead at Goodwell Investment
"I might just have found the ideal candidate for a feature in The Investors Corner," I mused when Karl Nchite introduced himself as an Investment Associate at Goodwell Investments. The prospect of showcasing an investor in the alternative investment space excited me.
However, a concern lingered – would the concept of impact investing resonate with the BSCL audience? Despite my apprehensions, Karl's episode surpassed expectations and claimed the fifth spot in popularity. A fan favorite, the episode demystifies impact investing in Africa and stresses why social entrepreneurs need to stop relying on grants.
We're committed to enhancing the series by elevating the quality and style of our discussions with investors, aiming for greater depth and resonance. But we’d like to hear from you as well.
We invite you to share your thoughts via this form, helping us shape the content for the upcoming season.