November 9, 2010, Amsterdam
Today, VC4Africa (http://www.vc4africa.biz) starts the first African online venture capital matchmaking platform. Many investors are looking for businesses to get involved with but have difficulties finding promise. At the same time many businesses seek knowledge, capital, and practical support. Without matchmaking their potential is never realized, hindering economic growth.
Ben White, founder of VC4Africa, shares the problem with many business plan platforms, “Ever go to a website where you had to spend 3-4 hours uploading your business plan? And maybe then you never hear from a real person again? There is probably nothing more frustrating to an entrepreneur. I mean let’s face it, time is money and every second you spend on documentation you could spend doing business.”
“With VC4Africa.biz’s matchmaking platform, we do things differently. Using Plan Cruncher, we can get your plan online with a few simple mouse clicks. Any entrepreneur can breeze through the questions (with a Twitter limit of 140 characters) and actually have fun selecting the icons. Before you know it, you have crunched your business idea into one page and it’s online,” shares White.
Investors and other members can quickly scan ideas and ask entrepreneurs questions, if they need clarification. They can also like business ideas and help rank it to the top of the list. The platform captures all of this activity and interaction. At the end of the day, it’s the best ideas and the most serious entrepreneurs who claim the top spot. “It is these entrepreneurs that are the most likely to secure investment,” adds White.
VC4Africa.biz also addresses the due diligence issue for investors interested in Africa. It costs too much time and capital to find genuine entrepreneurs with a solid business idea and plan. As a result, most existing funds seek large deals and better margins. Micro-credit is limited in its ability to support high growth businesses, this results in entrepreneurs with potential, struggling on the sideline.
VC4Africa.biz solves these issues by applying innovative technology that leverages the power of the crowd. Anyone anywhere in the world is able to positively contribute to the development of African businesses with their own competencies and interests.
The VC4Africa community currently consists of 10.000 members worldwide. Business ideas have been registered through the website and entrepreneurs are seeing benefit. VC4Africa works to visualize the continent’s business potential. VC4Africa has the ultimate goal to contribute to a paradigm shift focusing on transparency and entrepreneurship as leading agents for development. VC4Africa wants to become the one-stop shop for African business development. Louis, a VC4Africa member, says “Being an entrepreneur, I’ve been around the block when it comes to sites of this nature. And I must say – awesome! If you are able to attract investors successfully, this will become the one-stop shop for African business development. The site is easy to use and best of all, unique.”
VC4Africa is a truly global initiative with the team working from Cameroon, Kenya, The Netherlands, and the USA. Events (or what the community calls VC4Africa Meetups) have already been hosted in Kigali, Kampala, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Lagos, Tunis, San Francisco, Atlanta, Washington DC, New York, London and Amsterdam.
Open up! Now is the time. Let’s connect!
VC4Africa is an initiave by Ben White (Founder, Amsterdam), Bill Zimmerman (Founder ActivSpaces, Cameroon) and Bart Lacroix (Founder 1%Club, Amsterdam).
VC4Africa is an online community dedicated to connecting innovative, Africa-based entrepreneurs (and their ideas) with access to knowledge, markets and capital– i.e. mentors, business partners and investors. The focus is on entrepreneurs with innovative projects that apply new technology, new media, the web, mobile and green energy.
For further information, contact: