Savannah Fund Partners With PIVOT East to End NGO Hype in East Africa


savannah-fundKnowledge of Venture Capital funding in Africa is inadequate, so is the experience these founders have dealing with V.C’s as most of them get NGO/Grant funding.

In a blog post mid this month, Mbwana Alliy, Managing Partner Savannah Fund said,

Many in Kenya are just looking for funding when they should also be  looking to get trained in the necessary skills to absorb capital to build startups- startups are about high impact people. People should not be doing high growth, high impact startups if they can’t bear the risks and aren’t capable of learning on the job (we address this somewhat with accelerators that take up way more time than investors and even donors will give us credit for)- by startups, I mean the real risky stuff- startups = growth. Too many so called startups are really going after grant money or consulting projects and marketing themselves as startups.

In a move to increase odds of the startups accessing more capital for growth, the m:lab has entered a partnership with Savannah fund to take this year’s five competition winners through a venture capital (VC) course.

Savannah fund will therefore sponsor five winning startups of PIVOT East to attend an executive education programme on VC investment. The course will be hosted by Savannah Fund in conjunction with the University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business and Knife Capital at the iHub in Nairobi on 29th – 30th  July. The VC course will help entrepreneurs learn how to identify and create winning opportunities, and how to position themselves competitively for venture investment.

Also, PIVOT East has put together a fireside chat panel on the morning of 25th June to help discuss the role of hype and compare the nature of startup ecosystems objectively. The session speakers are from the Silicon Valley, Tel aviv and the Berlin startup ecosystems while Erik Hersman will represent  the East Africa tech space.

The 25 startups who will be pitching at the finalists conference were selected from a pool of 50 semi-finalists. The list of finalists comprises 1 startup from Ethiopia, 1 from Tanzania, 5 from Uganda and 18 from Kenya. Startups from the larger East African region including Rwanda , Burundi and South Sudan were eligible for the competition.