After the success of ABAN – the African Business Angel Network, the Finnish Business Angels Network and Lagos Angel Network which have provided helpful examples to follow as well, a new chapter for South Africa is launching with plans to be biggest business angel network south of Africa.
SABAN was conceptualized at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2016 in Medellin, Colombia, several South African stakeholders to help build an angel investment ecosystem in their country.
The first concrete conversations on starting SABAN started as recently as May 2016, but there has been incredible progress so far. Among those consulted and supportive so far are the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Newtown Partners, Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, Entrepreneur Traction, GBAN, Silicon Cape, SiMODiSA, VC4Africa, Clifftop Colony, Knife Capital, SA Enterprise Development, DEMO Africa, Venture Networks, French Tech Hub, Methys and Jozi Angels. Early support has also been shown by the South African Department of Trade and Industry, who attended EBAN’s Annual Congress 2016 in Porto, and are willing to help connect SABAN with the European Commission.
SABAN will be the first ever national non-profit network. Additionally, there is little data regarding business angel activity in the country, however, their number is surmised to be somewhere between 20 and 50 publically known business angels. On a related note, SABAN also aims to increase the amount of information available on early stage market players in South Africa.
Another, even bigger launch event for SABAN is set to take place in November in Cape Town, and by early 2017 SABAN is expected to be in full force. The organization is headed by a steering committee of Chris Campbell, Bodo Sieber, CEO of Tagmarshal and Mvikeli Hlophe (fund manager at SA Enterprise).
Many of the key individuals helping drive SABAN forward are familiar to EBAN – Audrey Mothupi (NFBAN Board Member), Craig Mullet, Anthony Farr, Vuyisa Qabaka, Alexandra Fraser, Dean Cannell, David van Dijk, Ben White, Tomi Davies, Llew Claasen, Matsi Modise, Elizabeth Gould, Garreth Bloor, Anthony Record, Christophe Viarnaud, Rebecca Enonchong and Abu Cassim. Candace Johnson and Baybars Altuntas have both been in contact with Chris regularly helping provide additional impetus to SABAN.