Africa-focused Ampion which had called it quits in 2017 has resurrected with a new partnership with Berlin-based Plutos Ventures Holding to found Ampion Ventures to build scalable digital business models in selected African countries.
The biggest question is how will the firm make sure it doesn’t die again or that its portfolio startups won’t go the same route.
Ampion Ventures wil by providing seed capital and strategic expertise support. Plutos Ventures will provide Ampion Ventures with its first seed financing.
Ampion Ventures will be led by Fabian-Carlos Guhl, founder of Ampion.org which had closed shop after working for years on the African continent with founders and early-stage start-ups. Together with Plutos, Ampion is now taking the next logical step to build digital business models in Africa.
“With Plutos Ventures, we are pleased to have an experienced investor on board who will support us strategically in addition to providing capital” said Fabian-Carlos Guhl, Managing Director Ampion Ventures GmbH.
Ampion’s mission was to initiate technological development in the African continent and thus contribute to the well-being of the African people and the continent’s economic development. The organisation sees this as the right time to further develop its model and scale selected business models across Africa.
But there will always be questions. Ampion which ran Ampion Venture Bus, a kind of geeks on a plane model held its first of its kind trip in November 2013 and the firm brought together 41 entrepreneurs from 14 countries from Harare to Cape Town.
Some entrepreneurs got attend hackathons and pitch events and hundreds of entrepreneurs had a chance to build and launch their own innovations.
Sterio.me, a video edtech platform for connecting learners to tutors in Africa was one of the biggest startups to come out of the first Ampion Venture Bus. However, the Ampion bus model was hard. It was more of a hackathon on the road as it enabled ”like-minded young people from across Africa and the world to form partnerships and found startups” in seven days. Ampion’s work was to help the entrepreneurs discover different startup eco- systems, by visiting investors, technology hubs and corporate innovation centers.
Ampion provided the continued education, tools, funding and was a true catalyst for entrepreneurship and innovation across 16 African countries and had planned to expand further. It’s unfortunate that the firm had to close.
“Whether it’s in a co-working space in the western world or a tech-hub in Nairobi, Lagos or Addis, creating a startup is a daunting task that more often than not leads to failure,”Fabian wrote. “Having founded startups in the past ourselves, and beginning Ampion as much of a dream as a plan, we know how difficult it is for entrepreneurs to find their way.
Ampion was an experiment and Africa was the lab.
“When we first ran the Ampion Venture Bus through Southern Africa, my personal goal was to prove that a startup generation concept, which originated in Silicon Valley, could work across Africa. Our team saw a very strong potential in the increased investment and entrepreneurial energy on the continent, facilitating the ability for startups to have a larger effect on a wider range of people,” wrote Fabian-Carlos in his earlier reports.
Oliver Riebartsch, Managing Director Plutos Ventures GmbH gives more life to the resurrected venture right away.
“With Ampion and the start-up bus, Fabian and his team have demonstrated how strong their network is on the African continent and how immensely the will to found start-ups is there. Now, it is a matter of establishing true digital business models to support the development of the African economy.”
Ampion Ventures is focusing on start-ups in the agri-, energy- and fintech sectors. In addition to providing start-up capital, the team offers local start-ups with operational and strategic support, a strong network, and international corporate partnership opportunities. Interested founders and start-ups from around the world with an African focus can now apply to Ampion Ventures for collaboration.
Apply here: https://www.f6s.com/ampionventures/apply