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Celebrating Early Stage Investing at #AAIS2017
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Celebrating Early-Stage Investing in Africa at #AAIS2017

Last week Africa's early-stage investor community came together in Cape Town for the 4th annual African Angel Investor Summit 2017, organised by ABAN in partnership with VC4A and SABAN. Over 300 attendees spent four days exchanging best practice, sharing lessons and plotting the roadmap for the future of early-stage investing in Africa.

Take a look at our video showcase, key insights and image gallery, highlighting some of our favourite takeaways from #AAIS2017. For more photographs, click here.

#AAIS2017 Video Highlights
#AAIS2017 Key Insights
Inspired by our friends at Starttech Ventures, here's some initial insights from #AAIS2017.
  • Angel investing in Africa is still in an embryonic stage, although it is becoming more and more common practice, with varying degrees across the different nations.
  • Local knowledge is a key asset for investors wanting to invest across Africa. The intricacies of each of the individual African markets can not be underestimated.
  • VC investing is lagging behind the western world. This presents a significant opportunity for new and smaller VC players on the continent but also in the US and Europe to get the upper hand by focusing on African deals.
  • Although there’s a strong problem-solving mindset in the region, it has proven very tough to implement or address Pan-African solutions.
#AAIS2017 VIP Cocktails
#AAIS2017 Day 1
  • Sponsors, such as The World Bank, are vital as there is a long way to go before national policy makers introduce incentives for angel investing in Africa.
  • Non-African founders appear to attract funding more easily. There needs to be a closer examination of what is driving this trend; whether it creates 'system risk' for the start-up/VC investing asset class; and what interventions are needed to building a more robust base of local capital providers, and entrepreneurs.
  • The endless pursuit of 'Unicorn' status at the expense of building sustainable companies is not constructive for the ecosystem.
  • Everyone has a role to play in building the ecosystem - the entrepreneurs and investors as well as governments and policy makers.
  • Events celebrating entrepreneurship are driving a startup culture in Africa. They are the best way of bringing communities together and connecting investors.
#AAIS2017 Day 1
Link to Facebook Photo Gallery
Who Attended #AAIS2017?
75 expert speakers shared their knowledge over two days in 11 keynotes, 9 panels, 5 interactive workshops and 1 fireside chat. Furthermore, the top 20 scale-ups graduating from the first XL Africa Accelerator, powered by the World Bank, pitched their solutions to investors representing over 80 angel networks, VC's and family offices.

Next to the investor community we also welcomed delegates from The World Bank, the IFC, the AfDB, The European Union; and representatives from the governments for South Africa, Norway (NORAD) and Finland; amongst many others.

Do you want to learn more about the XL Africa cohort, or receive the XL Africa Dealbook? Please contact the XL Africa team here.
#AAIS2017 In the News Banner
#AAIS2017 In the News:
CGTN Africa Global Business Report
CGTN Africa Global Business Report [Video]
Cape Town Summit Promotes Investment in African Start-ups
Disrupt Africa [Article] |
Kenya’s Sendy Raises $3m Funding Round
Global Entrepreneurship Network
Global Entrepreneurship Network [Article]
How Early-Stage Investors Are Moving Africa Forward
IonoFm [Radio Soundbite] |
World Bank Parades Top 20 Digital Startups at AAIS2017
Ventureburn
Ventureburn [Article]
Taking Aim at Silicon Valley Model of Building African Start-ups
Starttech Ventures [Article] |
What We Learned at AAIS2017

Feedback from the Experts:


ABAN President, Tomi Davies
"#AAIS celebrates the transition of Africa’s entrepreneurship ecosystem - from startups to scale-ups - as evidenced by the combination of angels and VC's who came together in Cape Town to understand the next phase in the journey of the 20 XL Africa ventures." ~ H. Tomi Davies, ABAN
Keet van Zyl, Knife Capital
"While I would love to see some African Unicorns in the club, the endless pursuit of Unicorn status at the expense of building sustainable companies is not constructive for the ecosystem. I’d rather back some scalable high-growth Gazelles on their path to sustainability/exit!" ~ Keet van Zyl, Knife Capital

What's Next For ABAN in 2017?


High Growth Africa Summit 2017
High Growth Africa Summit 2017
Join the African Business Angel Network team at the High Growth Africa Summit 2017 in Lagos, running from 21-22 November, organised by our good friends from Ingressive and Starta.
| Visit the Website|| Register to Attend |
DEMO Africa Johannesburg 2017
DEMO Africa Johannesburg 2017
Meet the President of ABAN, Tomi Davies at DEMO Africa in Johannesburg, 23-24 November. DEMO Africa is one of the flagship initiatives of LIONS@frica and aims to connect African startups to the global ecosystem. 
| Visit the Website|| Register to Attend |
5th African Union - EU Summit 2017
5th African Union - EU Summit 2017
Join ABAN President, Tomi Davies alongside ABAN Co-founder, Ben White to watch their keynote speeches at the 6th EU-Africa Business Forum, which will take place between 27-30 November in Abidjan. 
| EU Summit|| Business Forum |
Rise Up Summit + ABAN Mastercalss
Rise Up Summit + ABAN Mastercalss
David van Dijk will join Ben White in Cairo to speak at the Rise Up Summit, scheduled for 1-3 December. Plus, catch the ABAN Investor Masterclass, 5 December, organised in partnership with Innoventures and VC4A.
| Rise Up Summit|| ABAN Masterclass |
Business for Africa Forum 2017
Business for Africa Forum 2017
Join Rebecca Enonchong, Alexandra Fraser and Ben White, who will be representing ABAN and the African Early Stage Investor Community at the Africa 2017 Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 7-9 December.
| Visit the Website|| Register to Attend |
Seedstars Africa, Maputo 2017
Seedstars Africa, Maputo 2017
Meet some of Africa's most exciting innovators as Seedstars hosts their final event of their Africa tour in Maputo on December 14, bringing together the best entrepreneurs from across Africa for a regional summit. 
| Visit the Website|| Register to Attend |






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