VC4A, an organization that connects Africa's startup entrepreneurs with the knowledge, support programs, mentors and investors they need, has announced a call for African startups that are at the stage where they want to scale to pitch at their Venture Showcase - Series A virtual event in October 2020. According to VC4A, they are looking for "10 innovative, high-growth scale-ups" who operate in Africa, are already generating revenue, and are looking to raise a Series A funding round of up to $10 million.

Added to this,VC4A has enlisted Amazon Web Services (AWS), through its AWS Activate program, as a technical partner for the Venture Showcase. "We’re very pleased to see AWS join in the shared mission to grow and help scale Africa's best startups. AWS brings unparalleled expertise and global infrastructure into the mix, and where the Showcase companies receive direct access," Β said Ben White, founder and director at VC4A.

β€œThe Venture Showcase - now in its 4th year - has established itself as the premier platform for presenting the best companies ready for Series A from across the continent. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need to come together virtually as an industry and to collaborate on deals is more necessary than ever. Especially now, the world needs to recognize the quality of innovation and entrepreneurship taking up across the continent and the unique opportunity to be part of major success stories,” added White

The Tefo Mohapi Show: Kamran Elahian on building and investing in startups and how to boost innovation in Africa

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Growing and investing in startups in Africa

Often times innovators and startups that operate in Africa raise the argument that it is difficult to get funding to scale their ideas. Over the past decade, there has been an improvement in the number of venture capital funds investing in startups that operate in Africa.

However, another angle to look at this is twofold.

Firstly is the question of how many innovations or startups are scalable and have the potential to grow at a rate that makes sense for venture capital funds to invest in them. Secondly, is the question of how ready these startups are for investment as far as the founders' knowledge and experience go.

The latter is also a role that VC4A hopes to address.

Building high growth startups

Started in 2007, VC4A has punted itself as an organization that is building a network and community of investors, mentors and startups across Africa. The aim, according to the organization, is to build high growth and high impact companies globally.

To this effect, they have developed an online Startup Academy that offers industry insights, startup tools, and methodologies needed to take them to the next level. They also highlight and offer programs for aspiring entrepreneurs, venture founders and developers.One of these, started in 2017, is their annual Africa Early Stage Investor Summit.

The companies selected for the 2020 edition will digitally convene and engage the leading VC funds, impact investors, accelerators, corporate venture divisions, industry associations, and public sector agencies.

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