In a bid to boost the capacity of Africa’s entrepreneurs, Ventures Platform, in partnership with the United States Nigeria Council (USNC), have set-aside $10 million corporate leaders fund aimed at backing proven Nigerian entrepreneurs with domain expertise in building innovative start-ups.
Specifically, the Ventures Platform – USNC corporate leaders fund will target post MVP stage companies, investing up to $250,000 initially, with the potential to follow on in later rounds. Also, it will give Nigeria’s established organizations the opportunity to participate in the next wave of companies that will define the country’s future as an industrialized nation. According to the firm, this announcement is coming on the sidelines of the recent investment and technology summit held at Silicon Valley in the United States (US) to promote Nigeria’s growing tech ecosystem and finding stronger ways to synergise with the Valley’s tech ecosystem players around capital, mentorship and capacity development.
The Nigerian delegation of senior policy-makers and young tech ecosystem actors was led by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, during which the agreement was signed in the U.S. Speaking about the partnership, Kola Aina, Founding Partner of Ventures Platform said, “We are really excited about the opportunity to get Nigerian corporations and corporate leaders involved in supporting the inevitable future, and we are pleased to have such an important organization as the US-Nigeria Council join us to make this journey possible.”
With the participation of selected corporate partners, leaders and executives of major Nigerian organisations and members of the US-Nigeria Council, Aina said that the funds are aimed at supporting them with smart capital to power growth. He explained that investee companies will be strategically aligned with objectives of the fund’s corporate backers who are primarily members of the US-Nigeria Council. Beyond capital, the company’s founding partner also noted that the fund will provide investee companies with access to market and distribution, growth support and partnerships, talent development, technology, and expertise from the fund backers and partners.
In his own response, USNC Executive Director, Eliot Pence, said: “We see the partnership with Ventures Platform as an important step towards USNC’s mission of advancing US-Nigerian commercial relations. The fund will further align the interests of corporations with entrepreneurs and investors. Ultimately, our goal with this partnership is to deepen, diversify and develop the commercial activity in the tech ecosystem and accelerate investor outcomes. We’re thrilled to work with Ventures to advance that.”