2014 NEW VENTURE COMPETITION

A HUGE congratulations to the finalists at the New Venture Competition:

Grand Prize: WAVE Hospitality (http://www.wavehospitality.org/)
Viewer's Choice: Save & Buy (http://shop.saveandbuy.com.ng/)

Also, a special mention to TalentBase, the runner up for the final round of NVC pitches.

Thank you to all of you who turned in applications, and the finalists who pitched yesterday. We look forward to seeing you all do great things in your startups.

Until Next Year!


The African Entrepreneur is at the fore front of economic growth and human capital development in Africa. Our goal is to promote entrepreneurship on the continent: Entrepreneurs accelerating Africa - One Idea at a time. 

The Africa Business Club at Harvard Business School is pleased to announce its first new venture competition at its Annual Africa Business Conference.

10 finalist entries will be selected to pitch to an experienced panel of judges. We have a $10,000 Grand Prize and a $5,000 People’s Choice prize which will be awarded at the conference.

Meet the Finalists

We received several amazing applications and while it was a rigorous process, We have 10 finalists for the New Venture Competition on March 1st. The finalists are:

  1. Workforce (South Africa)
  2. Farmerline (Ghana)
  3. Save & Buy (Nigeria)
  4. Sterio.me (South Africa)
  5. TalentBase (Nigeria)
  6. NaijaWorkman (Nigeria)
  7. UpStream Analytics (Kinshasa, DRC & Washington, DC)
  8. CallBase (Nigeria)
  9. Kadi Energy (Ghana)
  10. WAVE (Nigeria)

We have a $10,000 Grand Prize and a $5,000 People’s Choice prize which will be awarded at the conference.

Please direct any questions to nvc@africabusinessconference.com.

Meet the Judges

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Tobi Oke - Investment Director, SubSaharan Africa, Intel Capital

Tobi Oke is Intel Capital’s Investment Director for Africa. Tobi possesses a unique blend of investment and technology skills. Prior to joining Intel Capital, Tobi was an Associate Director at Standard Chartered Private Equity in Lagos and Investment Associate at HSBC Principal Investments in London. He worked as Senior Consultant at Booz & Company and software engineer and Product Manager at Motorola. Tobi holds an MBA from London Business School and a MEng in Information Systems Engineering from Imperial College in London.



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Olubunmi Otegbade, Co-Founder, StrategyQ

Bunmi is an entrepreneurial strategy consultant and social investor. Deeply passionate about Africa, he believes that MSMEs are the foundation upon which Africa’s rapid growth will be sustained. He co-founded StrategyQ, an SME advisory company to stabilize and deepen the roots of small African businesses. StrategyQ recently developed 1-PagePlan.com, a venture-financing site designed to significantly improve access to finance for 2,500 SME businesses in the next 2 years.

A firm believer in enterprise solutions to poverty, Bunmi launches youth-run businesses in “bottom-of-the-pyramid” markets to create sustainable social transformation in Africa through his non-profit, Generation Enterprise. By adapting Silicon Valley startup concepts, poor, undereducated youth in Nigeria establish innovative businesses that create wealth and jobs for themselves and their communities. Generation Enterprise has now co-created over 40 businesses and plugs them into local supply chains, moving the otherwise precarious youth from the informal sector to formal business.

Prior to his entrepreneurial pursuits, Bunmi was a consultant with KPMG where he advised 3 of Africa’s biggest companies in cement manufacturing, telecoms and banking across Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, South Africa. He is a strong advocate for improving access to finance for Africa’s youth. He has spoken at International Labor Organization Work4Youth conference, TEDxLagos, TV stations and has received the KPMG Africa Chairman’s Social Innovation Award, LEAP Africa Social Innovation Award amongst others. He co-founded and sits on the board several non-profit ventures including GenVoices.org, Unveiling Africa Foundation, Engineers with a Mission, and Kinnect. He holds a BSc. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Baylor University, TX.

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J. Skyler Fernandes, 
Venture Capitalist, Centripetal Capital Partners

J. Skyler Fernandes is a partner at Centripetal Capital Partners, a multi-stage venture capital fund with an innovative fund structure. Mr. Fernandes focuses on consumer internet, online services / marketplaces, enterprise SaaS, and commercializable high-tech. Centripetal invests $250K-$3M per round (up to $7M-10M over the life of a company), and maintains a portfolio balanced in return multiples ranging from 3-20x+ on capital invested. Mr. Fernandes is also the founding partner of One Match Ventures, a seed fund focused on internet / high-tech companies. 

Mr. Fernandes gave the first TED Talk on Venture Capital: Innovating the Financing of Innovation (Watch TED Talk: http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxConnecticutCollege-Skyler-F), and has developed key entrepreneur resources, such as The “Best” Startup Pitch Deck, Top 10 Lies Entrepreneurs Tell Investors, and Various Rounds of Investment. 

Mr. Fernandes has co-founded several companies and is an advisor to a number of startups. Mr. Fernandes also leads a number of global initiatives, including the Missing Middle Initiative, launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, focused on creating funds that invest $100K-$3M, a critical financing gap for early-mid stage businesses globally. He is a venture mentor at ER Accelerator, a New York City incubator, as well as the Stamford Innovation Center. Additionally, Mr. Fernandes served as COO and is currently on the Board of Directors of the South African Chamber of Commerce in America (SACCA). 

Mr. Fernandes graduated a year early from New York University summa cum laude, due to his studies at Harvard University in Quantum Physics and Foreign Policy.