Dream VC returns in force to democratize knowledge and access to the venture capital space in Africa

Dream VC is an investor accelerator and community-driven educational platform providing rigorous remote programs centered specifically around venture capital across Africa’s startup ecosystems. Their educational programs help passionate individuals get the knowledge, the experience and the network they need to get started in Venture Capital or land top roles at VC funds around Africa.

After launching a small scale program in 2021, they are now back, at a much larger scale, and with success to show for their efforts. More than 90% of the fellows who graduated from the inaugural program went on break into venture capital; with some joining new and established firms such as Ajim Capital, Akribos Capital, LoftyInc Wennovate, Oui Capital, and Lateral Capital – while others are busy writing checks as angels or setting up their own syndicates and funds in emerging ecosystems like Mozambique, Côte D’Ivoire, Rwanda, and others.

Now, Dream VC is running a massive expansion with their 2022 programs and is keen to engage, educate and upskill a much larger untapped investor talent pool, hoping to become ‘The Go-To Launchpad For Aspiring Investors in Africa’. This year they are running 2 programs equipped with an impressive 500h+ of content and more than triple the contact hours fellows get with the Dream VC staff.

The 2022 programs are set to run from June to September (for the “Launch into Venture Capital“) and from June to October (for the “Investor Accelerator“) programs. The first is a foundational VC fellowship for young working professionals keen on pipelining into entry-level positions in VC or other investment firms. At the same time, the latter is geared towards experienced professionals [with a significant operator, entrepreneurial, or advisory background] who have the capital and network to pivot into an ecosystem-building VC career.

The last few years have seen exponential growth in entrepreneurial adoption. This is only further enabled by rapid increases in the publicity of startups and startup founders – but the investment world has dragged behind. Even as funding has increased, most of this has been concentrated in select deals (48% of total funding for startups in Africa went to just 12 companies), and over 50% of investors are international.

“People are saying entrepreneurship can help to catapult countries across the continent into digital transformation, but this simply cannot happen without an equivalent level of support from the private capital sector,” Adds Mark Kleyner, Dream VC’s Co-Founder and program Director.

Mark Kleyner, Co-Founder and program Director of Dream VC

This is where Dream VC see themselves plugging in, teaching fellows across both programs with an immersive 0 to 100 knowledge acceleration about the VC space covering everything from Deal Sourcing and Due Diligence to the varied ways VCs can add value and support companies throughout their investment, exploring complicated topics like Syndication, Angel and VC investments and even the legalities of setting up VC Funds or Angel Groups to invest in African startups.

While international interest is now putting African startups in the spotlight, there are still very few support systems for aspiring local investors and opportunities for working professionals to break into VC on the continent. Dream VC exists to change this and has ambitious plans to enable the next wave of aspiring investors by building the communities, the educational infrastructure, and the environment to thrive and add maximum value to startups in multiple African startup ecosystems.

“At the end of the day, working in countries like Nigeria or Kenya, founders across the continent often are faced with major obstacles – and there is still a lot that must change about perceptions of investing or building startups in Africa. Investors need to be much more hands-on and add a lot more value than just money to build sustainable, scalable businesses. And this can’t be done without including and enabling local leaders to be more active in the VC space,” remarks Cindy Ai, the other Co-Founder and program Director of Dream VC. “We aren’t just accelerating a new wave of check-writers. We are catalyzing the next generation of African ecosystem builders.”

Cindy Ai, the other Co-Founder and program Director of Dream VC

Applications for both programs go live on March 8th and will be processed on a rolling basis until the final deadline on May 1st 2022, at 11:59 pm GMT. The Launch into Venture Capital Fellowship specifically also has an Early Bird Deadline on April 1st, 2022, at 11:59 pm GMT in addition to the final deadline on May 1st. Interested applicants can find more about both program applications here.

The programs are expected to be extremely competitive, so prospective fellows are highly encouraged to apply early. Although Dream VC’s core programs are paid, several generous scholarships are available, so highly motivated applicants in need of financial support are still strongly encouraged to apply.

Dream VC Co-Founders Cindy Ai and Mark Kleyner are active ecosystem builders, advisors and investors in African startups.

Photo source: www.dream-vc.com

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