The RAN lab team organized an enlightening and informative investment workshop on raising capital for growth for the CDI innovators (M-Omulimisa and Akorion) on Friday, February 8th, 2019 at the RAN Lab Innovation space. This interactive full day workshop was delivered by expert facilitators from OpenCapital advisors. Open Capital Advisors (OCA) is a management consulting and financial advisory firm that drives growth, enables investment, and builds markets across Africa. They support businesses, investors, development partners, and the public sector to identify opportunities and deliver unique, impactful solutions. Since 2010, they have supported businesses to raise more than $450M in capital across 20 African markets.
The workshop was organized on the premise that Private equity investing is a major source of capital in developed and emerging economies and is steadily becoming a recognized source of capital in Sub-Saharan Africa. Still, equity investing is a relatively new concept for many start-ups in Uganda and more specifically for the projects we have been supporting in the RAN innovation portfolio, and as a result, enterprises struggle to find and attract the much needed growth capital.
It was thus a great opportunity for these teams to learn about the investment ecosystem. The facilitators walked the teams through an elaborate process with hands-on exercises and interactive activities on how to prepare their businesses and internal operations to get investment ready. They covered topics on investment landscape analysis, understanding the different types of investors currently in the market and their investment priorities, the different types of investment structures that exist in the market, what it means for a business to be “investment ready” and expectations of every investor prior to making investment; highlighting what investors find attractive, the Investor process detailing the standard steps that take place, measuring and reporting social impact for investor outreach and crowned the day with mock-up pitches to an Investor in the room.
The innovator teams acknowledged the importance of this workshop and profoundly noted that they were so much enlightened on what to prepare inhouse as they start to approach investors. “We feel more empowered to access investment opportunities, to negotiate better fees and to drive enhanced returns for our enterprises”; noted William the CEO of Akorion.
As a continuous learning culture at the RAN lab, we always have new insights to share with innovators teams in the business workshops we organize and so this was one of the exceptional ones and it was also open to other projects like the ;SafeBangle, YiYa, The Patient assistant robot that took part and found it truly helpful.