SILICON VALLEY to SHEBA VALLEY: Tech Eco System impact in Ethiopia
Ibex Frontier is pleased that our Managing Director Zekarias Amsalu was in Silicon Valley for a second time on January 24-26, 2019 to speak to the Ethiopians in Tech(EiT), this time focusing on Tech Investment policies, regulations and best practices. This is a follow-up meeting to the inaugural meeting Ibex conduced in January 2018 as reported HERE.
The hard-working EiT team in the bay area have planned well for the meeting including inviting registered investment advisers to the meeting that provided insights into the mechanics of investment compliance in the US. The Fire-side chat with our MD followed this presentation by the registered advisers and focused on questions around the below whereby Zekarias provided insights to the audience:-
Understanding Zekarias Amsalu / IBEX Frontier, career path & what led to investment advisory / tech in Ethiopia and starting IBEX? What has been achieved in the last 12 months since the 1st meeting of January 2018?
Understanding the Ecosystem and Landscape in Ethiopia, the current investment landscape, the typical avenues that an entrepreneur can go to for raising capital in Ethiopia & related common challenges that entrepreneurs face in fund raise as well as the differentiation/similarities with other startups based in rest of Africa or US, and some major lessons learned from successes or failures of angle or venture firms in Ethiopia.
Understanding The Mechanics of Investing in Ethiopia compared to venture investing in the US (in terms of valuation of opportunities, due diligence, etc); typical & upcoming exit for a venture investor in Ethiopia; and regulations or policies that need to be kept in mind; Current tech startup landscape and growing verticals.
The need for meticulous compliance both in the US ( accreditation as well as consulting registered investment advisers, for example) as well as defining the 'whys' of investments early enough to decide on the route of investment in Ethiopia was highlighted during the fire-side chat. The panel was then open for audience Q&A, followed-up by refreshment and networking.
Ibex Frontier is pleased to see the 'Siliconvalley-Shebavalley' collaborative initiative our MD Zekarias has been spearheading is bearing fruit with impact in the ground as per the feedback received from the organizers as well as one of the audience members:-
"I would like to extend my gratitude to the hard working EiT founding members and advisory council for the meeting and creating collaborative and enabling platform to enable the Tech community in the US and Ethiopia collaborate in skill transfer, investment as well as job creation; I am very pleased to see some of the audience I met in January 2018, and engaged in followup discussions through the year, have already relocated tech jobs to Ethiopia with an upward growth trajectory this year. Ibex Frontier and myself will remain committed to be a catalyst to such strides and will continue to provide insightful advisory to the tech eco system players," said Zekarias Amsalu.
THE ACTION POINTS
As EiT has outlined in its February newsletter, we here at Ibex will be supporting and collaborating to identify biggest needs in all EiT's 5 pillars: investment, mentorship, policy advisory, consulting, entrepreneurship; increase Tech investment, job creation & skill transfer into Ethiopia and mentor 30+ startups in Ethiopia this year.
Ibex has been providing insightful research and report into Ethiopia's tech eco-system and as a sampler please read the below two reports accessible at our website www.ibexfrontier.com
IBEX DIGEST: 2018 TECH & STARTUP FUNDING for ETHIOPIA
IBEX DIGEST: 2017 TECH & STARTUP FUNDING – ETHIOPIA: Changing The Narrative