Bill Zimmerman is a serial entrepreneur having successfully built and sold companies. He is the founder of Cameroon’s leading technology incubator ActivSpaces. Having lived in Cameroon for four years Bill has a unique insight into what it takes to build a technology driven company in Africa. He has worked side by side with entrepreneurs and played an instrumental role in helping build some of Cameroon’s most promising startups. Bill is a founding member of AfriLabs, a network of African technology incubators, and is a driving force behind VC4Africa, a peer to peer network for connecting entrepreneurs with network, information and capital needed to grow and scale their business.
Find Bill Zimmerman on Twitter @billzimmerman (Hover over the link to the left for more options)
Ben White is a serial entrepreneur who joined his first startup at the age of 24. He helped build AfricaReport CNBC in South Africa and later joined the social venture Africa Interactive to launch AfricaNews.com, now a media network comprised of more than 2000 African based reporters, photographers and film makers. Ben has done extensive ethnographic research on the emergence of software cultures in and around Kampala, Uganda. He helped establish the East Africa ICT Entrepreneurship program at Hivos and has taught a course in Interactive Media and Entrepreneurship at the HvA. Ben is a founding member of AfriLabs, a network of African technology incubators. In 2007 he founded VC4Africa as a community for entrepreneurs and investors dedicated to building innovative companies in Africa.
Find Ben White on Twitter @zia505 (Hover over the link to the left for more options)
Founder and CEO, Realmdigital
Driven by a passion for software and problem solving, Wesley Lynch founded Realmdigital in 1999. Wesley, a technology entrepreneur, has over a decade of experience in the financial, business and software development industries; gained both locally and during his time in the UK. He is deeply involved in producing innovative technology solutions for African and international businesses and regularly shares his knowledge and experience through participation in various industry events.
Motivated by a strong belief that collaboration is essential for business and industry success, Wesley co-founded MyTrueSpark, a business that aims to provide mentorship and advisory services to start-ups as well as investors. Wesley is regularly involved in giving advice to tech start-ups looking for funding, as well as to venture capitalists and angel investors looking to invest. In 2011 Wesley was named as one of the “38 emerging South African tech entrepreneurs to watch” in the Old Mutual Entrepreneurs guide.
In his spare time Wesley enjoys travelling with his Chef wife Sam and their two kids.
Find Wesley Lynch on Twitter @wesleylynch (Hover over the link to the left for more options)
MyTrueSpark is a consultancy founded in 2011 by a team combining roughly 30 years of experience in software and technical development, finance and venture capital. We introduce established businesses to trading online as well as assisting early stage businesses to enter the market and grow online, dealing with both the technical and business challenges. Furthermore, MyTrueSpark is a portal to reach funders and investors (including Angel, Venture Capital and Private Equity) for business owners looking for investment to grow their businesses or realise the value created in their business. We source the appropriate investor and facilitate the transaction. To that end MyTrueSpark is a co-founder of AngelHub, South Africa’s first formalized Angel Investor Group.
Business Development Manager, Invenfin
Alexandra joined the Invenfin team in 2009 after completed her Masters in International Business and Emerging Markets (cum laude) as a Chevening scholar, at the University of Edinburgh’s Business School. Her degree focused on finance and technology management, with her thesis analysing the Venture Capital Industry in South Africa.
Alexandra is involved in sourcing, managing and assessing all new investment proposals for Invenfin, using her technical and business background to achieve this. She is also responsible for the organisation’s marketing and communications, regularly speaking at conferences, guest lecturing and writing articles on entrepreneurship, fund raising, venture capital and intellectual property. Alexandra also has a B.SC in Molecular and Cell Biology and Post Graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurial Management from the University of Cape Town and has worked for a number of companies in South Africa, Australia and the United Kingdom. She is passionate about entrepreneurship and has worked closely with Government, University Technology Transfer Offices and the Private Sector in the start-up space.
Find Alexandra Fraser on Twitter @anfraser (Hover over the link to the left for more options)
Johanna Kollar runs Start-Up Support programs in emerging markets for Google. One key pillar of Google Africa’s strategy is building a sustainable internet ecosystem; she focuses on facilitating the development of Tech Hubs across Africa and pilot program initiatives such as Umbono, which showcase technology as a platform for entrepreneurship. Prior to Google, Johanna was a technical consultant working in West Africa, an MBA student at Tuck, a strategy consultant inside PE portfolio companies, and an investment associate at Marlow. She also spent 2 years on business development activities in the Google office operations in Johannesburg back in the “start-up days.” She brings a decade of Africa geographic experience and multi-disciplinary insights to all her business endeavors.