The Kind of Mentors for Angel Investees (Startups/MSMEs)


02nd  October, 2018

By Julius Masaba

Angel investing is a new field in Uganda, very virgin. Many, however don’t understand it, utterly referring it to venture capitalism. I can say it’s near to that but the only difference is that Angel Investors will invest in a startup any amount, a variety of them which Venture Capitalists may not do.

The latter focuses highly on returns and most times can never invest less than $1m. Angel Investors are most likely to be individuals even it not formally affiliated to a firm/company while Venture Capitalists are usually firms/companies that use the funds collected from the contributors, to fund startups.

Anyway, today’s startups or entrepreneurs need a hand early in life especially financial support and that’s when Angels come in, just like our various faiths or religious denominations tell us that a baby is born with a guardian angel. Baby startups need Angels too.

You also recall that, operating Facebook from his garage, Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t have grown so fast and be where he is today hadn’t Peter Thiel (the first Angel Investor for Facebook)threw his $500,000 into the promising startup.

Don’t say that’s Silicon Valley since it’s also possible here in Uganda. We, KAIN — https://kain.co.ug/ (as an Angel Investment Network and you Startups/Entrepreneurs) just need to put our minds to it. Just baby steps needed.

Anyway, one of the benefit of Angel Investing is a thing called ‘Mentorship’, for both Angel Investors and Entrepreneurs. You will realise that in most Angel Networks or Groups, the former have to sacrifice at least some hours in a month (2–3hours) to mentor their investees (startups they have invested in).

That could be from their investment experiences or as serial entrepreneurs themselves in their life. They can also get knowledge from Angel Investment Masterclasses or from members within their networks.

The other day I went through a tweet by Viktoria Business Angels Network (VBAN). They were discussing how they (we Angel Networks) can mentor startups better. They shared a lot of great insights at their second Mentor Camp with VC4Africa, Make-IT-Africa and others.

To give my view, I retweeted by saying that I interact with many startups/entrepreneurs/MSMEs out there and many of them face a lot of challenges. Being young or in their early stages, lack financing/funding is one of the challenges.

They also disclose to me that charting their own course in the respective industry with no guidance (call it Mentorship) is also a problem, especially when they get the funding boost. They need someone knowledgeable in the industry or experience in that kind of business to mentor them. Please visit the link for more https://t.co/wvwHvOV9EP

When am helping them (startups/entrepreneurs/MSMEs), during chit chat they disclose that;

“Julius, you’re helping me a lot here but I also wish I had a mentor in this kind of business”.

The hidden hint there is that most of them want a mentor experienced in that same business or industry. So I thought, maybe it would be better for a fintech startup founder to me mentored by an experienced businessman or serial entrepreneur who has or owns or has invested in the telecom, or mobile payments industry or such technology for a decade or so.

However, interest in the kind of mentor one may need might differ from one startup founder to another. But, when all that has been said, the ball is always in the entrepreneur’s court.

NB: This article first appeared on Medium, by the same author. Click here

About the Writer

Julius Masaba is a private investment researcher and business consultant. He also works with Ablestate, https://www.ablestate.org/ and a WordPress writer/blogger on startups, entrepreneurship, business and finance via. He loves tech.