What sort of Founder are You?
...the tree is only as good as the seed planted
Welcome to a new week to build
Today we share an article from Kola Aina, Founding Partner at Ventures Platform, an early-stage “discovery” venture capital fund championing the next generation of African entrepreneurs. He is a leading executive and board director who combines a powerful mix of entrepreneurial, investment, and technical experience across diverse industries.
A passionate ecosystem builder, Kola is also the Founder of Ventures Park, a co-working space and community for entrepreneurs as well as Ventures Platform Foundation, which empowers entrepreneurs by providing access to capital, education and digital resources and advocates for entrepreneur-friendly policy.
There is nothing our ecosystem needs much more of than having very high quality founders.
I am aware that a handful of “us” have argued on various fora that our ecosystem needs more investment; more success stories; more government support; and even our own geographic “Silicon Valley.”
While all these are noble desires, I strongly believe that having great founders will naturally attract everything else.
As I speak to various VC’s, funders and accelerators, one gets a feeling that certain founders that have gone ahead to be successful from our market have set a bar that perhaps new founders just aren’t reaching as much or at the right velocity to match the global interest in our market.
There is nothing we need more urgently than this. We need more Sim’s, more Jason’s, more Shola’s, more Kendal’s, more E’s, more Mark’s, more Tayo’s, more Oluyomi’s, — just to name a few.
So, what is it that these guys have in common? Can others develop these attributes? I think so. What are these attributes?
- A very clear vision of the future.
- Grit, powered by a hunger for success and impact that is palpable and evident.
- Ambition that is beyond raising that next round or getting on Techcrunch.
- A clear understanding of the business, its key metrics and how value can be multiplied.
- Disciplines like punctuality, courtesy, and timely feedback.
- Accountability and understanding the place of regular reporting and the like.
- Appreciation for the perspective of the foreign or local investor and then empathizing around that.
- A global or at least Pan African view.
- Integrity and solid bank of social capital.
- Compelling story backed by a clear, urgent and personal “why.”
As we look to develop our ecosystem, let us remember that the tree is only as good as the seed planted, and so great companies will be built around great founders.
At VP we continue to work to identify founders with a natural knack for the above character sets and support them as they grow and build successful businesses.
My people, my people; we can do it!
There you have it,
I hope this has helped you.
Which of the attributes do you already possess? Which do you plan to cultivate?
Tell us with the “response’’ icon.
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