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The Unsung Tantrums of Entrepreneurs and Startup Founders in Africa

  • June 5, 2017
  • 8 min read
The Unsung Tantrums of Entrepreneurs and Startup Founders in Africa

Today marks 1 year since Incubate Africa was born and Many Thanks to All those who have been with us on the journey. As Founders, we have Stories and struggles behind us and our baby startups, we have inspirations, we have pain, we have sleepless nights and antisocial behaviours during the moment you want you and your startup time, I say you have not seen your daylight friends for quite some time, all you have been doing is feeding binary into the machine,  market research, and some, finding vulnerabilities in the markets: Let me tell you quite a little tale of behind the scenes behind the blog first yet:

“At that dire moment you want to quit your employment ( of which I did ), you have no any other way of generating income, the last salary you get is to cater for debts and perhaps act as a token to some special people in your life, by then I was earning $100 dollars, split around $60 for the debts, $20 for the tokens, the rest $20 you have to get personal stuff and plan for your monthly budget, within the second day after payday your cash is over.”

” So the last $20 actually I was torn for it. I have an Idea but I can’t really do without necessities, I approached a close and great  best-friend, I spoke my mind, every bit I wanted and needed, after a pretty long mockery  and laughter, I gave up the necessities and bought the domain days after the talk that’s on June 15th, I am pretty good with WP,  took me the whole night to put the site up with the first article ( With a few contents of plagiarism, I do confess ), Then guess what?  My mentor and so now Partner asked me my main aim with the blog ( that’s when I knew It was more than blogging what I felt), I spoke it out, I never wanted to make it a regular blog,  just but another 2.0 Tech blog. So he dived in, gave me Ideas and told me the way forward, I totally bought them in and dismissed the rest I’m glad he rode on my idea rather than fight it. We fought over designs he is more colourful now you can see why our logo is that colourful. For the current Readers probably don’t know the first look of the blog:”

So the few past days I spent my time hearing stories from other entrepreneur’s and founder’s stories, what they have passed through, what their mind is like, the pain of the ecosystem*, the frustrations and the goodwill wishes and lots of what I could learn about. So at first I wanted to know in our ecosystem what has made them Angry (suppose not the best diction), I had a couple of great answers and suggestions and it got interesting as time went by.

  •  P1 – ” actually what I think it’s that we have a gap, a gap in skill set, a gap of knowledge – in this sense many founders like the skills to move from one step to  another, bearing in mind many founders have to do things on their own before getting  a hold of others into the team.”
  •  P2 – ” The fact that People don’t want to work hard to create the value of the product, they don’t want to ensure the product is fully tested and safe for beta or full release, many founders just want to rush to the VC stage, rush for the capital , this really brands the ecosystem as a shady business”
  • P3 –  Actually this was an Interesting one “People should quit the co-founder and founder games: we really should ought first to know the meaning before we start proclaiming these names. ”   So according to my third person he wants anyone proclaiming to be a founder should have a really tangible startup and fully registered, quite hard to argue with his opinions.

Secondly, most of us really don’t speak out our frustrations, at your specific stage in the growth plane, we assume many know, we assume consumers know, mentors know, VCs know of which is quite a task you, need help and you must speak it out:

  •   P1 – ” The Return revenue, taking, for instance, 88mph, they quitted the early age startups because they really don’t have resources to stabilise them, the same happens  to our startups if it’s out here and not bringing funds in it is actually a bogus business, a stale child, and this is really frustrating when you pocket out and not in.”
  • P2 – “Actually, I think what leads to frustration is the lack of consistency, we lack a team that can actualize the concept mainframe of the startup, Secondly, we don’t really learn our market, the ins and out. This is a strong foothold one should do before getting into the ecosystem. Adding other things which I am not sure to relate to the question is that We lack support from each other, all round from the VC’s to startups  and Mentors and also the team, a small non-sensible argument or misunderstanding creates a breach between the parties even if it could be beneficial to either of us, so letting a Conflict mature and know all the facts can help.”

Thirdly, i believe we all are at a certain stage in the startup world, Idea, idea implementation, market or funding and either of these you do consider as a difficult stage, by any chance you hear the name it makes you paralyse and think of how you will pass the mark. So Most of my people chose the Idea Implemantation and market then funding with all stating:

  • P1 – ” Idea Implementation and marketing are the toughest stages in a startup, finding the idea it’s not hard, now drawing the algorithm down becomes the hustle, then after working it all out, bearing in mind you are a programmer, marketing your solution is not your strong point, you love feeding binary to the machine.”
  • P2 – ” Implementation and Marketing – My choice on this will come because I think once the house is set very well funding will come in naturally, and I feel like there is no shortage of developers in the industry  but their consistency and concentration is easily swayed by the evolving world in the Languages …. we are not yet even done with Angular 1 and you want 2 and no product is fully developed by one.”

So I came to one of my best ones, So many Vc’s rushing for Africa Why? and do you have issues with the current VCs based in Africa?

  • P1 – “yes, I think they fear taking risks maybe because of no revenue in return or something else, they are only focused on some other type of startups putting into example Fintechs, have so many investors because they deal with tangible data like money, you see the flow it’s easy to see if it’s gaining or losing, now try fund a social media startup and see, you will hear a lot of excuses, this is a duplicate idea or you need a billion users to earn our trust.”
  • P2 – ”  I partially have issues with them because I think some of the fault lies with us as startups in that we crowd in one place making the market so idealess, take for example the taxi hailing startups, all offering the same services, fighting over reduced priced all over and some no sensible issues in the market. This has already rendered the Investor market  with an absolute reason why not to fund one and leave the other.”
  1. Now it’s them again, they are cowards, they fear early age startups and that’s the only viable market we have as of now in Africa.
  2.  Most of them will land on Agricultural and the Fintechs, Fearing other technological fields claiming its not fully matured or established in Africa.

After Funding many startups get lost, because many of the goals are not set beyond funding so we need focus more not on the funding and build the pre and post use funding as a ladder.

  • P3 – ”  We don’t have many VC’s in Africa understanding the African Soil for them to fund, majority are of foreign places, and the ones in Africa majority also don’t get to know the meaning of VC,  no risks are taken at all even the ones who understand the field rush out of the idea pitched.

Finally, I wanted to know if our Ecosystem is Fair to us as startups and founders:

I had Interesting ones also over here – at first, only  a lazy person will say it’s not fair because he fears change,   he fears the progress and hard work,  If we knew the solutions that revolve around us it would be partially fair because we steal the west culture and merge with ours and forget it’s their ecosystem, not ours.  Secondly It’s not fair because we are trying to politicise it.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the article.

Featured Images  Eric Palma Illustration.

About Author

Incuabte Africa

Incubate Africa, founded on June 5, 2016, is a Tech company based and Founded in Africa with the main focus of showcasing African-developed technology to the rest of the world. We strongly believe in what Africa has to offer the world. #Revolutionizing the startup culture

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