Wema Bank Is Redefining Nigeria’s Tech Sector with ‘Hackaholics’

As a mark of its resilience, Wema Bank has over the years proven itself as an incubator of inventions and creative ideas, traits that continue to define its operations long after its establishment in 1945.

With the launch of ALAT, Nigeria’s first digital banking platform, they redefined and extended the limits of experiential banking. Safe to say they are Nigeria’s most innovative bank for a reason.

This year, they are raising the stakes with the launch of their very own hackathon – ‘Hackaholics.’ They simply can’t stop, won’t stop innovating and creating magic.

Are you an innovator, creative thinker, developer or addicted to hacking existing technologies to create better solutions? Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to bring your ideas to life.

Nigeria's most innovative bank - @wemabank Is Redefining Nigeria’s Tech Sector with ‘Hackaholics’. Find out how... Click To Tweet

From March 29 – 31, 2019, Hackaholics will pull together tech-driven professionals to create actionable solutions. Innovators and creative thinkers will be availed the opportunity to convert visionary concepts into workable applications for financial, institutional and social problems.

More than just the prize award, winning ideas will…

  • Be nurtured to become marketable
  • Receive full technical support from Wema Bank
  • Get funding up to 10,000 USD

The goal of the event is to harvest impactful tech solutions that re-echo the bank’s passion for building a community of innovators constantly working to bring safer, more convenient and profitable banking to customers.

Calling all innovators, creative thinkers, and developers addicted to hacking existing technologies to create better solutions. Don’t miss out on the Hackaholics by @wemabank. Learn more... Click To Tweet

Visit Wema Bank Hackathon to register your team today. Entries close March 12th.

Join the conversation by using the hashtag #hackaholic or simply follow us on our social media pages – Instagram: @wemabank. and Twitter: @wemabank

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Tech, Edu and Agro Events in Africa to be on the look out for this year

The success of any business is measured by many factors, growth is one of them.

“There are only three ways to grow a business. You either get more clients, increase the cost of each transaction, or you service your clients with more products,” – Jay Abraham.

One of the guaranteed ways and proven of increasing your client base is through networking. All mother mogul pencil your diaries and be on the look-out for the association opportunities that may accelerate your career.

Here is a list of different events across different industries in  Africa for you to look out for.

Seamless East Africa 2018

For all our East African MotherlandMoguls interested in FinTech, this one’s for you.

Seamless East Africa 2018 brings you anything you need to know about payments, banking, and financial technology. Meet participants from across 45 countries, including 58 different African banks.

This event is happening from the 3rd – 5th September 2018 at the Radisson Blu. Nairobi.

See more information here.

EduTECH Africa 2018


EduTECH Africa 2018 is an exhibition where solution providers will be showcasing technologies aimed at helping African educators make education more relevant in the 21st century.

This event is happening from the 9th – 10th of October 2018, at Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg South Africa.

See more information here.

Nigeria Mining Week 2018

Nigeria Mining Week 2018 exhibition is set to host Exhibitors from across the globe. This event brings networking opportunities for serious investors, mining operators, finance houses and multilateral investors.

Technology solution providers who are seeking a new market and new clients for mineral exploration and extraction are also expected to attend this event.

This event is set to take place from the 15th – 17th October 2018. For more information, click here

EduBUILD Africa 2018

EduBUILD is Africa’s only education buildings and infrastructure conference and exhibition. The conference is mainly for education leaders and decision-makers involved in the design, construction, renovation, maintenance, operation, and management of buildings for schools and universities.

This two-day event is co-located with Africa’s largest annual education meet-up EduTECH – and features a senior-level congress, peer-to-peer roundtables, 1-to-1 meetings and a large exhibition ….

The EduBUILD conference is perfect for gathering information about the latest education building projects, discussing new tenders, forging partnerships and doing business.

This event is set to take place from the 9th -10th of October 2018, at Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.

See more information here.

21st Food Agro Kenya 2018

The 21st Food Agro Kenya 2018 is a food, hospitality and agriculture expo happening from the 4th – 6th September, at the Kenyatta Int’l. Convention Center, Nairobi-Kenya.

East Africa’s premier International Food, Hotel & Agriculture exhibition to host Exhibitors from over 20 countries. Showcasing top products, equipment, and machinery presented by exhibitors from over 20 countries.

Get more information about this event here.

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Twitter Chat with Taffi Ayodele: Pitching your business to investors

pitching a business

You’ve got the idea for your business down and you’ve even started making sales. You are ready to grow your business, but the funds simply aren’t there. Lack of financing and where to look for it is one of the biggest setbacks for entrepreneurs and access to it can make or break a fledgling business.

One solution to the “where to look for investors” problem is pitch competitions and other established programs that – once you get into them – bring the investors to you. Now all you have to do is woo said investors.

But how do you go about finding these programs? How do you apply to one? How do you make the most of the opportunity? And how do you ensure your pitch stands out once the investors come around?

Join us Thursday Nov. 17th for a Twitter chat with Taffi Ayodele, the co-founder of Thando’s, a fashionable African footwear brand. Thando’s participated in SLA’s 2014 Pitch Competition and were the 3rd place winners. Utilizing skilled African artisans, Thando’s creates comfortable, foldable and beautiful flats for the busy woman.

Follow She Leads Africa on twitter and use the hashtag #SLAChats to ask your questions and participate in the discussion.

Topics that we’ll cover:

  • How to find out where the investors will be
  • Finding, applying & making the most of pitch competitions & accelerator programs
  • Preparing to pitch to investors
  • Thando’s journey & how they have grown since 2014

Twitter chat details

  • Date: Thursday Nov. 17, 2016
  • Time: 12pm NYC // 6pm Lagos  // 8pm Nairobi
  • Location: Follow She Leads Africa on twitter and use the hashtag #SLAChats

Help us spread the word:

Join @ThandosShoes for #SLAChats about pitching to investors Nov. 16 at 6pm Lagos time Click To Tweet

pitching your business

About Taffi Ayodele

Taffi Ayodele holds an MBA specializing in Global Business and Entrepreneurship and a BA in Economics from NYU. Taffi was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of New York University and serves on the Global Initiatives and Student Life committees. Prior to Stern, she served as Director of the Office of Executive Initiatives at the New York State Dormitory Authority where she developed Authority-wide diversity programs and initiatives to broaden procurement opportunities and increase utilization of women and minority-owned businesses.

Together with her partner, J.G. Ayodele, Taffi founded Thando’s. Their mutual love for Africa, art and each other, inspired them to create an innovative footwear line that facilitates a modern woman’s busy lifestyle while supporting African artists.

Twitter Chat with Laila Macharia: Understanding What Investors Want (Apr 14)

Laila Macharia

There seems to be a major disconnect between what investors and entrepreneurs are looking for. Investors continue to say that they can’t find good businesses to invest in while entrepreneurs are getting frustrated that they can’t get the funding they need for their businesses to grow. With this type of situation nobody wins.

Join us on Thursday April 14 for a twitter chat with Kenyan investor, entrepreneur and business mentor Laila Macharia on understanding what investors want. If you’re not sure how to effectively communicate with investors, get them interested in your business or even find them, then you need to join this chat.

Follow She Leads Africa on twitter and use the hashtag #SLAChats to ask your questions and participate in the discussion.

Topics that we’ll cover: 

  • What are investors looking for in a new business?
  • If you don’t know any investors how can you start to develop relationships with them?
  • What areas do you believe young entrepreneurs are the weakest?
  • What are the industries and companies that you’re most excited about to change Africa?
  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about leadership?

Twitter Chat Details:

  • Date: Thursday April 14, 2016
  • Time: 12:00pm WAT // 2:00pm EAT
  • Location: Follow She Leads Africa on twitter and use the hashtag #SLAChats
Understanding what investors want - Laila Macharia
About Laila Macharia: 

Raised in Kenya, Namibia and Somalia, Laila Macharia is currently an Angel Investor based in Nairobi. The current Vice Chairman of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, the leading national business association, she also serves as a non-executive director at the Barclays Bank of Kenya as well as at Centum, the largest listed private equity firm in East and Central Africa.

Admitted to practice law in New York and Kenya, Laila holds a B.A. from the University of Oregon, a JD and LL.M from Cornell University and a doctorate in law from Stanford University, all in the US. She was honoured in 2010 as a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Africa Leadership Initiative and in 2012, was named one of the Top 20 Women to Watch in Africa by the Times of London.

10 things I learned about pitching to an investor

Andrea Barrica Startup Istanbul

She Leads Africa recently had a free webinar session with Andrea Barrica on the fundamentals of pitching your business – The Do’s and Oh No She Didn’t of Investor Pitching. 

Andrea Barrica is a Venture Partner at 500 Startups, a global seed fund and accelerator for early stage startups based in Silicon Valley. She was previously co-founder at inDinero, an accounting and taxes software solution where she led the team to the first $1M in sales in 10 months.

Here are ten things we learned from her.

1. Don’t try to pitch to all investors

Most of the interactions that you have with investors are not investor pitches. Most of the interactions that you have with investors are about how you can get the right type of investor who wants to hear about your company and is willing to hear about your pitch. When you have an investor who is interested, it is then time to have the investor pitch.Andrea Barrica

2. Differentiate yourself, be clear, and don’t overly pitch

Create a level of personal connection. People invest in people they like. Make it a conversation (never corner someone in a party). Keep it brief, and tell your story in 60 seconds or less. Understanding the market and asking questions and advice versus pitching the business is a great way to get investors interested. Be natural, authentic, and humble.

3. If you do not have an idea, investors will not be willing to invest

  • Support your idea, prove it out
  • Wait until you have traction and a great team
  • Wait until you really need the money. However, when you really need the money the most, the investor has all of the leverage versus having a great team and traction without the desperation.

4. Use your resources, networks, and community to find investors

  • Meet people — It’s better to meet investors when you’re not fundraising
  • Standard networking — get introductions from other investors
  • Go where investors hang out and then find the ones that you respect
  • Write — start writing your own blog and content

The key is running your businessit is important to build, go out there and get some traction. The first investors will be family and those you are close to.                                                          

5. When meeting investors, know who is going to be there, and how many people—know your audience!

The important thing to know about a meeting is that, no one is as interested in you as you think they are. You must be brief. Think about how to you make your presentation interesting. How will you make it unique?Andrea Barrica

6. If you want to stand out, work the room, run the meeting, tell a story

Make a personal connection, research the people in your room. Don’t make it to feel robotic; not too many slides. If people ask questions at the end and if what you presented was clear, that means that they are interested. Don’t leave asking: are you interested? Rather leave with: will you be willing in investing; how much will you be willing to invest?

7. The don’ts

Pitching is a conflict between what we say, what we mean to say, and what the person actually hears. What we say and what we mean to say is not what the investors hear.

Don’t: Create slides first

This is a bad way to start a presentation. So don’t rely too much on your decks and your slides.

Don’t: Be A 1 pitch pony. Don’t only have one pitch prepared

Have more than one prepared. Prepare for the different types of investors and what they may care about most.

Don’t: Forget the 20:1 rule

For every one minute of a presentation, practice out loud. Make sure the delivery and confidence is there.

8. The do’s

Do: Tell a strategic story

Tell a story that will help the listener understand something about your story that they didn’t before. How does my story help me to achieve my goal? It is important to ground out the things that you want people to know about you in short stories.

Do: Know your secret sauce

How will you win when everyone else fails? It is your differentiation.

Do: Know what is the most compelling thing about your business

Use this cheat sheet:

  • Traction
  • Team- past experience and your background
  • Product
  • Vision

Do: Pass the 60 seconds test

You need to get someone interested about your company in 60 seconds, no matter what industry you are in.

9. If you want to get in touch with foreign investors, build a great business

They will reach out to you. Make sure people know you. How so? Support local organizations. What are you doing? What problem are you solving? How do you understand the market?

10. You close deals

A great pitch deck and a horrible pitch won’t do anything for you. So how can you improve? Get together a small group of other young entrepreneurs and force yourself to practice consistently. Go out to new events and networking opportunities and keep pitching. You won’t get good unless you do it.

Take improv classes or acting classes. Have a few friends video tape you pitching and talk about ways to improve with your friends. The only way that you will improve is by giving and getting brutal advice—patting each other on the back, will not help.

Want to watch the full webinar? Check out the video below:


Four things you must have to be pitch perfect

What makes a pitch perfect?
Cookie clapping

This is a question many entrepreneurs ask as they prepare to speak to investors. It is also  a question we are asked quite frequently at SLA. We’ve heard a number of pitches through our own pitch competitions, both the SLA 2014 and SLA 2015 Entrepreneur Showcase.

We know what moves us. To make sure we are not alone, we’ve also looked at the research and numbers and found that there are 4 items all investors look for in a pitch.

To make the point clear, first watch this video of Aaron Krause of Scrub Daddy. He is no Motherland Mogul but his pitch makes a few items easily identifiable.

The 4 items and takeaways are clear:

Enthusiasm and passion WINS

U.S. based Shark Tank investor, Barbara Cocoron, says she knows within the first 40 seconds of a founder speaking whether she will invest or not. Does your demeanor show that you are confident in your business or are you anxious and fidgety?

When you speak, are you excited about your business? Do you have a genuine passion for your vision?

Your business solves a problem and your solution is of value

Meaning, what is your value proposition? What makes your business stand out from the rest in the market.

What problem is it solving in the world? How are you solving the differently from the rest of the companies in your industry? State this concisely, clearly, and early.

Your business works in the real world

Also known as proof of concept, investors want to know that there is an actual need for your product or service. Have you taken your business to market? Have you made sales? What’s your revenue for this year and/or last?

The only way to know that a business is valuable is by taking it to market and letting the people decide its value with their money.

You are the one to run the business

We all know; coming up with a business idea is easy, execution is key. Why are you the one to make the idea fly? Are you clear in your communication and can you. Have you led a business in the past? Have you taken the time to develop some of the prerequisite skills for running a business; that is, negotiation, project management.

As we see from Aaron Krause’s pitch, not every investor will be immediately wowed by your idea. All you need is one!

One investor who believes in your business, vision, and you. But, in order to bring that one right investor on board, all four items —enthusiasm, value proposition, proof of concept, and business acumen— must be present.