you're not alone. link up with global and local mentors.

Your mentors have real industry experience. While the global mentors bring links to the international market, those based in Africa bring the knowledge and expertise to best succeed within the region. 

Meet our global & Local mentors


Mentoring Lead

In his 35 year career, Steven has been an entrepreneur, a senior executive in the entertainment industry, an investment banker and  first Senior Advisor for Entrepreneurship at the US Department of State. He co-founded the world’s largest commercial satellite system (SES), raised over $50 million for his own startups and is an active global angel investor.  

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Bob Stringer

Mentoring Lead

Bob is a highly experienced investor, mentor and educator. He is the founder of crimson Seed CapitalLLC, which has a portfolio of over 24 companies. His mentoring work has included engagements with numerous startups as well as as larger enterprises including the Bank of America, Pepsi and Citigroup, and he is also an active mentor at Mass Challenge.

Mark Essien

Founder & CEO,

Site engineer and general manager at the first and largest hotel booking site dedicated to Nigeria. 

Lexi novitske

Principal Investment Officer, Singularity Investments

Overseer of Singularity Investment’s operations in Africa, following its launch in 2014.

AAron fu

Managing Partner, NEST Africa

Co-founder, investor and advisor to businesses spanning industries including transport, hospitality, F&B and consulting.

douglas cherry

 Partner, 4Di Capital LLP

Fund Manager and director on various group and portfolio companies.

andrea bÖhmert

Investor, Knife Capital | KNF Ventures

Scale-up investor, entrepreneur, growth enabler with broad management experience in sales, marketing and growth strategy.

Harry Tomi Davies

Angel Investor & Advocate

Advisor, board director and mentor with over three decades of outstanding experience building large-scale, national and region-wide IT, mobile, EdTech and ICT enabled infrastructure.

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Leonard stiegler

General Manager, Ringier Africa

Ringier is the leading diversified digital media company in Africa.

Danai musandu

Investment Associate, Goodwell Investments

Works to ensure local solutions speak to local issues and to empower the existing ecosystem.

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Peter Allerstorfer

Co-founder & Managing Director, Silvertree Internet Holdings

Silvertree focuses on Internet assets focused on African consumers.

Des fitzgerald

Entrepreneur in Residence for the Maine Venture Fund

Founder of Duck Trap River of Maine, one of the most successful seafood business in the US. Now working with companies to support their governance, execution and strategic thinking.

nancy glaser

Stanford Seed Business Coach and Trainer | West Africa

General Venture Partner in Silicon Valley VC Firm, US Venture Partners, and over 30 years of experience working with startups, mostly in developing countries.

Stephen gugu

Managing Principal at InVhestia and Founder of Viktoria Ventures

Consultant for startups, SMEs, corporates and projects in Africa, Stephen sits on the board of Demo Africa, and the African Business Angels Network.

Ben White

Founder at VC4Africa

Specialist in entrepreneurship, concept development fundraising, strategic partnerships and much more.

Dr Ndidi Nnoli-Edozein

Founder & President, Growing Business Foundation

An angel investor who has dedicated much of her life to building up entrepreneurs and startups with a social focus.


Barry Holt

President, BackBeat Strategies Group LLC

Holding operating roles at ConEdison, XEnergy and NANA, former Director, US Congressional Office of Technology Assessment with more than 30 years of experience.

Ken sonenclar

Managing Director, DeSilva & Phillips

Investment banker, specializing in M&A services for media, marketing, information and technology companies, frequently working with fast-growing entrepreneurial firms.

David van Dijk

Co-Founder and Director General of ABAN

Managing Director of Stichting IGNITE, a non-profit organization supporting entrepreneurs in conflict affected countries. 


President & Founder of the Midan Group | Cairo, Egypt

Founder of a consultancy specializing in strategy formulation and fundraising for startups and NGOs, international higher education partnerships, and science, technology and innovation for development.

Abdigani Diriye

Research Manager, IBM

Manager of the financial services research group for IBM Research Africa, and co-founder of Innovate Ventures.

Maximilian pichulik

Partner at Impact Amplifier

An experienced investment professional, driving sustainable market based solutions to development challenges.

Khaled ismail

Founder at Kiangel

Founder and chairman of Kiangel, an angel investment fund investing in early stage startups in Egypt.

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Rodrigue fouafou

CEO, HartNamtemah

Provider of mentoring and funding to African startups and associate to investors that are interested in funding business ventures in Africa and other emerging markets.

Dotun olowoporoku

CEO, | Managing Partner at Starta Advisory

Interested in product concept and development; mobile technology, big data, mentoring fund raising, team building and brand development. 

michael goldberg

Assistant Professor, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University

Experienced venture capitalist and international business leader, focused on entrepreneurship and early stage finance. Developer of online courses reaching over 100,000 students.


Founder, WattB

Experienced programmer and technology entrepreneur in the Web and mobile industries with over 15 years experience at multiple tech startups in the US and Europe. 

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Stephen ozoigbo

Managing Partner, LIONS@AFRICA

Entrepreneur, investor and advisor to multiple technology startups.

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Matthew buckland

CEO, Saatchi Creative Spark | South Africa

Interested in promoting and connecting great startup ideas to money. 

Matsi modise

Managing Director, SiMODiSA Association

Facilitator of mentorship programmes for SMEs in remote and rural areas across South Africa.

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Principal at Prosperity Innovations LLC

Working with an engineering firm in Senegal supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with more than 20 years experience in the energy, chemical and material science, and environmental technologies.

lisa delp

Entrepreneur in Residence, Lorain County Community College

Specialist in commercialization of innovation and access to capital programs with  experience with the Financial Services Volunteer Corps in Tunisia.

Scott onder

Senior Advisor, Social Ventures, Mercy Corps

Operates at the intersection of technology, venture capital and international development to scale impact.

Mark kaigwa

Founder, Nendo

Experience ranges from launching mobile pilots in Sierra Leone, film direction in Uganda and creating video games in Kenya.  

Yann le beux

Co-founder at YUX Dakar

One of the first UX Design labs in Africa supporting startups on the development of digital products for African contexts.

Charles Ojei


Works with entrepreneurs, multinational corporations, governments, non-profits and investors.

Kerem durdag

Entrepreneur in Residence, Maine Technology Institute

Specialist in strategy and tactics, market channel development, partnerships, mergers and customer-centric corporate growth management.

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jonathan rubini

 Chairman & CEO, JL Properties

Founder and principal of AK Impact Investors, investor in numerous early-stage, social impact ventures across multiple geographies and industries. 

Charles sidman, MBA, PHD

 Managing Partner, ECS Capital Partners

Professor (Biomedical Research, Business Management and Ethics), investor, mentor, consultant and professional speaker.


Sean nowak

Managing Partner, Zephyr Acorn

Provider of equity financing and business support to innovative early-stage companies in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Andrew sekandi

Associate Director, KPMG

Expert on risk assessment, due diligence and deal making.

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Ike Eze

Advisory Board, InvestmentOne Venture Capital

Accomplished executive with comprehensive experience building and leading companies from concept to profitability, resulting in multi-million dollar revenue growths.

Harrison frye

Prototyping Laboratory Manager, University of Massachusetts Lowell Innovation Hub 

Tasked to start with an empty Laboratory, and create a space with which Technology driven startups could create their prototypes and take them to market.

Tristan jackson

VP Business Development, Dialogos

Tasked to start with an empty Laboratory, and create a space with which Technology driven startups could create their prototypes and take them to market.

Frida pettersson

Independent Investment Consultant, Founder of Thamani

Frida is a finance professional with broad experience in the private investment and development sectors.

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brett commaille

Lead Partner, Angelhub Ventures

Supports entrepreneurs driving a disruptive business model according to lean methodologies with the potential to generate rapid growth and generous returns. 

Adetayo bamiduro

Cofounder, MAX Delivery Ng

Works with on-demand platforms, eCommerce, mobile tech in Africa. 

Boldewijn Sloet

Partner, Africa Tech Ventures

Entrepreneur and investor with solid track record in developing market startup and early stage businesses.

Mixo Mayimele

Founder, Pepperfield Ventures

Internationally-minded professional with 15+ years of management experience in technology project management and investment management. 

Dominique Collett

Senior Investment Executive, RMI Holdings

Runs a fintech innovation hub aimed at identifying and investing in early stage financial services companies.

Eline Blaauboer

Managing Partner, Africa Tech Ventures & TBL Mirror Fund

Eline Blaauboer has worked in the venture capital and private equity sector in both Europe and Africa for the last 18 years.

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DIrK Dijkstra

Founder, Conversion Media

More than 15 years of digital marketing and mobile advertising experience. Currently a catalyst at the CRIO Mobile Agency. 

Ido Sum

Investment Director, TLcom Capital Partners

Brings extensive background and experience of business building, strategy crafting, operations, impact creation and people management. 

Marcello Schermer

ex-Managing Director, Seedstars World

Passionate about building scalable products and platforms to help entrepreneurs in Africa succeed.

Claudia Makadristo

Regional Manager for Africa, Seedstars World

In 2016, Claudia screened over 1000 startups and mentored close to 200 entrepreneurs. 

Ayesha DawooD

Founder, Ayesha Dawood Attorneys

Specialist advice to companies, operations launching headquarters/ hubs in Africa and start- ups on 21st century innovations.  

Katie Sarro

 Managing Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, MEST

Largely focused on bringing in global and local strategic partnerships on behalf of the MEST program, as well as their incubated companies.  

Alissa Orlando

 Managing Director, Dynamo Advisors, Kenya

Develops growth strategies and operational processes for tech platforms uniting the online and offline worlds for the African consumer.

Karim Sy

 Founder & Chief catalyst, Jokkolabs

An active player of the emergence of the African innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem with the launch of one of the first innovation hub's in Senegal

Ashwin Ravichandran

 General Manager, MEST Incubator (Ghana)

Writes code, practices user experiences, doodles on user interfaces and considers scale the most important characteristic of any startup. 

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Eva Warigia

Executive Director, EAVCA

 Represents the private equity and venture capital industry through a forum to lobby with and engage stakeholders on regional policy matters.

John Kimani

Developer Ecosystem Program Manager, Google

 He is passionate about modern apps development practices and how developers can leverage them to build successful tech ventures.

Yazi Adamou

Niger Angels Lead

Currently working to foster the emergence and growth of profitable business through training and mentoring of young people.


Programme Director and CEO, iDEA

Startup coach, adviser and mentor with a strong background in business law.

SANJAY G. Mungur

CEO, Empretec Mauritius

Advises companies and business associations with an  emphasis on skills development and empowerment. 

Abu Bakr Cassim

Founder, Ground Flr & Jozi Angels

He founded Ground Flr, an online platform that sources capital from developed markets and places it with emerging market startups. He also founded Jozi Angels, an angel investor network in Johannesburg, South Africa

Laïssa Mouen

Managing Director, Cofina Dojo

Cofina Dojo is the first full stack innovation ecosystem launched by a financial institution in Francophone West and Central Africa

Ana Barjasic

Director, European Commission Projects, EBAN


Under her supervision, Business Angel Week became the world’s largest initiative on promoting angel and early stage investment, with over 900 events in 60 countries

Mark A. Doumba

Co-founder, CLIKAFRIK Group

Entrepreneur and investment professional with an active involvement in supporting entrepreneurship ecosystems and digital innovation.


Kola Aina

CEO & Founder, Ventures Platform

Works to build technology solutions that improve processes in Africa and to enable other entrepreneurs doing the same.

Greg Snyders

Partner, Dalberg Global Development Advisors

Specializes in fund structuring in frontier markets and innovations in development finance, advising investors and development finance institutions.

Felix PhilipP

Manager, Impact Amplifier

Felix is an experienced inclusive innovation specialist in the field of sustainability - and shared value creation strategies for low-income communities.

Marek Zmysłowski

CEO & Founder, HotelOga

Proven successful fast growth executive and entrepreneur with expertise in online businesses.

Chika Nwobi

Partner, Rise Capital & Founder/CEO, Level 5 Lab

Chika is an experienced investor, having been involved in the Nigerian tech scene for over 15 years.

Eghosa Omoigui

Managing General Partner, EchoVC Pan-Africa Technology Fund

Venture capitalist focusing on general mobile and consumer internet investments.

Zachariah George

Partner and Co-Managing Director, Startupbootcamp Cape Town

Stanford MBA, former Wall St Investment Banker and Angel Investor pioneering corporate venture capital in Africa through innovative accelerator programs

Philip Kiracofe

Partner, Horizen Ventures Africa

20 years of direct operational and venture financing experience spanning a diverse range of industries in the US, India, Asia and South Africa.

Chika Umeadi

Head of Product & Engagement, TipHub

Managed projects and product builds for startup companies and small businesses. 

Amee Parbhoo

Director of Investments, Accion Venture Lab

Early stage investor in innovative African startups leveraging technology to bring financial services to the underserved

Lauren Cochran

Director of Private Investments, Blue Haven Initiative

Manages a portfolio of early stage investments in Sub Saharan Africa, in industries with a potential for both market rate financial returns and high impact outcome.

Mariéme Jamme

CEO, SpotOne Global Solutions Group | Co-Founder, Africa Gathering

Helps technology companies to set a foothold in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, named as one of Britain’s 100 most influential Africans.


Social & Digital Innovation Manager, Orange CSR

Design/build/run social, digital and innovation engagement policies for corporations or institutions

Alban Luherne

Orange Money Director, Orange

Director of Orange Money, which allows individuals or business customers to convert their money for storage in an electronic wallet to carry out secure transfers.


Markos Lemma

Co-founder, iceaddis

An advocate for startup movements, social and environmental innovations & blogging. 

Grégoire de Padirac

Investment Manager, Orange Digital Ventures

In charge of investments in iOT , content & entertainment, cybersecurity, health

Aurélien Duval-Delort

Director, Open Tech Hub, Middle-East and Africa, Orange

Intrapreneur, Digital addict, passionnate about innovation and new challenges.

Maya Horgan Famodu

Ecosystem Architect, Ingressive

Has launched a 500+ person summit, led deals, and convinced top tech funds and VCs to visit and invest in West Africa to promote entrepreneurship. 

Yemi Keri

Investor, LAN & Rising Tide

Founding member of IDC West Africa CIO Technology Advisory Council and honoured as Nigeria's most outstanding Public Sector CIO in 2014. 

Joe ThornTon

Director, 4G Capital

Director and investor in 4G Capital, a business capacity development and unsecured micro-lending organization focused on increasing financial inclusion and providing unsecured business loans to micro-entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Yvonne HAizel

Mitsui & Co, Rare Seed Capital

Named as one of the top 30 under age 30 emerging Ghanaian Talents in the world by the Future of Ghana publication. Also a member of the Tech London Advocate Africa Working Group.

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Odunoluwa Longe

Cofounder and Lead Counsel at The Longe Practice LP; Cofounder at

Dedicated to building and nurturing African entrepreneurs. With experience of the practicalities of being an African entrepreneur.



Our mentors have strong knowledge, networks and contacts that are useful to entrepreneurs:

We are looking for Africa-based mentors that have the following profile:

  • Successful hands-on, professional expertise in key business areas including: marketing/PR, legal, finance/accounting, internet/IT, HR, or any industry expertise relevant to XL Africa (please refer to the FAQs).

  • Experience in building digital companies in Africa is preferred - or experience in investing in companies in Africa or other emerging markets

  • Access to influential professional networks including angels and institutional investors and corporate partners in Africa and beyond

  • Ability to commit 1-2 hours per month as needed.

join our network of experienced mentors!

Name *