Jason Musyoka has joined the ViKtoria Ventures team to run the Viktoria Business Angel Network. In his role, he will interact with the business angel investors who are members in the network as well as those who are looking to sign up. He is also responsible for screening and analyzing startups that are looking for investments before pitches to angel investors, during the pitch and networking meetups. Prior to joining Viktoria Ventures, he was working at Farm Capital Africa as the Head of Finance and Administration operations. He has also worked as the Project Manager for Arriscar Ventures responsible for client engagements and company projects, and at Apex Communications as the Finance and Administration Associate charged with streamlining their financing operations. In the past, Jason was part of the capital campaign team for Strathmore University, he participated at different negotiations stages to establish partnerships between Strathmore University and corporate enterprises.
We asked him his thoughts on the ecosystem and what investors should be looking out for:
VV: What trends do you see in the current startup scene?
JM: There is an increase of startups using tech to resolve business or social issues; be it solutions to improve financial inclusion, emergency services, wealth creation. There is also the use of tech to improve efficiencies in the business process or reducing economic barriers thus creating business opportunities. Also, the entrepreneurial bug seems cut to across all ages. There seems to be an increase of older folks having a go at it.
VV: What attributes do you look for in an entrepreneur?
JM: Good old fashion hard work. It significantly makes up for what one lacks in talent, network and even resources
VV: What are some reasons someone should consider becoming an angel investor/joining VBAN?
Well charity does begin at home. Instead of hoping for solutions from government, why can’t those who have made it against the odds become the catalysts of that success. But besides the social impact aspect, there are significant economic benefits members stand to gain by helping businesses succeed. The relationship between the startup and the investor is a symbiotic one. The members open up networks for the startup which turn into business relationship and opportunities for growth. It is the concept of businesses helping businesses succeed. Lastly you are always learning about new innovations and working with ‘unreasonable’ entrepreneurs looking to conform the world to themselves!
VV: What should angels look out for?
JM: Unique situations! Look out for ideas that drive other ideas (inclusive innovation type of ideas, think things like MPESA and the different use cases it has and what it has done to the ecosystem); also, ideas that make business sense, impact is good but it has to be grounded in a business that is sustainable.
VV: What are some lessons you have learned working in this ecosystem?
JM: You can’t do it alone! There’s really nothing like a self-made person; takes two to tango… have your pick. This is also why it is important to consider group investing. Create a support system, leverage on your networks and seek help to close the gaps even if it means taking a back seat for your idea to thrive.
VV: What are you excited to accomplish in your role?
JM: I’m excited to champion the work of VBAN to invest in local startups
VV: If you could invite three people to a dinner party who would they be?
- Pope Francis
- Steven Gerrard
- Margaret Kenyatta