The first cohort of the Capria accelerator programme for impact venture capitalists (VCs) has been selected, with two of the three successful teams hailing from Africa.
Disrupt Africa reported in September on the launch of the Capria accelerator, claiming to be the first global programme dedicated to incubating impact venture capitalists (VCs) in developing markets.
Capria aims to create a global network of impact fund managers, by providing a bespoke accelerator for impact VCs themselves, with a particular focus on developing markets.
The inaugural programme attracted interest from hundreds of fund managers across 45 different countries, Capria said, with 65 candidates shortlisted, and three chosen to participate in the first programme.
Of the three fund management teams selected, two are from Africa – one East African and one South African fund; while the third is based in Central America.
“We are incredibly impressed with the combined professionalism and tenacity we are seeing in fund managers working in very challenging environments,” says Will Poole, co-founder of Capria.
“The so-called pioneer gap applies to new fund managers as well as to the entrepreneurs they support. We’re confident that pioneering fund managers who establish themselves in capital-starved markets will deliver superior financial returns and also disproportionate social impact.”
The teams will participate in a four-week intensive programme in Seattle, which will focus on areas such as global best practices to maximize fundraising efforts and successfully launching a viable impact fund with both local and international investor participation; effectively attracting entrepreneurs and deploying capital to the best firms that are operating at the intersection of profitability and impact; and supporting portfolio companies as they transition from startup to scale, and generate profits.
Capria also announced a number of impact investors and foundations have committed to supporting the programme, and/or investing in it; including Bill Gates, Crystal Springs Foundation, and Lemelson Foundation, among others.
Applications for the second cohort of the accelerator are now open here, until April 30.