Rwanda Debuts New Africa ‘Shark Tank’ For Startup Pitches, ‘Face The Gorillas’

By Staff Published: June 24, 2017, 11:14 am
Shark Tank(Photo: Face The Gorillas)

African startups can now score capital commitments real time―so long as they convince a venture capitalist to give it to them in front of a live audience.

That’s the format for “Face The Gorillas,” a Rwandan IT pitch series that runs several times a year on local TV, YouTube, and at select events.

The competition was originally conceived in 2013 by Yariv Cohen and wife Angela Homsi―who became engaged in Rwanda’s tech scene through impact investment firm Kaenaat and the Ignite Power Solar initiative.

From Tech Crunch. Story by Jake Bright.

“We were supporting the ICT sector, brought a group…to invest in startups, then turned that into a show,” Cohen told TechCrunch in his Kigali office. “The idea was to provide Rwandan startups business pitching tools and an understanding of what investors are looking for,” he said.

Face The Gorillas has since teamed up with Rwanda’s ICT Chamber and partners such as kLab to produce the series several times a year. Since 2013 it has run eight installments, financed eight startups, and had three deals rejected, according to Cohen. Ventures can gain up to $200,000 in investment, including accelerator type partnerships.

Read more at Tech Crunch.

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