Recent events and discussions within the ecosystem have highlighted the importance of ethics, values, and the link to governance for both founders and investors. This event was the final Masterclass in a series of programme events hosted by the African Angel Academy for the current Orange Corners sponsored cohort, attended by other investors in our extended community as well.
Contributing to the conversation was seasoned investor Eghosa Omoigui who is the founder and Managing General Partner of EchoVC Partners – a seed & early-stage technology venture capital firm investing in underrepresented founders and underserved emerging markets.
The timely discussion covered everything from responsibilities and ethical considerations for investors who want to explore mentorship, managing conflict among teams, re-thinking valuations, assessing one’s own moral compass and motivations for investing, and more.
Omoigui shared rich insights based on his vast experience. Some key takeaways from his contributions to the conversation include:
1. Think about your character
“What we have to do – in my view you always have two states of character. You have it at rest, where people will spend a lot of time talking on twitter about the things they hope they are and wish for and so on and so forth, but that’s one state, it doesn’t really matter as much. The real state of character is when it’s in motion, when you are making decisions about things that, you know, you’re going to have to ask yourself, ‘does this work or does this not?’ Are you going to be able to defend your actions in a courtroom, or not? As investors we always have to ask ourselves, who is this founder when no one’s looking?”
2. Course correction across the investment ecosystem is imperative
“The ecosystem needs to come together and commit to some changes.” These changes, he mentioned, include governance training for founders and senior managers, implementation of whistleblower policies, and more independent board representation.
“There are a lot of founders in the market that are running companies but have never run business units and divisions. They have great product instincts but at the end of the day [it’s important] to understand what it means to be a founder/CEO, how to manage people, and how to manage processes. These are just a few examples of the course correction that needs to happen and the earlier we do that, the better.”
A big thanks to our speaker, Eghosa Omoigui, our moderator, David Van Dijk, and our participants. Watch the replay of the masterclass below for much more that was shared in this transparent and insightful discussion: