Founders Factory Africa is a venture development company investing in early-stage tech startups and building businesses from scratch across the African continent
Alix’s journey with FFA started in early May 2019, inspired by the company’s vision to fuel early-stage tech entrepreneurs powering Africa’s startup ecosystem, and to build and scale more than 100 startups across the continent.
First year achievements
Looking in retrospective and doing balance. It is fascinating the amount of things someone could do in a year. It is easy now to understand how the days flew by so quickly in such an engaging manner.
Build a design team from 0, integrating permanent staff & collaborators
Leading the Design team and shared the love and value for Design in FFA as an organization
Member of the Global Founders Factory design team engaging with designers from other regions like New York, UK & Paris
Considered more than 100+ candidates for product designers, researchers, photographers, copywriters... roles
Defined and establish ways of working for design within the organisation
Worked alongside Marketing for Social Media & Comms
Source new business for FFA programs
Part of the teams building 2 startups from scratch (Tripplo, Floatpays)
Supported 16 startups on the Scale Program
Preparing ventures to apply FFA programs
Supporting these in specific events such showcases
Helping them raise funds through storytelling and enhancing their narratives
Creating new brands and/or rebranding
Mapping their ecosystem of services & products
Designing & building new new product functionalities
Design and building websites
Content strategy & development
Coaching their team members (founders, designers, marketing teams) on Design
Hiring new talent & sourcing contractors
Co-building their roadmaps
Always bringing energy and optimism to the conversations. Being a facilitator and unblocking situations to achieve shared goals.
For all the above, always define what success looks like, measuring and tracking - setting metrics and/or OKRs to keep moving and improving.
The approach to all of these items listed above is the same. Open and respectful communication and constantly work with other team colleagues from all the disciplines within the business - Growth, Product coaches, Partnerships, Investments, Sourcing team…
Navigating the complexities of doing all the above at the same time. For more than half a year, the sole member of the design team
Creating a brand in parallel to support the portfolio businesses
Keep the energy and spirits high to transmit the value of design to non-designers when time is constrained. At the end of the day, is not the end goal and our purpose as designers to share the power of design?
Being agile, lean and efficient is a must. As per the variety of projects and tasks and because working with many businesses at different stages of the E2E journey (Venture Building, Venture Scaling…)
Being flexible is highly expected and recommended. To zoom in & zoom out constantly to balance Strategic Thinking & Tactical decisions
Vocabulary & share understanding is essential
A continuous review of the process is fundamental. To achieve that run retrospectives and clear actions on how to move things forward. Sure, it takes energy and resilience
There is not a single formula that fits all. But there are certain rules and frameworks that can be applied to achieve success
Everyday is a new adventure, full of opportunities. Embrace the uncertainty and navigate through the waves
Key insights & learnings
Selected portfolio startups
Tripplo is a logistics software platform built to automate and optimise operations for transporters in Africa.
The average speed of a truck travelling through Africa is 6km/hour — roughly the same as a horse and cart. Tripplo is changing that. Their goal is to make the African long-haul trucking industry more efficient, more effective, and more transparent.
The golden standard for African road freight logistics
Johannesburg, South Africa
Role: Concept development, MVP definition and build, Branding, Product website launch, Fundraising support, Hiring talent
Financial wellbeing for workers across Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
Role: Concept development, User testing, MVP definition and build, Branding, Product website launch
FloatPays gives employees real time access to a portion of their earned wages, allowing them to pay their expenses with zero interest on money accessed and without putting pressure on their families or employers. They also help their customers achieve financial wellbeing through assistance with financial training, planning and budgeting.
DigestAfrica offers real-time access to information and analysis on Africa’s high growth, early-stage tech companies. The most abundant source of information, data and analysis on startups, tech companies, investors, accelerators and deals across Africa.
Africa’s most comprehensive source of startup data
Role: Design coaching, Backlog definition, MVP definition and build, Branding, Product website launch
KudiGo is a consumer retail company transforming the micro retail sector, using technology to increase profitability and efficiency.The word kudi is from the hausa language spoken across sub-saharan Africa, which means ‘money’. Thus the name “KudiGo” translates to ‘money-on-the-go’.
Redefining consumer retail in Africa
Role: Product design consultancy, Fundraising support
Schoolable is facilitating affordable finance for education, helping parents, children and schools across Africa.
Schoolable helps parents plan, save, borrow and pay for school fees through their mobile app, and help schools collect fees, manage their expenses and bank online, through their web platform.
Ensuring quality education through affordable finance
Role: Product design consultancy, Design coaching
Want to know more?
This is a brief overview of the work done, but there are many other startups in the portfolio and many other activities and achievements accomplished.