Frequently Asked Questions

About FirstCheck Africa

What is FirstCheck Africa?

Founded by Eloho Omame and Odunayo Eweniyi, FirstCheck Africa is a female-led angel fund that invests “ridiculously early” in women in African tech.

We’re also building a female-led investor community that creates opportunities for the middle tier of women, who are millennial or in their mid-careers, to invest in venture-backed startups by writing smaller checks.

What is FirstCheck Africa’s vision & mission?

We want to make it easier for women in Africa to raise venture-backed capital and invest in technology startups. We’re creating a future where women have an equal hand in leading and shaping the continent’s future through technology & entrepreneurship.

Our mission is to advance equity, capital and leadership for a generation of women in Africa.

What is FirstCheck Africa’s value proposition?

FirstCheck Africa is doing three things.

First, we are writing first checks for audacious female founders, with bold ideas, at the “ridiculously early” stage.

We want to make it easier for women in African tech to raise capital. We know we can generate solid long-term returns by investing in women, so we’ll write female founders’ first checks and be their earliest believers.

FirstCheck Africa will invest up to $25,000 in each woman that we support at the ideation stage, working to help her raise a significant pre-seed round within 12 months.

Second, we are creating enablers and active pathways between Africa’s growing community of early-stage funders and female founders.

We’ll act as active connectors & collaborators, using our networks and resources to accelerate female founders' efforts in Africa. We’ll spend our time, financial and social capital helping them validate their ideas, gain all-important early traction and raise the next stage of capital.

Third, we are helping millennial and mid-career women in Africa learn about tech & angel investing and write their own first checks.

Our investor community will focus on building the middle tier, creating opportunities for millennial and mid-career women who can’t afford to commit typical VC fund minimums, to invest their dollars — small or large — on their own terms, at comfortable levels. FirstCheck Africa will support them with learning and educational content and help them get off the ground floor by writing their own first checks.

What is FirstCheck Africa’s investment philosophy?

FirstCheck Africa invests “ridiculously early” in African women with big ideas. We want to fund visionary women who are on a path to entrepreneurial leadership and to roll up our sleeves to help them take their ventures from ideas to early traction and their first institutional capital.

We like ideas that are addressing important problems, and which have the potential to be nurtured to become impressive, for-profit startups addressing significant pan-African markets.

What is FirstCheck Africa’s investment model?

We know we can generate solid long-term returns by investing in African women, so we’re writing their first checks, and we will be their earliest believers.

We believe that the best way to support female founders is to act consistently and with conviction: commit risk capital and work with women in tech to increase their odds of success. We’ll spend our time, financial and social capital helping them validate their ideas, gain all-important early traction and raise their first institutional capital.

Here’s how we plan to do it:

  • Select smart women with bold ideas that match our investment philosophy.
  • Invest $15,000 to $25,000 in exchange for modest equity. We want to give female founders comfortable runway to validate their ideas and build a minimum viable product.
  • Give fluid, hands-on support to help female founders build peer and investor networks in, and outside, Africa; this includes helping them access global accelerator programs if they want to.
  • Share practical and tactical feedback and advice as they navigate the journey to raising their first institutional rounds.

What if my startup is no longer in the ideation stage?

Our goal is to be the first outside capital into the cap table for female founders that we work with. That doesn't always necessarily mean that the venture ideas are not yet in the early stages of execution.

If you are still quite early in your founder journey (pre-revenue is fine) so that we understand how far along you are, please send a pitch deck to Eloho & Odun at hello@firstcheck.africa and we’ll try to respond quickly with feedback.

Does FirstCheck Africa invest in mixed-gender co-founding teams?

FirstCheck Africa’s mission is “to advance equity, capital and leadership for a generation of women in Africa through technology & entrepreneurship”, and our north star is to be the earliest believer for women entrepreneurs in Africa.

Because we are investing so early, we anticipate that we will often be contemplating investing in just one woman. This is our current best guess, not a requirement. We also understand that founder journeys evolve. Our founders may choose to work with one or more co-founders, male or female, over time, and that's absolutely fine. It wouldn’t be practical (or necessarily in our founders’ best interests) for us to invest only in all-female teams.

We are open to investing in mixed co-founder teams, with at least one woman. However, consistent with our mission, we will only invest where it’s clear that the woman is a true partner and decision-maker, with a significant, equitable split of the founder equity.

When will FirstCheck Africa launch the investor community?

Our first priority is the FirstCheck Africa angel fund, but we will follow quickly with the FirstCheck Africa investor community later in the year.

We plan to host virtual general information sessions and AMAs for women in African tech from February 2021. Once the investor community launches, we will also host learning sessions about technology and angel investing.

Sign up to our email list via our website (www.firstcheck.africa) to get notified about all our events.

I’m curious about FirstCheck Africa. How can I learn more?

Starting in February 2021, we will host virtual information sessions and AMAs about FirstCheck Africa.

You should plan to join one of our events if:

  • You’re a woman in Africa with an idea for a technology startup, even if you’re still super early in your research.
  • You're a woman in Africa, and you’d like to build your own startup one day, no matter how vague the idea or how distant in your future.
  • You’re interested in learning more about the FirstCheck Africa investor community.
  • You’re interested in hearing about ways to partner with us.

Sign up to our email list via our website (www.firstcheck.africa) to get notified about all our events.

In the meantime, follow us on Twitter @FirstCheckHQ and read our launch post here.

I want to work with FirstCheck Africa. How can I learn more?

FirstCheck Africa is looking for mission-aligned partners: individuals or organisations that understand the overlooked potential of women in African tech and are excited about helping us significantly move the needle on under-representation.

If you are a serious potential partner, please send Eloho & Odun an email at hello@firstcheck.africa.

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FirstCheck Africa

Early believers for ambitious African women in tech. Co-founded by Eloho Omame & Odunayo Eweniyi. More at www.firstcheck.africa