04-801-E1-Carnegie Mellon University Africa - Carnegie Mellon University


African Venture Funding

Course discipline: ICT
Core/ Elective: Elective
Units: 6
Lecture/Lab/Rep hours/week: 4 Lecture hours
Semester/Year offered: Fall
Pre-requisites: None

Course description:

This practical focused course on raising funds for startups and other early stage businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa gives students an understanding how financing from angels, venture capital, private equity, development institutions, strategic investors, and crowd sourcing finds its way to entrepreneurial ventures from founding through exit. The course will provide insights to the point of view of both business owners and investors as they make critical decisions that affect their future. The course will be heavily case oriented and focused on Sub-Saharan Africa-based companies and investments. Students taking this course should have an interest in entrepreneurship, managing companies, or venture investments.

Learning objectives:

For students to learn how to identify and structure a business opportunity so that it can receive investment, how to grow a business with investment, and how to identify when and how to exit a business.


Students who take this course will have the following outcomes:

  • A deeper understanding of investment in ventures and how they are funded
  • Insights into business opportunities for innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • A perspective on different funding types and how to secure funding from each

Content Details

  • Introduction and framework for types of companies and formulation
  • Understanding the investment landscape in Sub-Saharan Africa - comparing different types of investors and what they're looking for
  • Market opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa ripe for innovation and investment
  • What investors look for in investments - preparing a business for investment
  • Key components in the investment process - identification of investors through closing the deal
  • Angel investing - case study
  • Grant funding - case study
  • Crowdsourcing - case study
  • VC investing - case study
  • Preparing for and exiting a venture - case study

Faculty: David Ross