Innovator Insights: Maya Horgan Famodu, Founder of Ingressive @mayahorgan
Name: Maya Horgan Famodu
Title: Founder of Ingressive Twitter: @mayahorgan
Maya Horgan-Famodu is a Nigerian-American committed to promoting entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is Founder of Ingressive, working with the new generation of African innovators, and supporting their pursuit to scale. Before starting Ingressive, Maya supported global advancement initiatives with Steve Mariotti, Founder of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, and then worked in private equity research, consulting with private equity firms, guiding them to targeted insight on market opportunities. In 2015, Maya completed Ingressive’ first private investor tour, #TourOfTech2015. Maya is also a member of Dreamers // Doers, a highly curated community of high-achieving trailblazing women who come together to support each other on their entrepreneurial paths. The community encompasses a diverse mix of female founders, women working at startups, and other female creators, change-makers, and influencers.
Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?
Maya: The only time I can sleep at night is when I spend my day working to build African businesses. In short, there’s nothing else I can or would do — we discovered the secret about booming Africa. And I know too many brilliant people south of the Sahara with lean, efficient businesses that just can’t get the capital to grow. There’s a massive problem, and we found a solution that no one else was doing.
Me: What problem would you like solved?
Maya: There is so much opportunity and so little accessible capital in the Sub-Sahara — average interest rates at 25%, nepotistic banking and venture sectors, an investor base not yet comfortable with “startups” make it near impossible to get funding. But the Sub-Sahara has 7 of the 10 fastest growing economies, the fastest growing consumer classes, the highest ROI of any emerging market… The list goes on and on. I want to see access to capital, democratized. I want to see entrepreneurship, democratized.
Me: Advice you’d wished you’d had or had followed?
Maya: “You do you.” In the African finance space, I’m about half the age as anyone else in the room. And female. And just as vocal as anyone else. Most people have got an opinion about it. Thankfully, it’s mostly supportive. But the cynics exist. I used to get worked up until I realized, 90-percent-plus of the time, it has absolutely nothing to do with me! It’s differing values, a bad day, issues inside. So, now I do me. “Dogs don’t bark at parked cars.” I hear feedback when the intention is genuine, ignore the rest, act with my values and principles in mind, and keep Ingressive meeting deadlines and objectives.
“Cherish your tribe.” I travel frequently, and am constantly meeting new people. Connections can be deep but ephemeral. I make it a habit to organize at least one event with my core group of trusted friends and business partners whenever I’m in the city. It’s grounding, and we’re always growing, thus it affords for new business opportunities or collaborations most every time.
Me: What does success look like for you?
Maya: A launched platform with 10,000 successful syndicates under our belt, the leading portfolio of African startups, the highest conversion rates of any investor tours to the continent, and sustainably rising GDP rates in our target African countries.
Me: Who are your heroes?
Maya: Chance Barnett and the Crowdfunder team — they’ve done incredible work in the equity crowdfunding space, disrupting the policy around entrepreneurship, democratizing access to capital for founders. It’s extremely inspiring.
My mother and grandmother. The women can handle anything, and look so great while doing it!
Maya Angelou. My mother had been away on a military training, and it’d been a particularly rough few months for her and her troops. Shortly before the end, they had a guest speaker: Maya Angelou. From the moment she addressed the group to the moment Maya left, the crowds’ faces were wet. Mind you, my mom and her men are stoic to the bone! But the power of Maya’s words moved them. I’ve seen it with her other times — such presence and power. Maya Angelou; the woman can reach that deep into anyone’s soul.
Me: What is your best discovery?
Maya: Single purpose vehicles and syndicated investments! The problem we’re trying to solve is the lack of access to “smart capital” in Africa. As I mentioned previously, financing is hard to find. Secondly, mentorship is difficult to access — people are only beginning to build and scale and the tech space is relatively new in Africa.
We’re combining startup funding with expert mentorship by leading syndicates — syndicated investments with Silicon Valley-based experts to participate as both investors and mentors.
Me: What would the title of your biography be?
Maya: Life Packed Full: The Adventures of Maya Horgan Famodu.
Me: What is your biggest regret?
Maya: I have stacks full of lessons learned, but make it a practice to avoid regrets!
Me: Anything else we should know about?
Maya: 1) I’m seeking — and have been seeking for over a year — a CFO for Ingressive. Someone with extensive experience in venture capital, and has previously been through the successful development of a technology company. Financial technology, ideally. This person should be familiar with and excited about emerging market (Africa) technology and technology-enabled startups.
2) We are also leading a syndicated investment into Hello Tractor, an Abuja, Nigeria-based social enterprise that has engineered a low-cost “Smart Tractor” as well as an Uber-like platform connecting Smart Tractor owners with farmers seeking services.
3) Lastly, we host semi-annual investor tours. Techstars, 500 Startups, Glickman Trust, WingPact were just some of the executive investors who joined us in Lagos this fall. We are planning our next tour for Zanzibar and Kenya in July. If you are interested in investing in Africa and participating in a wholly immersive private investor tour, please contact email@example.com
This post originally appeared on Kelly Hoey’s website. Keep up to date with Kelly’s latest Insights by signing up for her Innovator Insights newsletter.
By J. Kelly Hoey
on February 12, 2016
Exported from Medium
on September 6, 2018.
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