Celo Foundation sets in motion its Africa Web3 fund program in Uganda

Yesterday, Celo foundation kicked off its Africa Web3 Fund program for Web2 and Web3 businesses in Uganda.

By Anna B Kiwanuka

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Global payments infrastructure, Celo foundation recently set in motion its Africa Web3 Fund initiative in Kampala, Uganda. The initiative started off with an informative workshop for venture capitalists (VCs) and enterprises innovating within Web3, seeking to raise funding for their Web3 projects and businesses looking to transition from Web2 to Web3.

According to Umar Sebyala, the Ecosystem Lead, Celo Uganda, the Web3 program is being implemented on an ongoing basis starting with the workshop where Web3 builders interact with VCs and explore investment strategies. The next step is the “Strategic office hours”where Web3 innovators connect with the Celo innovation team to explore the full potential of their product strategy. 

Thereafter, the startups move to the “Web3 fund deal room” where they receive input from the Celo ecosystem growth teams and investors before they finally launch their products.

Local crypto exchange platform, Binusu exchange, crypto-fiat swap platform, Cashout, fintech platform, Kanzu code, and digital platform, watch guard were some of the enterprises that showcased at the workshop.

A panel discussion about bootstrapping and acquiring capital and investments was also held at the workshop. The enlightening conversation included Noah Baalenssanvu, Head of Technology at Crypto Savannah, Suleiman Murunga, the Director at Muda, and Reginald Tumusiime from Capital Savvy and was moderated by Daniel Kimotho, the Ecosystem Lead for Celo Kenya.

Sharing about common mistakes made by entrepreneurs while trying to acquire investments, Suleiman Murunga noted that entrepreneurs often fail to acquire capital because they hardly have sustainable solutions, especially for their local markets. He added that oftentimes they focus on plagiarising ideas that can only work in Western countries. 

He, therefore, advised, “Pay attention to the product you wish to launch and ask yourself if it is relevant to your community, can it be paid for by the local market?”

He further stated, “When you find problems that your country has, the implementation/application of your solution becomes easier.”

Noah Baalessanvu also added that entrepreneurs should make sure that the investors’ mission is aligned with theirs.

Reginald Tumusiime advised that it is important to attract the right talent while establishing a startup. He added that having people with the right experience enables you to acquire more capital. 

Speaking about Uganda’s stance on crypto regulation and whether there is hope for the implementation of a Ugandan Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), Noah Baalessanvu said, “The recent regulation by the Central Bank of Uganda, warning against converting cryptocurrencies into mobile money and vice versa, was a knee-jerk reaction to fraud. However, as a regulator, their main claim is that we should not just do what other countries like Nigeria are doing, the CBDC has to be solving a problem.”

The Celo foundation team revealed that Celo Africa is coming up with a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) for the African community.  According to Africa Ecosystem Lead at Celo Foundation, Aliu Musa this is a step towards making sure the Celo Africa community growth is organic. Additionally, it is necessary because there is a lot of positive impact coming from the different African communities.

The Celo team is looking forward to making their next stop for the Web3 fund program in South Africa next year.

The event concluded with a sumptuous meal and developers get together.

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