VC/Entrepreneur Session


Folabi Esan, Adlevo Capital
Tokunboh Ishmael, Alitheia Capital
Anthony Oboh, Unique Venture Capital
Sim Shagaya, Entrepreneur


- The ABC's of fundraising (Dos and Donts)
- Planning the business & setting strategic objectives
- Understanding the customers

Speaker Bios:

Folabi Esan

Folabi is currently a partner at Adlevo Capital.  Folabi Esan was the Founder and Managing Consultant of Catalyst TDC, a Nigeria-based consulting firm that advises clients on technology adoption issues within their companies. Prior to founding Catalyst TDC, Folabi was the Managing Director of SAP Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary of the leading enterprise software company, for five years. He successfully drove the company to profitability within three years and was instrumental in building the company up to its current position as the leading provider of enterprise software to large corporations in the region.

Before he joined SAP, Folabi managed Heureka Consulting, a marketing consulting firm that provided consulting services to small and mid-sized IT Companies in Nigeria. He started Heureka Consulting after founding and running Wood Products Limited, a Nigeria-based manufacturer of wood products. Folabi’s previous experience also includes positions with Bain & Company in the US and Andersen Consulting in Nigeria.

Folabi received a B. Eng. in Mechanical Engineering (First Class Division) from Ahmadu Bello University, an M.S. in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford University, and an M.Sc. in Innovation Management and Technology Policy from University of London

Tokunboh Ishmael
Tokunboh Ishmael has worked in the USA, UK and Africa. She is a co-founder of Alitheia Capital (, an investment management and advisory firm focused on channeling private equity investments into businesses and real estate assets to enhance access to finance, energy and housing for the excluded at the base of the economic pyramid.

Her previous roles include Country Partner for Nigeria at Aureos Capital where she successfully raised capital to complete a $50m fundraising exercise for the Aureos West Africa Fund, and sourced private equity investments; Fund Manager of a technology focused venture capital fund (Sussex Place Ventures) where she incubated new ventures, and commercialized technological innovations developed in the laboratories of top universities in the UK. Other previous roles include M&A banker at Salomon Smith Barney and Managing Director of Avante Capital Ltd where she advised on a number of acquisitions in the oil and gas sector including the acquisition and financing of a government owned refinery, and led the first secondary listing of a Nigerian company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.  Tokunboh is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the CFA Institute; a member of the board of the African Venture Capital Association and a panelist on the TV show, Dragons' Den Nigeria.

Anthony Osa-Oboh 

Anthony is the Managing Director/CEO of Unique Venture Capital(UVC), an SME focused VC investment group operating in Nigeria.  UVC has been selected by the World Bank / IFC as the Fund Manager for the IFC SME West African Venture Fund for SME Equity investments in Liberia and Sierra Leone.  Anthony joined UVC in 2004, from National Risk Fund PLC (NRF), Nigeria’s first Venture Capital Company, where he served and rose from Senior Manager and head of operations in 1995 to MD and CEO in 2002. Between 1989 and 1995 he was at the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) where he was for several years the Head of Consultancy & Engineering Service division, as well as the pioneering Head of several divisions amongst which were the Techno-marketing, Investment Promotions and the Joint Ventures Division of the Council.  Before RMRDC he was for ten years (1979-1989) a research scientist on End-use-research of palms and palm products at the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR).

He has BSc, MSc and a 1986 PhD degree in Food Process Engineering, all from the University of Ibadan. Ibadan, Nigeria. He was a 1987 EEC Post Doctorial fellowship award recipient at Newtech, a UK based research, innovation and commercialization center. A 1989 Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) Nigerian National Innovator/Inventor of the year prize winner and was also a 1994 award recipient of the Rockefella Foundation’s Leadership program. He comes with vast experience in Research, Industrial Consultancy, Technology Marketing, Investment Promotion, Joint Venture deal structuring and VentureCapital operations.  He is a member of several professional bodies and associations amongst which are NIFST, AOCS and IFST. He is also a Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD)

Sim B. Shagaya

Sim has worked with leaders such as MicroStrategy, Lucent Technologies, Real Networks and Google Inc. Prior to this, he was the West African Principal for Rand Merchant Bank where he drove telecom and energy investments in the region. Sim is a Co-Founder of E-Motion Advertising - one of the fastest growing out of home advertising firms in Nigeria and also started (nigeria's leading online matchmaking service) and (a free local classifieds service). Sim is graduate of George Washington University, Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.