Aaron Fu leaves Mest Africa after 2-year stint as MD, to focus on own startups

After serving at Mest Africa, the entrepreneurial training program, seed fund, and incubator for about 2 years as the organisation’s MD, Aaron Fu has announced his departure from his position and the organisation.

Fu has led the pan-African the organisation which works with technology entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana from August 2017.

(TOP: Aaron Fu, the outgoing Mest Africa MD).

Fu, who describes himself as “an early stage investor, entrepreneur, and strategic advisor to both startups as they scale and corporates as they transform to gain agility for game-changing innovation” announced his departure from Mest Africa via an article published on Medium yesterday.

“Coming to the end of a 2-year long amazing journey at MEST Africa that has absolutely changed my life in ways I didn’t imagine possible, challenged what I believed possible, inspired me, humbled me hard and made a shito-addict out of me.

This isn’t a note about departure — none of that here, but about my gratitude to those who’ve been with me on this journey and my hopes for the future,” Fu wrote.

As part of the milestones  at Mest Africa, he stated that he’d seen the number of incubators grow from 1 incubator to 4 while the portfolio of startups funded by Mest Africa rose from 8 when he joined to over 25 by the time of his departure.

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In the meantime, Fu stated that he wants to “take a bit of time out to focus on family, health and friends” while also dedicating more time to his own small startup portfolio, including NALA Money, a Tanzania-based mobile phone payments platform. team in the coming weeks.

The outgoing Mest Africa boss further added that he’d be “exploring collaborations and learning opportunities to understand more deeply and experiment with solutions around 2 areas”, that is Early Stage Smart Capital and Talent development.

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On Early Stage Smart Capital, Fu believes that “there is still not enough capital available pre-Seed through to Seed” and within that area, there is even less early capital coming from individuals (or institutions) who’ve built tech, who’ve built startups, who’ve built in Africa.

While regarding talent, he’s concerned that startups in Africa continue to struggle for talent, with some initial research pointing to talent as being a Top 3 inhibitor of growth.

Aaron Fu joined Mest AfricA from Nest.vc where he’d various senior roles for almost 4 years. Prior to this, he’s the founding mentor at XL Africa, a World Bank-funded five-month business acceleration program designed to support the 20 most promising digital start-ups from sub-Saharan Africa. He’s also the founder of Metta Nairobi and Lompang Rideshare, a Singapore-based ridesharing firm which he set up and headed from 2013 to 2015.


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