Director of Consulting

Hiring: Director of Consulting

  • Employer: DFS Lab 
  • Job title: Director of Consulting Practice
  • Location: Flexible – Kenya or South Africa prefered
  • Hours: Full-time
  • Start date: Immediate 
  • Term: 6 month trial, then indefinite; success bonuses for business won
  • Compensation: Competitive 
  • Travel: 30% in normal times, much less for the foreseeable future 
  • Contact: Jake Kendall, jake@dfslab.net 

Who we are

DFS Lab is an accelerator and investor that supports early-stage founders creating a modern digital economy in Africa. We also manage Sufficient Capital, a community of angels and venture funds exploring and investing together.

In our accelerator, we try to provide practical advice, support our entrepreneurs as people, and put them on the best footing as individuals and as a company to grow and succeed. We also recognize our own experience and ability to help is inherently limited and so we aim to connect them with a global group of investors and mentors who are best placed to offer deep technical expertise, insight on founding a similar company, or who can offer other tailored value to our entrepreneurs. 

With Sufficient Capital we are building a community of engaged angels and investors from around the world who will co-invest in the best deals with DFS Lab and support the teams while also connecting and learning as a community. 

We’ve invested in over 24 companies in the past three years alongside leading venture capital firms like Tiger Global, Accel, 500 Startups, NYCA, Anthemis, Omidyar Network, and Accion. The twelve companies we have worked with longer term have gone from little more than concepts to having raised over $50 million in seed funding and a cumulative valuation of over $550 million. Five have gotten into Y Combinator already.

We have recently raised a third fund for our accelerator and combining that with Sufficient Capital will allow us to invest in a larger number of new companies per year, expanding the support structure, and exploring even more ambitious new directions to help African founders create great companies. 

Alongside our investment business we have a rapidly growing consulting business where we do leading edge research, investment advisory, and innovation bootcamp events. Examples include a series of innovation events that bring together leading fintechs and digital commerce companies (e.g. Flutterwave, Paystack, PiggyVest, Abeg, PalmPay, and other market leaders have all joined recent events) as well as an expansive multi-year data collection and research project funded by the Gates Foundation to understand how users of digital platforms like Grab and Tokepedia in Indonesia are making income and changing their economic status. We have a full pipeline of similar projects.

We try to rethink the business model of investor, accelerator, incubator, advisor, and startup founder constantly and not just imitate the models we see elsewhere. We’re exploring new financing instruments, community models, and tech platforms all as ways to give entrepreneurs the tools they need to build impressive companies and products. For this role, we are looking for a senior person to join our family and lead a powerhouse consulting practice that will change how people think about the tech sector in Africa.

Who you are

You’re excited to build a consulting practice advising marquee clients (e.g. large private equity funds, the Gates Foundation, World bank, or global technology platforms) and helping them understand and interact with the leading edge of the African technology sector. You are someone who deeply understands the African startup ecosystem as a former entrepreneur or investor or other market participant and have a deep research mindset, able to structure research projects and address key questions through data. You can source hard to find information and market intelligence using your insight and relationships across the ecosystem. You have the capacity to be a thought leader in the ecosystem. You believe in the mission of the DFS Lab and want to be part of growing the business long term.

Role and Responsibilities

The Director of Consulting is an essential role at DFS Lab. We roll up our sleeves to help our clients with research and market intelligence as well as organizing curated events that engage key players in the ecosystem.

We are looking for a researcher and consultant to join the team to further accelerate DFS Lab’s fast growing consulting practice including:

  • Structuring and leading complex research projects — our clients ask challenging questions and we need someone who can manage large scale multi disciplinary projects across multiple countries involving subcontractors and staff.
  • Managing event engagements to bring together leading thinkers and market participants– we run events that bring together market leading startups, experts, and partners. These events require strong organizational skills and the ability to convince highly sought after people and companies to attend. 
  • Building new business through follow-on work with existing clients – most of our clients are repeat business and we need someone who can develop deep relationships and understand the needs of our clients to propose further ways we can help them.
  • Developing new client relationships – the ideal candidate will bring their own set of relationships with potential clients who would find our services valuable. They will need to be able to create compelling proposals for jobs we are bidding on.
  • Building a small consulting team to execute world class consulting projects – as the leader of the consulting team, you will work with the DFS Lab partners to hire and develop talent to grow the team as our business scales.

As with all members of the DFS Lab you will sometimes be called on to support our portfolio companies with advisory, introductions to mentors, fundraising support, and strategy development. 

Candidate

Required:

  • Researcher and thought leader mindset. In touch with the best thinking on the African technology ecosystem and influence through writing and research. 
  • High level professional experience, communications, and sales — able to interact with senior leaders in client organizations and develop new business. 
  • Highly organized, strong project management skills, able to manage multiple projects, junior staff, and external consultants. 
  • Deep knowledge of the African tech ecosystem through having been a market researcher, an investor in the ecosystem, or a founder of an African-focused startup. 
  • Strong teacher and mentor mindset. Can help guide other team members to best practices in consulting and research. Will help nurture junior members of the team.
  • Good writer and communicator.  
  • Very professional, hard work ethic, no excuses. 

Bonus points:

  • Strong network of potential clients and ability to drive new business.
  • Based in and from Africa. Kenya or South Africa prefered.
  • Founded a high profile startup. Worked as an investor in the ecosystem.
  • Worked at a global top 5 consulting company. 
  • Fun to work with.
  • Brings gender and/or other forms of diversity to our team.