Careers

Hiring: Director of Ecosystem

  • Employer: DFS Lab 
  • Job title: Director of Ecosystem
  • Location: Flexible
  • Hours: Full-time
  • Start date: Immediate 
  • Term: 6 month trial, then indefinite; path to equity partner long run
  • Compensation: Competitive
  • Travel: 30% in normal times, much less for the foreseeable future
  • Contact: Jake Kendall, jake@cariboudigital.net  

Who we are

DFS Lab is an accelerator and investor who supports early-stage founders creating companies that represent the future of digital commerce 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 20 companies in the past three years alongside leading venture capital firms like 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 $20m in seed funding and a cumulative valuation of over $65m. Two got into Y Combinator.

We have recently raised a second 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. 

We try to rethink the business model of investor, accelerator, incubator, 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. We are looking for a new person to join our family and be part of building a powerhouse that will change how entrepreneurs start digital economy companies in Africa.

Who you are

You’re a founder with a community and ecosystem builder mindset. You are someone who’s motivated to build-up African startup ecosystems and personally work with founders day-to-day giving them the benefit of your past experience launching a tech startup. You like to build community and can help us expand our mentor and angel investor communities including Sufficient Capital. 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 Ecosystem is an essential role at DFS Lab. We roll up our sleeves to help our portfolio companies with everything from hiring to fundraising to setting up ad campaigns to getting into TechCrunch so successful candidates will demonstrate an ability to perform across many different areas. 

We are looking for a community builder  to join the team and help drive DFS Lab’s community initiatives including:

  • Community platform: You will work with our marketing team to help develop DFS Lab’s community platform where the members of our network can come together to share advice and interact with each other in powerful ways that go beyond (but still possibly include) gossip and sharing blog posts written by famous VCs.
  • Sufficient Capital: You will work to grow the Sufficient Capital member base and make sure community members have fulfilling engagement and a world class experience.

As with all members of the DFS Lab you will also focus on supporting our companies: 

  • Founder program: You will work directly with founders to help guide them through the various challenges of early-stage entrepreneurship. You’ll help us build structure around our post-investment program including the processes, tools, mentors, and metrics.
  • Fundraising support: You’ll work with teams to help them raise capital during their seed rounds, tapping into your experience and network as a founder to help guide them through the process. 
  • Advisory projects and research: You’ll bring expertise to DFS Lab’s consultancy projects aimed at boosting entrepreneurship and digital commerce in Africa. You’ll also collaborate to write and research deeper thought pieces on the African tech landscape.
  • Next generation strategy development: Everyone on the DFS Lab team has ownership over the strategy. You will come up with new ideas and validate new directions for how the DFS Lab can grow and magnify the benefits we create for founders. 

Candidate

Required:

  • Has been a founder of an African-focused startup, preferably a fintech, digital commerce, platform or mobility/logistics oriented business model. 
  • Community and ecosystem builder mindset.
  • Strong teacher and mentor mindset. Can help guide other founders to best practices in entrepreneurship and technology. In touch with the best thinking on how to succeed as a founder building strong, technology based businesses.
  • A track record of creating and improving new tools, processes, and systems to enhance internal capacity.
  • Deeply empathetic to the challenges African founders face. A giving, ethical, and humble demeanor — someone who tries to create value without seeing how they will be repaid. 
  • Very professional, hard work ethic, no excuses. Good writer and communicator.  

Bonus points:

  • Based in and from Africa. Kenya or South Africa preferred.
  • Founded a high growth startup.
  • Strong network of investors and proven fundraising capabilities.
  • Engineering and/or product background. 
  • Fun to work with.
  • Brings gender diversity to our team.