Careers

Hiring: Director of Entrepreneur Support

  • Employer: DFS Lab 
  • Job title: Director of Entrepreneur Support
  • 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 invests in and supports early-stage founders creating companies that represent the future of digital commerce in Africa. 

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. 

We’ve invested in over a dozen 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 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 in the past year.

We have recently raised a new fund and will be investing 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, founder mentorship platforms, tech platforms — even considering launching our own bank — 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 product 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’re excited to be working with our community of founders, mentors, and co-investors and to help us build strong systems to support founders and grow our business. 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 Entrepreneur Support 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 product manager and entrepreneur coach to join the team and help drive DFS Lab’s product initiatives including:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 tech startup, preferably a fintech, digital commerce, platform or mobility/logistics oriented business model. Software engineer background is a big plus.
  • 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 Paris or Africa.
  • Founded a company that had a successful exit.
  • Strong network of investors and proven fundraising capabilities.
  • Engineer, designer, or product background. 
  • Fun to work with.