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PAGTIC-LA Investor

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VentureLift Africa

Nairobi Kenya

Dr. Wilmot Allen

Founder, VentureLift Africa

Employing the Future

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Meet Dr. Wilmot Allen

The Game of Investing in Africa and Relocating to Kenya

Based in Nairobi, Dr. Wilmot Allen is an entrepreneur, investor and political economist. Wilmot has invested or managed investments totaling over $4 billion across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. His academic research and publications address comparative Diaspora economic engagement, creative economy, healthcare, international trade, innovative financing mechanisms and Sovereign Investment Funds.

Wilmot is Founder of VentureLift Africa (VLA), a venture studio ( with an advisory firm (VLA Capital Advisors facilitating investment, trade, tech transfer, market entry and expansion for SMEs, startups and corporates. VLA curates leading Diaspora companies into Africa and supports the market expansion of great African brands into global markets with significant Diaspora populations. The company is also an implementation partner for the USAID ATI program for the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) under Prosper Africa.

Wilmot leads the Africa operations for DGRID Energy as Managing Director and Partner. DGRID is a US-based company with a presence across emerging markets and in six countries in Africa. The company provides solar-based cold chains solutions for agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, healthcare and other verticals through its Cooling as a Service (CAAS) products.

Wilmot is a Partner with RH Managers based in Johannesburg, a private equity fund investing in healthcare across Southern and Eastern Africa. The fund invests in hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical manufacturing, digital health, med-tech, medical device companies and healthcare-related educational institutions. Wilmot was recently a management consultant to the African CDC to create the strategy, fundraising and operational plan for its new Africa Public Health Foundation (APHF). He established a genomics company in Nairobi and had operational responsibilities as a management consultant to the R&D division of Allergan Pharmaceuticals and a clinical researcher with Proctor & Gamble.

In the creative sector in Africa, Wilmot is Co-Founder of the International Writer’s Lab (IWL), an accelerator and fellowship program for experienced writers of film and television. The IWL started in East Africa in 2021 and is now launching its first cohort in West Africa (Ghana). The program showcases African writing talent, connects the African film and television ecosystems to Hollywood creative talent and content buyers, facilitates deals for writers and catalyzes job creation and investment into the creative sector. The IWL will establish its first animation cohort in 2023.

Prior, Wilmot worked with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Washington DC, executing investments and managing the portfolio of the private equity funds team, financial institutions and infrastructure groups. At the IFC, he was also Senior Advisor to the CEO Lars Thunell on entrepreneurship initiatives supporting SMEs in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, in conjunction with the World Economic Forum. In other roles, Wilmot worked as a venture capital investor in women and minority-owned businesses with the Commonwealth Enterprise Fund in Boston, a digital media, technology M&A investment banker with JPMorgan H&Q to Silicon Valley and international companies in San Francisco, and a private placement and IPO investment banker with Merrill Lynch in New York. Wilmot previously was the Director of East Africa with CrossBoundary LLC, leading the transaction advisory practice for East Africa from Nairobi. Under his leadership, this group served as the transaction team for a USAID Presidential Trade Africa initiative, the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub and established CrossBoundary’s most successful advisory office.

Wilmot is a visiting researcher with the Africa Studies Department of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Wilmot is co-author of the forthcoming Sovereign Wealth Funds and the New State Capitalism in Africa (Palgrave MacMillan). Wilmot has a PhD from Georgetown University in Comparative Political Economy, an MBA from the Wharton Business School, an MPA from Harvard University and BA from Yale University.

USAID partners with VentureLift Africa: What is AGOA and How Can It Help Your Business?

Our Services

We are team of seasoned investors, entrepreneurs and management consultants with experience across forty countries in Africa and across emerging markets. Our management and governance model adapts to the dynamics of local markets in Africa and global communities.

  • CEO Collective 

    Our network of senior professionals on the continent and in the Diaspora who are selected to lead companies in our venture studio.

  • Diaspora Angel Investor Network

    Our vetted group of angel investors who co-invest individually or as a syndicate in African or diaspora-owned businesses.

  • Advisors and Board Connect

    Our group of seasoned advisors and board member candidates who help guide our cohort in key areas of business.


Check our our website

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