Philip Kiracofe


Partner: Horizen Ventures Africa




The UCT Upstarts program has challenged you to complete an inspiring project that “Imagines a New Africa”. Now you must find something that you are passionate about and set a goal that makes a genuine impact. For many reasons, we are conditioned to set the bar low and maximize the chance of success. Failure Club goes to the opposite extreme and demands that you set a goal so audacious you are almost certain to fail. This process will rewire how you look at ‘failure’ and you will discover that most of life’s limitations are arbitrary and self-imposed. When you overcome that, you will blow away your self-inflicted limits, and we will all achieve results that appear miraculous.


“Over the last 25 years of my ‘adult’ life, I have attended the US Air Force Academy, co-founded, funded, and advised dozens of start-ups, raised two venture capital funds, volunteered in disaster zones (Thailand, Haiti), sold million dollar condos in NYC, was President of the Manhattan Association of Realtors, sat on the Board of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, completed the Comrades and 2 Ironman triathlons, summited Kilimanjaro, trained a Service Dog, made a barrel of wine (Shiraz), co-hosted a year-long show with Morgan Spurlock (Failure Club), launched the first international mountain bike race in Haiti (MTB Ayiti), got married, got divorced, and moved to South Africa. I am here working with start-ups that have global ambitions, raising a venture fund in SA, and plan to create a viable IPO marketplace (AIM for Africa) and the first African Innovation index. My life is guided by the perpetual quest for failure, and since 2004, that has manifested through the Failure Club.”


Why do you want to be part of UCT Upstarts? “You represent some of the brightest minds with the greatest resources on the continent. There is no better place to pursue audacious, transformative goals.”

HOW DO YOU ‘IMAGINE A NEW AFRICA’? “I see a rich source of innovators solving global challenges with a uniquely African approach. And launching AIM for Africa - a vibrant IPO market on the AltX exchange.”