Ovo Emorhokpor Managing Partner
Ovo is a seasoned executive with over 15 years experience in senior-level roles in technology and corporate business development in the US and Nigeria.
His past professional experience includes managerial positions at Goldman Sachs, AOL and Chubb Insurance.
He sits on the boards of AjoCard, Knabu, Produce Africa, and the board of leading regulated financials services operator in Nigeria.
MBA, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
BA Computer Science, Rutgers University
Ike Eze Managing Partner
Ike is a serial entrepreneur with significant experience in financial technology, telecommunications, consulting and engineering.
He is the founder of three Silicon Valley-based technology start ups, where he led the concept formulation, capital raise and exit of all three companies.
He sits on the boards of AjoCard, Smile Identity, BFREE, Produce Africa, as well as external corporate boards.
MBA, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
BS, Mechanical Engineering, San Francisco State University
Steve Marks Venture Partner
Mr. Marks has been a senior executive for the past 35 years in investment banking, asset management, and alternative investments. He is based in Princeton, NJ USA.
He worked in investment banking at Nomura Securities, Merrill Lynch, and UBS. He led international business for Keystone Investments (now known as Allspring Global Investments), Eaton Vance (acquired by Morgan Stanley), and Prudential Financial.
For the past 20 years, Steve has worked at Klitzberg Associates and Klitzberg Fund Solutions raising capital for alternative investments and sourcing external sub-advisors for fund groups.
He is one of the founding partners and co-managers of WHATiF 88, LLC, (www.whatif88.com), a group of Wharton MBA classmates measuring and advising on social and economic impact. Steve is on the Advisory Board of Steward Asset Management (https://stewardassetmgmt.com/), a strategic investor to emerging and diverse private equity and opportunistic managers.
Steve graduated with Honors from Brown University in 1982 and received his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1988. Steve completed a program at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan, and speaks Japanese.
Zibusiso Sibanda Venture Partner
Ms. Sibanda is the Director for Investor Relations with the Black Swan Group Africa, a renewable energy holding company that promotes and incubates initiatives promoting African solutions to climate change mitigation. She also sits on boards and advises startups, as well as small and medium enterprises across Africa.
Previously, Ms. Sibanda led communications for the infrastructure, financial industries, and investment climate teams with the World Bank Group in Washington, Paris, Dakar, and Johannesburg over 16 years, culminating with serving as the Global Head of Internal Communications at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Her introduction into development communications was with the United Nations Secretariat in New York.
Ms. Sibanda holds a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages from the University of Zimbabwe. She earned a Diploma in Portuguese Language and Culture from the Universidade Classica de Lisboa, Portugal, and is certified as an Executive Coach by the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. She is a member of the Coaches and Mentors of South Africa – COMENSA.
Peter Balas Venture PartnerMr. Balas has founded, financed, operated, and negotiated the sale of a number of successful enterprises over the past 36 years. Business sectors include environmental testing, water infrastructure, software/technology, real estate, and renewable energy. He is based in Nevada. Mr. Balas is the Managing Partner of Heather Hill Ventures, LLC, a family wealth management business and is an active investor in public, private, SPAC, and alternative investment vehicles with a focus in technology and renewable energy. Mr. Balas was co-founder of a leading design-build water infrastructure business servicing clients throughout the Western US (acquired by a private equity firm). Prior to this, Mr. Balas was the founder and CEO of an innovative environmental testing business that utilized a fleet of mobile labs to service clients globally (acquired by a leading international lab). Mr. Balas was a founding investor in QSpace, a pioneer in the online delivery of credit reports (acquired by HOMS). Mr. Balas began his career at Royal Dutch Shell and later as an Investment Manager with The Vista Group (an International VC firm) on deals ranging from early-stage investments through later stage/leveraged transactions. Mr. Balas holds a BSME from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and is a Licensed Professional Engineer.
Blessing Okoroafor Research
Blessing is an Economics undergraduate pursuing a career to become a world-class venture capitalist and investment banker.
She has gained experience in Investment banking, asset management and equity research workingvand learning from leading firms like ARM, Edubridge Academy, Bright Network, and participating in the CFA Equity Research Challenge, among others.
BSc Economics, University of Ibadan