Advancing Black Innovators with Kunle Apampa, from Capricorn

Kunle Apampa is the Director and Head of Client Advisory & Partnerships (CAP) at Capricorn. He joined the firm in 2021. Prior to Capricorn, Kunle formed and led the Strategic Partnerships & Portfolio Solutions team at Goldman Sachs Imprint, an ESG & Impact Investment unit within the Alternative Investments & Manager Selection (AIMS) group. Kunle spent over a decade at Goldman Sachs, holding several leadership roles within the firm’s Global Markets division as well as the Finance division. Kunle holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering, specializing in Energy, Environment & Economics, from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

In his spare time, Kunle actively monitors the pan-African venture space. He is an angel investor in some of these opportunities and believes most start-ups on the continent have true embedded impact that interconnects people and planet.

Below are the questions we discussed this episode:

1. You spent over a decade at Goldman Sachs and most recently joined as a Director, one of the largest mission-aligned investment firms globally, Capricorn Investment Group. How do mid-career talent and allocators like yourself navigate such career moves?

2. Financial industry that has not been disrupted. As we are seeing more people bringing movement into this industry, how do you see biases and prejudices that played in the past come in effect for people like you who are catalysts for change?

3. PE/VCInvesting is a relationship based industry and are highly transactional. Capricorn has helped many unknown early stage startups power play to be highly successful mission-aligned companies in the world. From your perspective how easy or difficult was it to navigate and get to where you all are?

4. Many PE/VCs offered to take steps to improve the lack of representation in their industry during the Black Lives Matter movement. What was your experience and where do you think is the systemic problem when it comes to funding for underrepresented founders? What is the diversity in your fund and portfolios that you are investing in?

5. What is the future of impact and ESG investing?

6. Not every investor is a right fit for a founder. I would love to know your take who as you have backed some amazing founders, what is the right founder investor fit? (view as any relationship)

7. There is an interest in Africa broadly, what do US firms need to do to have a geographically diverse portfolio?

8. Tell us your involvement as an LP in Africa ecosystem especially Launch Africa Ventures.

9. To invest in unpredictable big ideas one has to learn and see things differently, analyze markets that others are finding it non-sexy to invest in.. What are the learning habits you have acquired during your investor days? How do you analyze various thinking models?

10.Tell us more about the Africa venture ecosystem and startups bringing innovation in that geography.

11. How did your experience at GS on the ESG &Impact team help you to empathize with early stage founders when allocating capital as their ? How has your founder experience shaped your investment thesis in the early stage as well as growth venture market as LP?

#venturecapital #startups #diversityequityinclusion #africa