VLA Capital Advisors, a division of VentureLift Africa

Building Economic Bridges within and into Africa through Two-Way Investment and Trade

Welcome to VLA Capital Advisors - Your trusted advisor for business transactions in and with Africa.

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Our Service Areas

We are experienced dealmakers for business transactions with Africa. We support intra and cross-border deals with Africa. With a consortium of African and Diaspora transaction advisors, trade partners, financial institutions and lawyers, we are pioneers in Diaspora economic engagement with Africa beyond remittances. We offer advisory services in the following areas:

Diaspora Dealmaking

Investment Facilitation



Foreign Direct Investment

Market Entry

Mergers & Acquisitions

Tech Transfer


Capital Markets Development

Sovereign Wealth Fund Advisory

Diaspora Talent Recruitment

Economic and Social Impact Analysis


VentureLift Africa connects African startups, growing companies and corporates to investors, trade partners and other corporate resources which can help them grow and scale.

Primary Sectors

We bring experience across the continent, North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. We work across all sectors and have demonstrated expertise in economic engagement of the African Diaspora.











Our Founder – Dr. Wilmot Allen

Dr. Allen has over 20 years of experience in financial services, management consulting and deal advisory and entrepreneurship ecosystem-building. Based in Kenya, he is an emerging market entrepreneur, investor and political economist. The VentureLift Africa (VLA) venture studio and advisory firm (VLA Capital Advisors) facilitates two-way investment, trade, tech transfer, market entry and expansion for SMEs, startups and corporates. VLA has an innovative approach to Diaspora economic engagement with Africa (www.vlaadvisors.com; www.allafricahealth.com; www.vlafrica.com; www.diasporawithafrica.com), that mobilizes capital beyond remittances, facilitates B2B and B2C eCommerce, supports management and board development, and curates two-way market entry for Diaspora and African-owned firms. Wilmot works both as a practitioner and researcher with experience across 40 countries in Africa and significant experience as an investment professional in the US and emerging markets.

Wilmot is a multi-sector entrepreneur as Managing Director for Africa with DGrid Energy for solar-powered cold storage, architect of the Africa Healthcare and Biotech Alliance to build joint venture enterprises, Co-Founder of the International Writer’s Lab to connect storytellers in film, television and animation with the Hollywood ecosystem. VLA is an implementation partner with DAI and USAID for educating Africa and US firms on the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) provisions for product exports to the US.

In healthcare, he is a Venture Partner with a healthcare private equity fund, RH Managers in South Africa. Wilmot co-founded a genomics company and is a former management consultant to the Africa CDC and COVID-19 Taskforce Member. He previously worked with the clinical research division of Procter and Gamble and was a management consultant to the R&D group of Allergan Pharmaceuticals.

In the creative sector, he worked with the finance and strategy team at the ABC Television Network (Walt Disney Company) which managed the network’s primetime, daytime, late night, sports, and Touchstone Television properties, film finance with JPMorgan, and was Executive in Charge of Production of the award-winning Tavis Smiley Show and a Creative Executive for KCET/PBS in Hollywood.

In financial roles, Wilmot has worked as an emerging market private equity investor (IFC), technology and media venture capital investor for U.S. women and minority-owned businesses (CEF), and investment banker in technology M&A (JP Morgan) and Private Placements and IPOs (Merrill Lynch). At the IFC, he was also Senior Advisor to CEO Lars Thunell on entrepreneurship, in conjunction with the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment. In East Africa, he led the Transaction Team for the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub as Director for Cross Boundary LLC which established the firm’s most successful advisory practice. He has mobilized more than $7 billion in financial capital and invested or managed investment portfolios of over $3 billion as an investment professional across five continents.

Wilmot was selected as a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum and served on a Global Agenda Council. He sits on several boards of African companies and has helped advance entrepreneurship ecosystems across the continent. Wilmot is a steward of the Council of Inclusive Capitalism and a Robert Toigo Fellow alumnus. He a visiting researcher with Africa Studies department of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, a research associate with SovereigNet at Tufts University and a former fellow at the African Centre for the Study of the US of Wits University in South Africa and with the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University. Wilmot is co-author of the 2022 Sovereign Wealth Fund Index by Konfidants and of the forthcoming book, Sovereign Wealth Funds and the New State Capitalism in Africa (Palgrave MacMillan). He has degrees from Georgetown (PhD), Wharton (MBA), Harvard (MPA) and Yale (BA).

Dr. Wilmot Allen

Dr. Wilmot Allen on The Owning the Narrative in Film, Television and Music Panel at the US Africa Leaders Summit, December 2022

Diaspora Engagement

Sovereign Wealth Index

2022 Sovereign Wealth Fund Index from Konfidants with co-author VLA

The International Writer’s Lab

A Creative Accelerator and Fellowship Program

2021-22: Inaugural Kenya Cohort

2023: Inaugural Ghana Cohort

Showcasing Great African Stories from African Storytellers!!

Virtual Event

Building the Economic Bridge Between the United States and Africa

A seminal diaspora economic engagement summit which brought together African diaspora from around the world for trade and investment deal-making with African businesses.

His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana makes the business case for Diaspora economic engagement with Africa at the DITDE 2020!!

AAU Talks: The Role of the African Diaspora in Shaping the Continent's Scientific Agenda

VentureLift Africa, National Black Chambers of Commerce, National Urban League Young Professionals and Global South X South Consulting - April 2021

News & Announcements

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