Kola Aina is an engineer, entrepreneur, and investor. He is passionate about using technology and innovation to solve problems in society and ultimately create prosperity. He is an impact-oriented capitalist and he believes that it is possible to do well and do good at the same time. Kola is a passionate supporter and collector of contemporary African art.
He is the Founder of Ventures Platform an early-stage fund that provides smart capital and growth support for bold entrepreneurs who are leveraging innovation to solve problems in Africa and around the world. Beyond capital investment, VP provides the necessary infrastructure for these entrepreneurs to thrive through its co-working business – Ventures Park. VP also provides capacity building and ecosystem support through its not-for-profit entity – Ventures Platform Foundation.
Through Ventures Platform, Kola has invested in over 30 startups including CrowdForce, PayStack, Kudi, and PiggyVest. He is a mentor on XL Africa, the World Bank Accelerator and Google Launchpad Accelerator. He is also a board member and advisory board member of various organizations ranging from ARM Financial Advisers Limited, Reliance HMO and the Yemisi Shyllon Art Museum.
Prior to founding Ventures Platform, Kola founded Emerging Platforms, a technology outsourcing company. EP has created solutions in various sectors including education and security for both public and private sector organizations. Building various platforms that have provided services to hundreds of thousands of Nigerians.
He studied Electrical Electronics Technology at Savanah State University, Georgia, USA. After this, He got an MBA with a specialization in Finance from Bowling Green State University, USA. He has attended various senior executive programs at Havard Business School, University of California’s Berkeley Center for Law, Business and The Economy, Lagos Business School amongst others. Kola has work experience in Nigeria and the US where he worked as a Financial Analyst at Fifth Third Bank.
He is a member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG). He is also a member of the Presidential Committee on job creation and youth employment and the Presidential Advisory Group on Technology & Creativity, both advisory bodies to the Nigerian presidency.
While Kola has recorded a number of successes as an entrepreneur, investor, and advisor, he also has a number of failed ventures under his belt which he believes were learning experiences – ranging from retail to outsourcing. Due to this, Kola is passionate about mentoring and advising young entrepreneurs who are creating solutions for mass underserved -markets. This has put him on many stages both locally and internationally where he has delivered speeches, lectures, and talks on technology, entrepreneurship, social change, and various other topics. He delivered a TED talk at TEDxEuston where
he spoke on the topic “Who will own our future unicorns?”. He was also a speaker at Techcrunch’s first event in Nigeria, Techcrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2019.
He has received multiple awards and has been featured in various lists such as The 20 most important people in Nigerian tech, The 10 most influential people in Nigerian Tech and #YNaijaPowerList2018 for Technology and many more.
In his spare time, he enjoys writing on topics he’s passionate about in his blog or on twitter, reading books and spending time with his family.