An Interview With Fiyin, HealthCap’s 2023 Graduate Trainee.

As a fresh graduate, seeking employment or internship can be a whole lot of stress, which is even amplified if the position is within the venture capital ecosystem. 

Fiyin, a venture capital graduate trainee at Healthcap Africa has shared her journey and experience so far in the Healthcap Graduate trainee program. In this interview, Fiyin tells us why she joined the trainee program, what she has learned and why she would recommend the program to prospective trainees.

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Fiyin and I am a graduate of Finance with a passion for venture capital and a drive to make a positive impact in the world of startups and investments. I am excited to  share my experience as a HealthCap Africa Graduate Trainee.

Why did you join the HealthCap Africa Graduate Trainee Program?

My journey into the venture capital ecosystem began with an eagerness to learn, a desire to challenge myself and a commitment to personal growth. I saw the HealthCap Africa Graduate Trainee Program as a perfect platform to channel my enthusiasm into practical skills that will drive real-world impact. The reputation of HealthCap Africa as a dynamic pan-African investment firm, coupled with its focus on health tech and fintech sectors, resonated deeply with my aspirations.

Can you briefly tell us what the HealthCap Africa graduate trainee program is about?

Of course! The HealthCap Africa Graduate Trainee Program is a 12-week program aimed at providing graduates with a learning experience that prepares them for a career in venture capital, equipping them with the skills, knowledge, and network necessary to excel in the competitive and fast-paced world of startup investing. The learning experience at HealthCap Africa is quite unique because it consists of learning on the job, and academic learning. The program  helps graduates to excel in the fast-paced world of venture capital.

What does HealthCap Africa do?

Basically, at HealthCap Africa, our mission is to create a healthier world through strategic investments in promising startups. We specialise in investing in health tech and fintech startups across the African continent. HealthCap Africa has invested in over 20 health tech and fintech startups that have immense growth potential. 

What is your role as a graduate trainee in HealthCap Africa?

It’s quite simple. As a graduate trainee in HealthCap Africa, my responsibilities encompass various aspects of the venture capital process including assisting with sourcing for potential investment opportunities and participating in founder calls, where I put together call notes and summaries. On the academic side, I take courses, read carefully selected and relevant books and make presentations. I’m also assigned weekly tasks which are graded.

The academic side seems really interesting. Can you shed more light on that?

Absolutely! The academic side of the HealthCap Africa graduate trainee program has offered me a robust knowledge in venture capital, combining books, courses and practical tasks. This has not only expanded my knowledge but also empowered me with the skills needed to excel in the venture capital ecosystem.

Every week, I read incredibly insightful books on Venture Capital, with two particular titles – ‘Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation’ and ‘The Business of Venture Capital’ – standing out for me. These books have given me a comprehensive understanding of how capital is raised for venture capital funds. Since joining the graduate trainee program, my public speaking skills have improved significantly due to the weekly presentations I deliver to my supervisors and the entire team

Additionally, I’ve taken courses on “Venture Capital vs. Private Equity” and “Successful Negotiation Skills” which have equipped me with practical insights into these critical aspects of the venture capital world. I’ve also taken some courses on portfolio management and investor community management. These courses have given me a broad view of how things work in the venture capital ecosystem.

Gaining access to exclusive videos by Dr. Ola Brown, the founder of HealthCap Africa, has been instrumental in my learning journey. These videos have covered essential topics like due diligence, valuation of startup companies in venture capital, exit strategies, portfolio management.

On a scale of 1-10, how well will you say you’ve applied what you’ve learned so far?

I would say 9. I’ve applied almost everything I’ve learned so far. That’s what makes the program more interesting. And it makes it difficult to forget anything I’ve learned from the books I’ve read or courses I’ve taken.

What is a special project you’ve worked on?

Reviewing deals. I have reviewed over 40 so far.

What’s your favourite part about being a graduate trainee at HealthCap Africa?

My favourite part about being a HealthCap graduate trainee program, is how fast it’s helping me develop new skills and improve existing ones. Watching my own progress from being a rookie to becoming skilled in the area of venture capital gives me a strong sense of accomplishment. The fact that I work closely with professionals who serve as mentors, creates a well-rounded and deeply enriching learning journey for me.

What have you learned from the program generally?

Generally I have learned to pay attention to details as this is very important when conducting due diligence. Learning the art of negotiation is another important thing I have learned because as humans we need this skill, and gaining it from this program is just amazing. 

Is the program virtual or in person?

The program isn’t virtual. It’s onsite.  And I must say that being here in person has made learning much easier for me. It has also improved my interpersonal skills.

What can individuals expect if they apply for the HealthCap Africa graduate trainee program?

Well, I will say interested applicants should expect a straightforward and seamless recruitment process that begins with the application itself, followed by an introductory call to shortlisted candidates only, an interview with the recruitment team, every other thing that follows depends on the outcome of your interview. Overall, the process is a straightforward one. No stress!

Any tips on the interview process?

Familiarise yourself with the company, you can visit the website to learn all you want. Sell yourself and have a good story that complements what’s on your CV. It’s very important to read instructions carefully and follow them. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions before or during your interview and even after.

Will you recommend the HealthCap Africa graduate trainee program? And why?

I will wholeheartedly recommend the HealthCap Africa Graduate Trainee Program to any interested individual I come across. This program isn’t just focused on helping trainees hone skills for a successful venture capital career. It’s designed to foster a culture of hands-on learning. As a trainee, you get to dive right in, working closely with professionals who serve as mentors. This experience lays a strong foundation for you to become a skilled venture capital professional. The HealthCap graduate trainee program serves as a platform that aligns perfectly with HealthCap Africa’s core values of excellence. It’s not just about professional growth, but also about personal development. I wish all applicants who will be applying for the next cohort the best of luck.

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