Zachariah (Zach) George is the co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Startupbootcamp Africa – the leading multi-
corporate backed venture accelerator program in Africa. In 2013, he founded Cactus Advisors – a specialist corporate
finance advisory firm and micro VC fund that has advised and invested in 40+ of Africa’s top tech ventures including
Flutterwave, Kudabank, MPost, HouseME, RecoMed and several others. Zach currently serves as a Principal at Nedbank
Venture Capital & Alternative Investments.
In 2015, Cactus Advisors co-created, developed and managed the first ever corporate tech accelerator program in Africa
– the Barclays Tech Lab Africa accelerator program designed to discover, nurture and empower the next generation of
technology innovators, and subsequently managed the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s incubator and accelerator
program. Zach has advised numerous African start-ups and businesses since 2010 and is an Angel Investor in several of
Africa’s most successful tech startups.
He was co-featured on the cover of Fast Company Africa in May 2018, Destiny Man Magazine in November 2019, and in
December 2019 was recognized as one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in Technology in Africa. In January 2020,
he was listed as one of the Top Four Movers and Shapers of Technology in Africa by the prestigious French business
daily – Les Echos
From 2011 to 2014, Zach led the Africa operations of U-Start – a Swiss based global investment advisory firm specializing
in direct and indirect venture capital investments in the tech and digital sector for private investors (family offices and
high net-worth Individuals) as well as VC funds, corporate ventures and wealth management institutions.
Prior to moving to South Africa, he was an investment banker on Wall Street covering mergers & acquisitions, corporate
finance strategy and risk management at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, New York. In May 2010, he voluntarily
left the global financial sector and moved to Africa where he spent a year consulting to micro-finance organizations and
impact-driven venture capital enterprises, including a 6-month stint as a Professor of Finance for an Ashoka award winning
Social Entrepreneurship MBA program in Nairobi. Since August 2011, Zach has been based in Cape Town.
In 2014, Zach was recognized as a Certified Business Adviser at the Institute of Business Advisers for Business Advising
Excellence and is a member of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA). He is a mentor for High Impact
Endeavor entrepreneurs and has been featured on CNBC Africa on several occasions as well as on Disrupt Africa , Cliff
Central , Entrepreneur Magazine and Silicon Cape.
Prior to his Wall Street career, at the age of 22, Zach got his Master’s degree in Management Science from Stanford
University, California specializing in Corporate Finance. During the course of his degree, he was invited by the United
Nations Secretariat to work on U.N. projects for the Department of Management and Procurement in New York. Zach is
a Mechanical Engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology and a member of MENSA International – The Global High
He has lived and worked in the Middle East, California, New York, India, South Africa and Kenya. Outside of his
professional life, Zach is an acoustic guitarist/vocalist with cover albums ‘Give A Little’ (2010) and ‘Humans with Hearts’
(2018) on iTunes and Spotify. He is an avid lover of theater and the performing arts, likes hiking and a good game of
squash. He enjoys creative writing and is currently busy finishing a work of non-fiction. Zach is a dad to three children
and lives in the coastal suburb of Woodbridge Island just outside of Cape Town.