Dr. Wilmot Allen is an experienced emerging market investor, entrepreneur, management consultant, and political economist. Based in Nairobi, he is Founder of VentureLift Africa (VLA), an investment advisory firm (VLA Capital Advisors) facilitating investment, trade, tech transfer, market entry, and expansion for SMEs, startups, and corporates. The company has a fintech and marketplace platform (VLA) for scaling African businesses through innovative financing and curated matches with Diaspora and other trade supply chains, technology transfer, talent, and advisory partners. In collaboration with DAI, USAID and other partners, VLA facilitates export-import between the US and Africa.
Wilmot co-founded a genomics company to advance precision health in Africa. He is also a Venture Partner with RH Managers based in Johannesburg, a private equity fund investing in healthcare across Southern and Eastern Africa. Related to healthcare, he was recently a management consultant to the African Union Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create the strategy, fundraising, and operational plan for its new Africa Public Health Foundation (APHF) which aims to strengthen healthcare systems across the continent. He served on the AU CDC COVID-19 Response Taskforce. His other roles in healthcare include management consultant to the R&D division of Allergan Pharmaceuticals and a clinical researcher with Procter & Gamble.
He previously worked as the Director of East Africa with CrossBoundary LLC, leading the transaction advisory practice for East Africa from Nairobi. Under his leadership, this group served as the transaction team for a USAID Presidential Trade Africa initiative, the East Africa Trade, and Investment Hub.
Prior, in finance roles, Wilmot worked with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Washington DC, executing investments totaling over $300 million and managing a portfolio of $2.5 billion with the private equity, financial institutions, and infrastructure groups. At the IFC, he was also Senior Advisor to the CEO Lars Thunell on entrepreneurship initiatives supporting SMEs in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, in conjunction with the World Economic Forum.
Wilmot is an advisory board member of Melvin March International (Kenya; tea), Ludique Works (Kenya; gaming and eSports), DGrid Energy (US-Africa: Cold Storage); Pryzm Institute (US; Life Sciences), Popote Payment (Kenya; former; fintech), East Africa Chamber of Commerce (US) and former trade consultant to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). He is a business coach and advisor to entrepreneurial ecosystems supporting startups and SMEs throughout Africa and in the U.S. (Antler, Harare Tech Hub, Ada Labs; formerly Village Capital, Shona, Nailab, GreenHouse Lab and Pangea-Strathmore).
Wilmot has a PhD from Georgetown University in Comparative Political Economy, an MBA from the Wharton Business School, an MPA from Harvard University and BA from Yale University. He is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Wits University. Wilmot is a member of the National Association of Security Professionals, ASSEK, a former Robert Toigo Fellow and was selected as a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum.