Ndovu’s Key Takeaways from Y Combinator Interview (Winter Program 2021)

2020 is almost over and what a journey it’s been! We’ve been through several learning experiences and one of our greatest moments was Ndovu’s invite to interview for Y Combinator Winter Program 2020 — what an honor it was! Even though we were not selected to this cohort, we gained tremendous insights and decided to share them with you all.

How to prepare yourself and your co-founders

Be prepared, as a team we are always WELL prepared ahead of any meeting way in advance. Three main areas be to focus on before the interview:

  • Prepare answers to questions that are already online.
  • Speak to an alumni member to help with providing advice around how to drive the conversation. “Always bring the conversation back to your strengths” is one thing that stuck with us.
  • Practise, practise and practise. Here’s an app that will help you to practise your answers -http://ipaulgraham.herokuapp.com

During the interview session, we expected to be interviewed by one partner (we figured this out based on research), however, to our surprise we were welcomed by Michael Siebel (CEO & Partner), John Levy (Managing Partner) and three other panellists.

Train yourself to be mentally prepared to endure the pressure. There is no time to be chatty, as soon as you’re let into the zoom session — the questions start firing — in. I felt that the process was too fast for us.

Hindsight is a beautiful thing and upon reflection, we realized we could have done a better job listening to the questions carefully. From the feedback we received, we didn’t clearly describe our value proposition as it was asked in a non-direct way. We did, however, takeaway some valuable information:

  • Despite there being leaps of innovation and growth, the African continent still remains an unknown territory for many. It’s for founders like us, to change this narrative.
  • The rapid growth of digitization in financial markets across Sub-Saharan Africa is attracting significant interest from investors globally.
  • To us, being selected to be part of the interview was a great validation for our vision. We are excited for what is yet to come.

Until our next update,


CEO & Co-founder, Ndovu

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