Meet Luke Mostert: Empowering African Talent through Tech and Education

Luke Mostert is a distinguished South African tech entrepreneur and former venture capitalist, renowned for his commitment to empowering African talent through innovative solutions in Edtech, Jobtech, Venture Capital, and Education Equity. His journey is a testament to his passion for fostering growth and development across the African continent.

Early Career and Venture Capital Beginnings

Luke's foray into the venture capital (VC) industry began at the young age of 22 when he joined GreenHouse Capital in Lagos, Nigeria. This early start allowed him to gain valuable experience and insights into the African startup ecosystem. His next step was joining the investment team at 4Di Capital in South Africa, where he had the opportunity to learn from some of the continent's pioneering venture capitalists.

In late 2021, Luke co-founded Young African Catalysts, a groundbreaking venture ecosystem designed to connect and empower Africa’s top venture leaders. This initiative marked the beginning of his journey in creating platforms that support and nurture African talent.

Leadership at Future Africa

At the start of 2022, Luke took on the role of Head of Investments at Future Africa, a prominent Pan-African fund. In this position, he led 14 new Fund II investments from start to finish, enhancing the fund's investment processes and expanding its global co-investor community. During his second year, he transitioned to co-leading Accelerate Africa, a startup pre-accelerator launched in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development. This program aimed to support emerging African startups, further showcasing Luke's dedication to fostering innovation on the continent.

Pivot to Entrepreneurship: CatalyzU

After completing the first cohort of Accelerate Africa, Luke made a decisive pivot into full-time entrepreneurship. He co-founded CatalyzU, an African talent-tech startup that operates at the intersection of learning and job placement. CatalyzU aims to vet, train, and position Africa’s emergent innovators for the global workforce. In 2023, just a month after exiting stealth mode, CatalyzU was accepted into Techstars Toronto, highlighting the startup's potential and the impact it aims to create.

Advisory Roles and Public Speaking

In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Luke serves in an advisory and mentorship capacity with various regional and global startup accelerators, including Injini and Techstars Toronto. His expertise and insights have made him a sought-after speaker on African venture topics, with appearances on panels at prestigious institutions like Harvard Business School, Wharton Business School, and NYU Stern Business School.

Commitment to Education Equity: The Litoro Foundation

Outside of the venture capital and tech spaces, Luke is deeply passionate about education equity. In 2015, he founded the Litoro Foundation, an educational nonprofit dedicated to fully funding the high school educations of over 20 underprivileged scholars each year. The foundation's name, "Litoro," meaning "dreams" in Southern Sotho, reflects its mission to provide equal educational opportunities for all children. Under Luke's leadership, the foundation also offers monthly tutoring and mentoring to support the educational development of its scholars.

Academic Achievements

Luke holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with a focus on Economics and Entrepreneurship, from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He graduated as one of ten distinguished graduates in his class, a testament to his academic excellence and dedication.

Recognition and Awards

Luke's achievements have been recognized with several prestigious awards, including the True Bruin Distinguished Senior Award from UCLA, which celebrates students who exemplify integrity, excellence, accountability, respect, and service. He has also received the Interfraternity Council Merit Scholarship and numerous accolades for his academic and extracurricular achievements.

Luke Mostert's journey from venture capital to tech entrepreneurship and his unwavering commitment to education equity illustrate his dedication to empowering African talent. Through his various roles and initiatives, he continues to make significant contributions to the African startup ecosystem, ensuring that the continent's brightest minds have the opportunities and support they need to thrive.