Friday Venture Updates

Venture Tanzania 2024 – Trip Guide

May 10, 2024
Happy Friday, everyone!
This is it! This will be the last Friday Update. I fly next Thursday night, May 16–so if you have last minute questions, now is the time!
With this email, I am sharing the final trip guide (Venture Tanzania 2024 – Trip Guide). If you wish to print, feel free as I do not provide hard copies. It is easily available in our WhatsApp group or via the link:
FYI, you may notice a different website name that is not Connecting Growth Globally (CGG). I am in the midst of launching a new website and new branding all under my name. It shouldn’t mean anything for you at all, but if you see something off (broken links, etc) please let me know. Oh the joys of being a solopreneur…
You may have heard that on May 4, a cyclone caused heavier-than-usual torrential rains in Tanzania. This shouldn’t impact us at all, but it has been a rainier-than-normal season–a good thing.
Remember to bring some USD with you–can often be used in Tanzania (newer bills). One of the personal expenses is a $40 per person tip for the staff at SEGA (cooks, room cleaners, etc). USD is great for that. Remember to do any last minute international travel updates with your bank, credit cards, phone service, etc.
You will be picked up at the airport by Hotel Slipway (for all except Jamie). They have your flight info, look for a sign with your name. If you have issues, here is the hotel phone number (+255 22 260 0893 or +255 71 388 8301 (mobile) or [email protected]. If you text me, I may not be available.
Dean and Shane, if you have a reservation # for your room, please share and I will follow-up (in person) on your request to link the room reservations (group reservation #80701).
Plan is to meet at 5:00pm at the Waterfront oceanside in front of the hotel. Our dinner is 6:00pm at Alexander’s, a 5-10 min ride away. Pam and Shannon, you may need to order a tuk-tuk from the hotel and meet us at dinner as your timing is very tight and I expect you will be in midday traffic.
WhatsApp is best for us to use when in Tanzania. I will set up a Google Drive for group photo sharing–link will be there.
I think that is it. Safe travels everyone, and see you on the other side of the world.

May 3, 2024
Happy Friday, everyone!
A philosophy of Venture Travel is that we are partners, not tourists. 
This Venture was purposefully planned to overlap with SEGA School’s Entrepreneurship Program. If you think it’s a version of Shark Tank, let me revise your expectations. The program is more about giving girls some basic skills to earn income during dry periods– seasonal, interim, family crisis, etc. You’ll learn that people in Tanzania often have multiple “side hustles.”
SEGA’s Entrepreneurship program is fairly new. They formed a relationship with Babson College–which has consistently ranked as the top university in the U.S. for entrepreneurship–in 2022. In early 2024, SEGA welcomed a group of students from Babson who helped facilitate a workshop on Entrepreneurial Thought & Action. Read more about the partnership.
As partners, we can provide feedback on how the program (which we will enjoy on Saturday, May 25) is being applied. Think of yourselves as the eyes and ears. I’ll provide to the leadership at Nurturing Minds.

I hope you enjoy reading about. Until next week,

April 19, 2024

Happy Friday, everyone!
During our first afternoon in Dar es Salaam, we will have little intro to the start-up scene in Tanzania. It’s earlier stages relative to neighboring Kenya and Rwanda, but the pendulum seems to be swinging in the right direction.
You’ll meet Mary-Louise “ML” Kidaha of Renew Capital. She is the investment lead for Renew in Tanzania after spending several years in the U.S. and with Deloitte. She’ll give us a flavor for what is happening in Dar es Salaam and her personal story of straddling Western and East African business cultures.
We will also meet Gibson Kawago. Gibson is a climate entrepreneur and founder of WAGA (read more about him). I met him on a call with Renew about six months ago–he’s a pretty inspirational guy. When VP Kamala Harris came to Tanzania recently, Gibson was among the entrepreneurs she met (read more). Have fun checking him out!
Until next week,

April 12, 2024

Happy Friday, everyone!
It was great to see you all on our Zoom call the other day (replay, passcode pne6E*CV).
A reminder that the WeTravel trip site Venture Tanzania 2024 is the central source of information. The full Trip Guide PDF is available on the Friday Updates page. These reminders are also in WhatsApp.
I was thrilled to hear that visiting SEGA School was a huge point of interest for the trip. I first visited in 2019 and I keep growing closer to Nurturing Minds/SEGA. 
  • Their Annual Report gives a very full colorful overview. 
  • This video gives a great intro to SEGA Lodge. 
  • This latest blog post by Michael Corio is cool because he was there in Oct 2022 when we were last there, ironically lives in NM, and is now a significant Nurturing Minds investor and board member. English Fluency is an amazing program (and a future volunteer opportunity should you have future interest!)
I am off to Bali as we speak–for work! I am attending the partners meeting of girls’ education U-Go. Also attending will be leads from Nurturing Minds/SEGA–because U-Go is now supporting the local university education of SEGA scholars! I will tell you more about it later.
Until next week,

April 5, 2024

Happy Friday, everyone!

First, let me introduce our group. There are 7 of us. We are men and women, 20-50s, and reside in all four time zones of the U.S. We are former student-athletes; we professionally span dentist to CFA and CFP. We connect over childhood (Pam and Jodi grew up together), college (Dean and Shane were college roommates), industry (Angie and Jodi know each other from the wealth management world) and family (Jamie is Jodi’s niece, Shannon is Pam’s daughter). 

I am always fascinated by the way groups come together and the themes. The theme for this one is the Midwest–including a heck of a lot of Wisconsin (for those who don’t know, I was born and raised in Milwaukee 🙂

I care deeply about who is coming and how we all connect to each other and to those we will meet. 

Attached please see pages from the forthcoming Trip Guide highlighting each of you. Feel free to connect (LinkedIn, social media, WhatsApp group, etc)

I look forward to seeing everyone this Wednesday, April 10 on Zoom (invite).

Also joining will be Myranda James from Nurturing Minds/SEGA.

This Venture is all about connecting with people. 

In particular, you will get to know my friend William “Maasai Prince.” He will join us for our first few days in Dar es Salaam and to Morogoro. You’ll visit his family Maasai home; you’ll meet his sister Juliana (SEGA graduate). For the whole story, see What Happens Next (Season 2).

You will also meet 16 year-old second-year SEGA student Evaline. In fact, I will too! As a SEGA supporter, I was connected to Evaline and am supporting her education. We write letters to each other a few times a year. Attached see the first page of her most recent letter (and admire the handwriting!) We will travel with Evaline to meet her (Maasai) family, who live about 60km from SEGA. 

Travel is all about connecting. Until next week, 


March 29, 2024

Happy Friday everyone!

I hope you are excited about our upcoming Venture Tanzania 2024. I know I am!

Every Friday going forward, I will share a brief Friday Update. The idea is to share some tidbits about who we will meet and things we will do. It’s one way to connect and prepare us for a venture that will leave us all thinking differently about the world and our place in it. The last time I was in Tanzania was October 2022 (did you see this video?)

Every time I go things are a little bit different. The new Dar Es Salaam International Airport is now operating at inspiring efficiency. The Tanzanite Bridge which I saw under construction a few years ago has changed traffic patterns in Dar. And Tanzania is thriving again under diplomacy-focused President Hassan–the first Muslim woman to lead an African nation. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

Today’s Friday Update is logistical:

1. Venture Tanzania 2024

This WeTravel webpage is the central source of information pre, during and post-trip. I’ll be fine-tuning the agenda over the next few weeks. Do check out the hyperlinks and resources. Closer to departure, there will be a PDF you can access.

2. Confirm Travel Final Details

Finalize flights, make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date, and collect health & travel insurance info. You can login and update your WeTravel profile, or send to me. Let me know pre/post-trip thinking–I’ll coordinate across participants as it makes sense.

3. Whats App.WhatsApp is the primary means of communication in Africa. The chat proves very helpful in idea/logistics sharing when in Tanzania, but also before and after the trip.

4. Pre-Trip Zoom Call. There are 7 of us traveling. In next week’s Friday Update, I will introduce each of you. I’d like to have a group Zoom to connect us pre-trip and answer questions to help you prepare. We reside across four time zones, so what about Wednesday April 10 at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific?

Questions on any of this? I’m here to help.

Wishing you a great Easter weekend!


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