parallax background

Cactus Advisors is a multi-disciplinary business advisory firm that helps owners and management of companies achieve growth and performance through clear strategic thought (operations and management) and financial acumen (capital raising, mergers & acquisitions, divestitures).

Through world-class programs like Barclays Tech Lab Africa and Startupbootcamp, Cactus Advisors mentors, trains and develops entrepreneurs by equipping them with the business & financial tools needed to transform concepts and ideas into feasible, sustainable and scalable businesses

Corporate Finance & Investment Advisory

Cactus Advisors works with banks, investment funds, private high net worth individuals & family offices, enterprise development organizations, and other financial institutions (public and private sector) to efficiently invest capital, and provide expert capital advisory on deal flow.
Business Incubation, Growth & Performance.

Cactus Advisors is a partner to small, medium & large businesses in achieving growth and performance through clear strategic thought (operations and management) and financial acumen (capital raising, mergers & acquisitions and divestitures)
Enterprise Development, Training & Mentorship.

Cactus Advisors incubates entrepreneurs who are serious about growing their businesses for long-term profitability to enable sustainable job creation, greater economic inclusion, and enhanced societal value. We nurture SMEs through the start-up and growth phases of their businesses by strengthening internal capabilities, training & skills development, optimizing systems and processes, raising multiple sources of capital and coordinating access to resources required to grow.

Recent Projects

Our Team

More than 30 years of experience in global finance, venture capital and entrepreneurship across North America, Africa and Asia

Zachariah George

Founder and Managing Director

Zachariah (Zach) George is the founder & managing director of Cactus Advisors - a specialist corporate finance, investment and business advisory firm based in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2015, Cactus Advisors created, developed and managed the first ever corporate tech accelerator program in Africa – the Barclays Tech Lab Africa program designed to discover, nurture and empower the next generation of technology innovators on the African continent, and subsequently managed the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s incubator and accelerator program. Zach has advised numerous African start-ups and SMEs and is a co-Managing Director for Startupbootcamp Africa – one of the world’s leading accelerator programs. 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.

Zach was formerly an Asst Vice President at two of the largest bulge bracket Wall Street firms in New York - Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital - where he worked as an investment banker covering Mergers and Acquisitions, IPOs, Risk Management and Strategic Corporate Finance. 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 where he is a specialist business consultant and financial advisor to senior management teams at corporations, banks, financial institutions, impact investment funds and enterprise development institutions. 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 has been featured on CNBC Africa on several occasions as well as on Entrepreneur Magazine and Cliff Central.

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.

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 a country folk acoustic cover album on iTunes released in 2010. He loves art and theater as well as the adventure and outdoor junkie, having most recently run the New York and Cape Town marathon and summited Mt. Kilimanjaro. Zach, his wife, and three children live in the coastal town of Kommetjie on the southern peninsula of Cape Town.

Philip Kiracofe

Strategic Advisor

Philip Kiracofe brings 20-years of direct operational and venture financing experience spanning a diverse range of industries in the US, India, Asia and South Africa. He has co-founded or led numerous companies including a pioneer online grocery service company, an India-based venture capital fund, the first large-scale social networking site, and a New York-based property development firm.

In 2009, he founded Horizen Partners to incubate and advise far-reaching projects based on the foundations of innovation, adventure, and sustainability. Current projects include Horizen Ventures (early stage VC), WhereIsMyTransport (transit solutions for governments and operators), SwingDev (Outsourced Silicon Valley development projects) and Tech Lab Africa. He has previously advised South African start-ups including Over, Springleap, and Playlogix and plans to raise a new venture fund in Cape Town.

In his leisure time, Philip’s interests range from adventure and endurance events to wine. Philip attended the United States Air Force Academy, where he studied Computer Science and Behavioral Science. He currently splits his time between Cape Town and NYC

Investment Portfolio