Fraser Consulting was founded in early 2016 to meet the needs of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. With over a decade of experience in early-stage funding, working for academia and corporates, Alex leads her team of associates to deliver a variety of business consulting services, workshops, mentoring and fund-raising for businesses in the tech, innovation and start-up space.
Alexandra Fraser, Senior Consultant
Alex has worn many hats in her career. Scientist. Entrepreneurship academic. Venture Capitalist. Silicon Cape Chair and now, business owner.
What she has studied: Alex has a BSc in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship from the University of Cape Town. She also holds a MSc in International Business and Emerging Markets from the University of Edinburgh Business School where her thesis looked at the barriers to deal flow in the South African venture capital market. Alexandra is a Chevening Scholar, a cum laude graduate and has also done short courses in intellectual property, innovation commercialization, strategy, communications, financial management, project management, blockchain and digital money.
Where she has worked: She started her career at the Cape Biotech Trust (consolidated into the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA)) and then went on to work overseas for a number of corporates and the University of Edinburgh technology transfer office. On her return to South Africa, she worked for Invenfin (Remgro’s venture capital division) for 5 years before starting her own consultancies.
Where she has given back: Alex was an active part of Silicon Cape from 2011 to 2018 and has held many positions include Chair and Deputy Chair. Significantly, she secured the FNB partnership, developed the strategy that saw the organisation restructure from a purely volunteer organisation into an NPC and has directly fundraised, planned and executed many programmes and projects for the community. Alex has been invited to numerous countries to represent the Cape Town tech sector. She is also a founding member of African Business Angel Network and an advisor to the South African Business Angel Network. She is also of the co-founders of Dazzle Angels, a women’s angel investment group, which invests into female owned and founded start-ups in South Africa.
What does this all mean? It means that Alex isn’t just another management consultant with a few models and big words up her sleeve. She knows science, she knows tech, she knows what early-stage investors are looking for, she has seen more than 6000 early-stage businesses and critically, she knows how to get you moving and make sure growth happens.
Michelle Matthews, Senior Consultant
For more than 15 years Michelle has curated and promoted talented people and impactful organisations.
Until early 2019 she was the Head of Innovation at Africa’s oldest tech incubator, the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTI), where she designed a variety of programmes and support services for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs using theory of change, strategic foresight and design thinking tools. Her role was to identify and prototype opportunities to create positive social impact in the context of the digital economy and the 4th industrial revolution, specifically in the “township economy”, digital skills, serious games, edtech and biotech spaces. In 2019, Michelle launched her own consultancy, Rock Paper Scissors. Rock Paper Scissors helps organisations get unstuck by guiding teams to discover the opportunities, businesses cases, roadmaps and resources for innovation.
Michelle has consulted to a range of organisations ranging from corporates and government departments to innovative ventures and award-winning start-ups, including Telkom, Western Cape Provincial Government, Innovation Edge, UK-SA Tech Hub, Paperight, Injini and Airbnb. She is also co-founder of Book Dash, which has created and given more than 680 000 books to South African children who have none and shared millions of digital copies globally, using an innovative approach to book production and licensing, and a highly collaborative distribution model.Michelle has a BA (UCT), B Phil in Sustainable Development (Cum Laude, Stellenbosch) and in 2018 completed an elective on Strategic Foresight through Stanford Continuing Studies.
Michelle and Alex, having worked together on a number of projects in the past, joined forces at the end of 2019 to expand their work in the ecosystem and across Africa.
Claire Jowell, Consultant
Tech and tech-enabled, socially impactful business & future-focussed, inclusive education is what excites Claire most.
In pursuing these interests, Claire has worked with many impactful organisations and businesses, as well as projects that design and deliver courses and programmes for entrepreneurs and professionals.
Having started her career at a local high-growth edtech start-up, GetSmarter, Claire gained valuable marketing and new business development experience as the company scaled into national and then international markets. She later worked at the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) as Ecosystem Manager, where she supported a national programme scale-up, by managing the launch of two new skills campuses in Cape Town and Johannesburg, as well as national marketing campaigns to support recruitment.
Claire has consulted to a range of NPOs, firms and start-ups, such as the UCT Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship, CiTi, DYDX Consulting (Smollan, Vodacom, Red & Yellow) as well as several local tech start-ups (Brownie Points, ikeja Wireless).
Claire majored in Economics, Politics, and Value & Policy Studies at Stellenbosch University, before completing her Honours in Political Communication. She has completed UCT short courses in Business Innovation, Online Copywriting, and Social Enterprise Development.
Claire joined Michelle and Alex at Fraser Consulting at the end of 2019.
Beryl Visser, Programmes Manager
Beryl has a keen interest for forward-thinking approaches and interventions to practically empower entrepreneurs and small business owners. Supporting people to learn, grow and nurture their strengths in both a personal and professional sense is what drives her work.
In this space, Beryl has worked with a number of entrepreneurship development organisations and businesses, on local and regional projects, with particular focus on women’s entrepreneurship and agribusinesses. Starting her career at the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), Beryl honed her skills in programme management. She was responsible for organising and coordinating numerous business accelerator programmes, networking events and conferences to support entrepreneurs, and facilitate connections within the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Beryl recently completed a Masters of Philosophy in Sustainable Development from Stellenbosch University, writing her thesis on ‘Women’s entrepreneurship development in South Africa: Towards transformative innovation’. She has also completed a UCT short course in project management, to complement her Bachelor’s degree in International and Global Studies from the University of Sydney.
Beryl joined Michelle, Alex and Claire at Fraser Consulting in June 2020.