She called for capital investments regarding capacity building and infrastructure development in the IT industry to assist the young innovators.
“If we can have one ‘Google’ or ‘Facebook’ coming out from the innovation hub, it will create enough publicity to attract local investors to focus on startups. Already, we have success stories in Wakanow, Yudala, Konga, Andela and rest of them who have even been described as amazing by Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook Founder.
“As an industry and a society, we have a responsibility to figure out how to support these startups and not leave them to bear the burdens alone. This can be done by removing entry-barriers facing these new businesses,” she added.
Also speaking, Anatogu Helen, said that the country and investors need to appreciate the value of innovation to understand better how to support them to spur employment and wealth creation.
“It will be difficult for you to develop a solution- Facebook better than Mark Zuckerberg, because you do not have the education process and the vision he had, but Zuckerberg can not create better malaria solution than you because he is not in this environment. It requires taking cognizance of the problems in our immediate environment and how to solve them.
“We also requires a less bureaucratic process to open the system for startups to meet their targets and do more for the society. Look at Jobberman and what the company with probably less than 100 staff has done to transform the job vacancy and recruitment ecosystem. As a country we have to choose between organic innovation ecosystem where the startups develop at their pace or to make it a priority to enhance their capacity and leverage on the innovations to better our economy”, she said.
According to her, broadband penetration and data analysis are keys to expanding the nation’s innovation scope.
“It still revolves around data, analysis and usage in creating or recreating solutions. The key driver here is broadband. Broadband has become ubiquitous like roads, electricity because it has a direct impact to people’s growth. We need to unleash this critical national infrastructure to help our innovators do more,” Anatogu said.
He added that the funding mechanism is not yet favorable to startups.
“There are venture capitalists who fund solutions worth minimum of $2million. What happens to the innovator that needs just N200,000 on the immediate to deploy? This is a hindrance to innovation and loss of focus,” iDEA Hub boss said.