Founder Institute, Lagos Chapter, in its maiden edition of Velocity, graduated its first cohort of entrepreneurs, after a rigorous 14-week class.
The graduation ceremony took place, on Saturday, November 16, 2019, at Victoria Island, Lagos.
The atmosphere at the Commerce House, where the graduation took place, was lit, as the graduates, (founders), start-up mentors, entrepreneurs, captains of industries, top bank executives and potential start-up founders, all graced the occasion.
Delivering the welcome address of the day, the Deputy Managing Director, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Demola Sogunle, ably represented by Wole Adeniyi, Executive Director, Personal and Business Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, emphasised the role of technology, in enhancing business.
“Technology is, about enabling business, making it easier and convenient, to make progress and just like what we are set to do daily, making progress, with our customers is, part of the alignment in several fonts”, Sogunle observed.
The DMD expressed his delight, at being part of the Founder Institute project. “There are many other projects that can be done going forward; so many opportunities for growth and most important is, in adding value, but we take it a step at a time”, he emphasized.
“We are confident that, the start-ups have been empowered to deliver value. We are very proud to be part of the story and we believe that, you will do well”, added Demola, as he congratulated the graduates and the management of Founder Institute.
Delivering the keynote speech, John Obaro, Founder, SystemSpecs and developer of Remita, the payment platform, titled his keynote address; “My 27 pence”. Obaro noted that, problems are opportunities, waiting to be unraveled, emphasising the need to fail forward, in pursuit of success. “According to Stanbic IBTC, over 80% of Nigerian start-ups fail, within their first five years”, he noted.
Obaro expressed some valuable points in his keynote speech. Some of these include the following:
The need to get hungry, to provide a working solution and make an impact
The need to build a strong team
The power of focus, (identifying a clear problem and having a solution)
“There are too many “technologies” and “solutions” out there, looking for a problem to solve.”
The need for quality products and services
The need for brainstorming and balanced thinking
Building a good business policy, with values
“Be aware of trends and adapt your business models and practices, to suite the same. Relevance is the currency of the digital age. Consistently seek it – through innovation!”, stressed Obaro.
Obaro concluded, by emphasising the need, for the graduates, to collaborate, as the partnership formed with others, will be used, to harness strengths and extend the opportunity window.
There was, also, a panel session that had a discussion on start-ups and the Nigerian market. Present among the panelists were, Onyema Akumah, Founder and CEO, Farmcrowdy, Peter Obadare, Founder, Digital Encode, Tosin Faniro-Dada , Head, Lagos Innovate, LSETF and other guests.
Highlights from the panel discussion include:
The importance of business networking
Startu-ps collaboration with others
Creating platforms that would foster online and offline presence
The need for founders, to continue learning
21 Founders out of the initial 46 that started the class, graduated, in the first cohort of the Lagos Founder Institute Chapter. They are Colord tees, Corrents, DiGita, Eazycheck, EscroWallet, Osteena Organics, LaborHack, Baller Zone, LaserPay, Lime start, Scrapays, Agenpo, Athlst, Cargo-L,Padimi, Paperloops, Rentit, Sabiteach,Tokeeto,Tres Melanin and Zowasel.
They all presented their pitch, in the course of the event and got presented with certificates, at the end of the graduation ceremony.
It was announced by the Directors, that Founder Institute, Lagos, has been renamed, Stanbic IBTC-Founder Institute Lagos.