“When the going gets tough, the tough get going” – Joseph Kennedy.
It had been 14 weeks of rigorous and mental tasking sessions, for the first cohort, of the Founder Institute, Lagos chapter.
Carefully selected mentors, from different platforms of the entrepreneurship ecosystem, have taken the founders, through pre-pitch and actual pitch sessions, as well as, various classes, on the entrepreneurial journey, with demonstrated examples.
The last session for the first cohort of Founder Institute Lagos, centered on a discussion, around “Leadership”, from the mentors, as the preparation towards the graduation ceremony gets intensified.
David Adebayo, a representative from Stanbic IBTC Bank, implored the founders to stand firm on their feet, in their entrepreneurial journey. He noted that the bank would be working with a Venture Capital fund firm, (partly owned by Stanbic IBTC Bank). This would ensure that a selection of some of the founders is considered for funding.
Olamide Afolabi, Co-Founder, Sanwo Touch2Pay Tech Service, reminded the founders of the tough days ahead, in their entrepreneurial journey. He implored the mentors, to always have a clarity of information that would lead, to synergy with their team.
Olamide further urged the founders, to invest in the acquisition of soft skills and the need, for effective communication, as well as, reading a lot.
Jean Marc Ricca, Managing Director, BASF, West Africa, urged the founders, to never lose sight of the “why”, as trouble will only be inevitable, when they forget why they ventured into their start-up, in the first place.
Ricca also mentioned the need, to stay connected, build a culture of trust and focus on establishing a strong relationship.
Tomi Davies, Collaborator-In-Chief, Technovision, stressed the reality of founders as the future of developing countries, like Nigeria. Davies further explained that the success of a commercial enterprise is, a function of two key components; “entrepreneur” and “vision”.
He explained that the entrepreneur becomes the organisation that ensures promise delivery, while the vision becomes an offer to the market.
Davies, also, noted that a start-up is, not an SME. As a start-up, you are building something extraordinary. Something that has never get done before.
Satoshi Shinada, Co-Founder and GP, Keeple Africa Ventures, noted that “trust” must be considered, for successful leadership, in the entrepreneurial journey. The trust factor according to him lies on three key elements; authenticity, logic and empathy.
Gordy Oshoko, CEO, Treadgold International Ltd, acknowledged the mental tasking sessions that the founders have gone through in the past 14 weeks but beyond the exercise, he urged the founders, to execute their action plans.
Execution, according to Gordy, is the key that would, ultimately, make the difference for the founders. He also noted that customers and stakeholders, are a crucial part, of one’s venture and they ought to be held in high regard.
The first cohort has taken the founders, through major steps, essential to building a sustainable venture. With on-field assignments and other obligations, out of the over 40 that enrolled, 26 came out successful, after fulfilling all the necessary requirements for graduation.
If you are interested in starting your entrepreneurship journey with the Founder Institute, you can sign up here.