Institute Moves to Support Start-ups


By Emma Okonji

A group of local entrepreneurs in the start-up space, is bringing Founder Institute, the world’s largest start-ups pre-incubation developers to Nigeria, to address the issues of trust and funding in the Nigerian technology space.

The group’s directors who are the local representatives of Founder Institute in Nigeria, Mr. Wande Adalemo and Mr. Fred Chukwuemeka Agbata, who addressed a gathering of Nigerian start-ups in Lagos recently, identified major challenges facing Nigerian start-ups to include lack of trust in their ideas and solutions from local investors, which according to them had forced the entrepreneurs to seek funding outside Nigeria, a task that has been difficult to achieve.

“Nigerian start-ups get more of foreign funding than local funding for lack of trust and confidence in their ideas, but Founder Institute has a curriculum that has helped raised the standards of indigenous start-up in countries where they operate, to the extent that local investors are beginning to have trust in their ideas to invest in their solution.

“That is what we want to achieve also in Nigeria. We have a lot of local investors and venture capitalists in Nigeria that are willing to invest in indigenous ideas from local start-ups, but are afraid of the commercial value of the solutions of local start-ups,” Agbata said.

“The essence of the training is to help Nigerian start-ups raise successful companies and attract good funding. They will be trained on different verticals from waste management, Blockchain technology to Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“At the end of the 14 weeks training, the successful candidates are moved into a funding lab class, where they will meet with dedicated coaches that will help them build their business and prepare them for funding,” Adalemo said.
The programme starts next week in Lagos with an orientation that will prepare the start-ups for the actual training.
Nigerians are excited about bringing Founder Institute to Nigeria and they have started registering for the training programme, which is still open, he said.

According to him, the institute runs the world’s largest start-ups pre- incubation programme across globe and caters for start-ups in their early stage who are yet to have any funding, and groom them to a level where they have workable and commercial ideas that can attract investors.

According to Agbata, “Most start-ups begin with little idea, which in most cases, do not count for them because at their early stage, they need to build their confidence in their ideas and they also need to build up their integrity as a small business entrepreneur.

The institute has a curriculum with which they train start-ups for 14 weeks and at the end of the training session such persons are fully prepared with a new and robust idea that could compete globally.

“One of the models of the institute is to train working-class group who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs, and they are trained within 14 weeks through online courses to become entrepreneurs of global standing and the training comes with a fee.”

Founder Institute has been in existence for over nine years, training young start-ups across the globe, including African countries, but they do not have their footprint in Nigeria, so we decided to bring institute to Nigeria to boost start-ups training and ideas.

The idea is to give Nigerian start-ups, a globally tested platform to excel in entrepreneurship,” Agbata said.