Reality Show to Boost Nigerian Start-ups with N1bn
By Raheem Akingbolu
The Incubator Reality has created a lifeline to enhance Nigerian start-ups, increase their capacity and access to funding via a novelty incubation program.
A statement by the promoters of the initiative -ECSCORP, said the reality TV show seeks to change the start-up narrative by creating a start-up hub where best brains are incubated to encourage product exposure, partnership, and funding.
“Start-ups encounter many challenges especially during the formation stage. These challenges range from seed funding, partnership and investment, business resource and mentorship.
“Unfortunately, many brilliant individuals, teams, talents are out there hoping for a turnaround and better days to come where their thought-of innovation can become reality,” the statement said.
The Incubator Reality will admit 25 contestants who will work in five different teams for an incubation period of 12 weeks and graduate with the seed fund for the winning team and first runner-up totaling $1.7 million.
Start-ups, coined SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) are confronted with challenges that cause their failure, sometimes before they even get started while some barely survive the first two years.
There is a critical need to pay attention in this direction. Nigeria, a hub of raw talents, has what it takes to compete globally, however, the specific challenges that start-ups face make it near impossible, the organisers stated.
“Our local talents are blessed with ideas and innovation that can compete with their peers in other nations of the world, but our banks have low appetites to support these talents, their ideas and innovations.
“Angel investors and seed funding, which are the first business drivers are almost non-existent hence, the creation of The Incubator Reality. The show will focus on revolutionising the quondam challenges of start-ups,” the statement said.
The Incubator’s architect further disclosed that the winner and first runner-up of the program will receive $1 million and $0.7 million respectively.
“The Incubator Reality aims to address the most crucial challenges in Nigerian start-ups, which is – how to leverage on knowledge, creativity and innovation – to leapfrog ahead of or at the very least, be at par with many of the developed economies within the shortest possible time, creating mega companies, more jobs and opportunities.”
The Incubator Reality will minimise brain drain whilst fostering growth and development.
Contestants will be able to showcase their brand and attract attention to their talent; their business is already a success before they graduate from the Incubator.
“The viewers will be inspired as well as the partner brand having maximum exposure with a projected 40 million views, and Nigeria benefits from growth in GDP and direct investment to business growth,” the Incubator architect explained.
To be eligible for the program, applicants must be between the ages of 25 and 40 years, and must have an entrepreneurial drive with originality, excellent communication skills (both oral and written), a good team player with sales and marketing skills, as well as good leadership and influencing skills.
Auditions will be done in different cities across the country, the UK and New York, on dates to be announced soon.