It’s difficult to believe that the first two months of the year have gone by this quick. I have not had the luxury to blog as often as I would have, given the fast pace of things. Trying to juggle school with the other hundred things going on in life has been a challenge by itself!
But first, a quick update on all the interesting things that have been happening.
At the Wennovation Hub, we spent the first two months of the year getting our first batch of wennovators ready to pitch to investors. If you recall, this batch was largely made up of the crop of students from the University of Ibadan that we worked with on mobile technology in partnership with MIT-AITI last June. After the training at UI, we selected the top seven students from the program to have their ideas refined and incubated at the Wennovation Hub. Thus kicked off WennoCamp 1.0 For Mobile Apps Development on October 2011 with the tagline 1 dream, 2 Companies, 3 Products, 4 Mentors, 5 Consultants, 6 Weeks , 7 Entrepreneurs & 49 days from ideas to funding!
After several gruelling 7-day weeks with mentors, customers, in the hub and on the field as attested to by the blogs they kept (when they were not working) http://valleybits.blogspot.com/?z and http://www.opacustech.com/ , it was finally time to get a feel for the funding market, and thus on February 17, 2012 , they got the opportunity to pitch their products, showcase working “demos” and the market opportunity to top investors under the auspices of a funding initiative conceived with the Tony Elumelu Foundation & Heirs Holdings Limited.
The event which was a closed door session was hugely positive and also had some of our mentors such as Macauley Atasie of NextZon and Koyejo Abiola from Main One in attendance. Its amazing seeing the transformation these guys have gone through between last June and now. See more details here
And still talking about the Wennovation Hub, also in February , we entered into a partnership with the African Leadership Academy Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership (with a multi-year grant from a leading global foundation – The MasterCard Foundation) towards partnering to launch the Anzisha Prize Tour in Nigeria . The Anzisha Prize is the premier award for Africa’s young entrepreneurial leaders ages 15-20. We gave a presentation to over 2000 students at the Junior Achievement event in Lagos yesterday about the Prize, and also plan to hold two information summits in Lagos at the Wennovation Hub on March 17 to promote the prize and get youth in Nigeria excited about entrepreneurship. You can see more details here
As the Wennovation Hub Director, I see a lot of synergies between the Anzisha Prize and the strategic objectives of the hub going forward to develop a robust pipeline of young entrepreneurs that will eventually feed the hub’s incubation platform. The De La Rue Africa Innovation Prize that focuses more specifically on higher education students further enriches this objective and is also set launch later this year by the Wennovation Hub in Nigeria. You can see more details here