Victor Afolabi, Eko Innovation Centre’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer has expressed his organization’s readiness to support any ideas or concepts that have the capacity to impact at least 10 million Nigerians.
Afolabi who disclosed this in Lagos during ‘An Evening of Conversation on Moral Leadership’ said that they are committed to incubating, accelerating, mentoring and funding innovation and technology startups, Techpoint Africa reports.
“For you to be admitted into the Eko i-Centre, your idea and concept must have the ability to touch 10 million people and also have commercial viability and strong social impact among other things”, he said.
He explained that the idea behind the EIC was to use innovation and technology in solving the major issues in the Lagos State economy and Nigeria as a whole.
Speaking on the offerings provided by Eko Innovation Centre, Afolabi said that entrepreneurs admitted can spend a minimum of 18 months to 3 years and will also be taught tax management, procurement, finance, strategy, and administration. “The idea is that when we have companies that come into incubation, their chance of survival is very high because of strong handholding mentorship we are going to be providing.”
Afolabi noted that lack of capital was limiting the capabilities of entrepreneurs to develop innovative technologies in order to solve the problems in the country. He urged the state government to support and create the enabling environment for start-ups to thrive.
“We saw in the Lagos manifesto an agenda to make the state the 21st-century economy.
“The only way to create a 21st-century economy is to make sure you are creating the enabling environment for businesses and solution to problems that are driven by innovation and technology,” Afolabi said.
On his part, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu stated his administration’s committment to building innovation and technology centers across the state to address the problem of youth unemployment.
Sanwo-Olu who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat said that his administration recognized the place of technology as the key driver to fast-growing economies.
“Technology is the way to go. It is the way of the future and our administration is committed to leveraging on technology in delivering the megacity dream. As a government, we will build innovation and technology centers where we can bring in private capital and investors, get ideas from young people on technology and be able to start creating employment for our youths.
“We also believe that to achieve the THEME concept that has to do with the environment, education, transportation and health, innovations and technology is key. People from those centers would come and give us innovative ideas to solve our transport problem; ideas with which they think locally,” he said.