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Eko Innovation center founder, Victor Gbenga Afolabi says the center is committed to incubate, accelerate, mentor and fund innovation and technologically driven start-ups.
He said the center was set up to see how technology can be used to scale up Lagos State and Nigeria’s economy, adding that only start-up that has commercial viability, strong social impact and footprint with a minimum thresh hold of 10 million people will be considered for admission.
Afolabi while speaking at an evening of ‘Conversations on Moral leadership’ organised by the center in Lagos said we want to through this center solve many of the gaps in this eco-system around mentoring and funding.
“We have business clinics, faculties that are going to spend a minimum of 18 months and three years with the cohorts that come in here teaching and providing shared services from tax management, procurement, admin and finance”.
“We want to ensure that companies that come into the incubation, have more chances of survival because of the strong hand holding mentorship role that will be provided for them. The center is all about from mentor to commercialisation”, he said.
Jacqueline Novogratz, founder/CEO, Acumen, a non-profit global venture capital fund whose goal is to use entrepreneurial approaches to address global poverty while speaking said the establishment of the Eko innovation center demonstrates a climb of social entrepreneurs who wants to get serious and solve the problems in the world.
She pointed out that the founder of centre represents the kind of role models that Nigeria need for the kind of inclusive capitalism inspiring entrepreneurs are all yearning for.
On the organisation of the event, Afolabi observes that leadership and morality to a large extent has impacted people and start-ups ability to attract patient capital.
According to him, “The lack of proper leadership have made it difficult for enterprises to attract the kind of capital funding required for their acceleration and scale-up and those are the things we want to solve”.
On his part, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State says technology and innovation will take centre stage among strategies mapped to grow the state into a smarter and more efficient city.
He said with a more supportive business environment, the state eyes growing technology start-ups.