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What went down at CFA Startups Hangout, May Edition 2018



CFA Startup Hangout is the new focal spots for entrepreneurial minds to meet in Ikeja GRA. Of course, entrepreneurs in the technology or startup ecosystem are no different from counterparts in other professions in that they seek to connect with peers for exchanging thoughts, testing ideas, sharing experiences, gaining information and just being among like minded people.

CFA Hangout, apart from being well organized meet-ups, attendees feel at home with the right vibe and crowd, which afterwards facilitate the sought-after encounters.

Last Saturday attendees were there to meet, work and test ideas. They showed understanding of the need of growing their company and network with complementary profiles.

Muhammad, Nkiru and Ojukutu.

Not in the least, to see and be seen by local role models, incumbents and investors – typically attracted once the spot is flourishing – is an important asset of community hangouts.

The key talking points were: collaboration and trust as ingredients to grow startups in Nigeria.

Yes, the speakers made it plain that the innovation potential does not end at the boundaries of established corporate which gives the options of open innovation collaborating with startups that bring value to the table

Participants at the CFA Hangout listening keenly to speaker.

This became common understanding since startups like Uber, Airbnb and Facebook disrupted traditional markets collaborating with other players.

So, setting the ball rolling, the CEO of Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), Muhammad Rudman, said that partnership or collaboration simply reflects on coming together of individuals, families or businesses, with a view to achieving certain results.

Uchenna Emembolu, the Co-Founder of Roar Nigeria and CEO at Crestsage Limited, contributing to discussions.

“There has to be a reason for collaborating, to achieve a common goal”, he stated.

Rudman illustrated a typical example of collaboration, when he stated that the internet, as we have it today, is a combination of the efforts of experts from Stanford University and university of California in 1969 when they decided to connect to each other just to share resources, which eventually resulted into this global thing we know today as internet.

He noted also that even though most of our network providers are competitors public but privately they are collaborating to ensure that we are able to make phone calls within their different networks.

For the President, Computer and Allied Product Dealers Association of Nigeria, CAPDAN, and CEO of Pacific Network Solutions Limited, Ojikutu Adeniyi, while making his remarks said that there is need to build trust when going into partnership business with any partner.

Dr. Nkiru Balonwu

He noted that, challenges will come in any partnerships, but we have to find a way around those challenges.

In his words, “Challenges are constant, but how constantly you solve those challenges, will determine how far the partnership will go”.

He also stated that, for the partnership to work effectively, the partners must be faithful to each other.

Ojikutu emphasized that, before going into a partnership, you need to have a roadmap and know what you will gain from in it and this must be connected to your vision and mission.

The Managing Partner, RDF Strategies, Dr. Nkiru Balonwu, said that, the main reason for going into a partnership is that, no one has all the answers to everything; so, you need to partner with those who know about that aspect of the business you want to engage in and collaborate with them.

Cross section of participants.

She decried our penchant of wanting to be the sole CEO or Founder at all cost, when your business can be better managed by going into a partnership.

She added that, for us to go into partnerships we should ensure that our partner have something of value to bring to the table, adding that trust must exist among the partners for it to work effectively.

CFA’s Startups Hangout is a platform where entrepreneurs meet, network, learn and grow. It is designed to help startups succeed.

The CFA Hangout also attracted the attention of mentors, incubators and investors including Uchenna Emembolu, the Co-Founder of Roar Nigeria and CEO at Crestsage Limited, amongst others.


Convener, Speakers with cross section of participants at the CFA hangout held in GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, recently.