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TechMoney Africa Summit: Summary of closing day activities

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TechMoney Africa Summit

The Conference where Money meets Tech, TechMoney and Innovation Summit, Day two (and the closing day) was more of interactive and audience-focused; starting off with a Keynote Speech from the Vice-Chancellor, the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe on ‘The Role of the University as a Catalyst for Innovation in Nigeria’.

In his speech, Professor Ogundipe mentioned that there exist advantages and disadvantages associated with the University’s location in the business hub of Nigeria, Lagos State.

He mentioned that the First Generation University, which came into existence in 1962, has a legacy of excellence to uphold.

Having a student population of over 55,000 and staff population of over 5,000 with about 1,700 of those being the academic staff and coupled with the University’s strategic location, the Vice-Chancellor acknowledged that it is expected of the university to key into the emerging technologies of the oil and gas sector, the area of research and innovation and in different industries.

He revealed that the University has the vision to groom the student to be relevant and knowledgeable enough to compete globally.

He mentioned the paradigm shift from the traditional output of universities in the past to the present where the human products are worthy to be recognized globally.

In line with this vision, he mentioned the opportunities, which the Tech Summit, being held in the University, has brought about.

According to him, one of such opportunities was the request, by the Co-Founder, CEO of Omnicharge, Jason Wong, for ten engineering student from the University who would be taken to China for three months to interact with the staff there, after which they would be brought back to conclude a project.

This would mature in the set up of a branch of the company in the country and would be headed by these young engineers.

He mentioned, also, the networking of the academic staff with their peers within and outside the country, the collaborations by the university with the industries to aid in research and innovation, and the different competitions won by the students in different locations in the world.

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He also informed the audience about the research Grant for the area of herbal medicine, to the tune $4.5 million, gotten from the World Bank months ago.

He mentioned also another Grant, also from the World Bank of about $4 million for research on the Environment which would take about two years.

The Professor also announced the University’s plan to beat the present ranking of Universities in the country and continent where it stands 1st and 12th positions, respectively. According to him, the University plans to be among the top three Universities in Africa, next year.

Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe mentioned other strides of innovation the University has taken and are taking, concluding that innovation would help the youths to be employable and also help them compete in the global market.

After the speech by the Vice-Chancellor, he went into a Question and Answer Session, anchored by the Chief Investment Officer, Unicorn Group, Mayowa Ayodele, where he answered the audience’s questions on the University’s plan in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Speakers

The Conference wouldn’t have been complete without a look at the technology hub of the country, which has been nicknamed Yabacon and is perceived to soon be the Silicon Valley of Nigeria.

In a Panel, anchored by the Venture Capital Investor, and Partner, Ingressive Capital, Maya Morgan-Famodu, and involving the Head, Research and Innovation, UNILAG, Mr Wellington Oyibo, Founding Partner, White Summers Caffe & James LLP, Mr Mark Cameron-White, and the Managing Partner, ComputerLaw Group, Silicon Valley, Mr Jack Russo, who sent in a video with his opinion, the two communities, Yabacon and Silicon Valley were looked at side by side.

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The growth of both companies was also looked at and it was obvious that Yabacon could learn a lot from the Valley.

Jack Russo revealed that Silicon Valley upgrade to 6.0 is expected to bring about more innovations, more investment, more credibility and more improvement.

The three teams that came top during hackathon

Day 2 of the conference also involved breakout sessions, which were different topics as relating to tech startups, focused on Sustainability and International Expansion and Governance, Regulatory and Investor Relations.

In sustainability, Environmental, Social and Government (ESG) system was demystified and its benefits to startups were addressed. Also, the attendees were taught, in a panel, when, why and how to go international, how to remain relevant in their home market, and how to work with the advantages and challenges of having multiple brands.

On regulatory and investor relations, the attendees learnt how to grow in a regulated environment and how to and who should engage the regulator, while on investor relations, it was reminded to the audience that, usually, there is only one chance to get a second meeting, and so pitching should be done in a well-articulated manner.
The Conference also involved a Bootcamp by General Manager, The Vault, San Francisco, Mr Paul Kalmes.

Handpicking from the audience, he supported the call for more women inclusion in technology, by choosing more women.

The Bootcamp, which lasted for three hours, took the participant on a journey of business studies.

The session for the active meeting of money and tech came about when prizes were awarded.

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Prizes were given to the Hackathon winners, where team Gridzer came first earning them a sum of N1,500,000, team fiber came second getting a sum of N700,000 and team Energetic came third and went home with a sum of 500,000.

Also, some members of the audience were awarded for their great ideas; the best idea got N500,000, the second best idea got N300,000 and the third best idea got N200,000. These prizes motivated the audience to seek solutions as their efforts will get rewarded.

Finally, the story of the journey of Africa’s leading Full-service online travel company, Wakanow, narrated by its CEO, Obinna Ekezie, in a session anchored by Partner, Synergy Capital Managers, Mr Akintoye Akindele, open the eyes of the young entrepreneurs present of the real-life challenges many entrepreneurs face and how they can be overcome if the vision is held on to.

The Conference brought together a mixed audience and gave an opportunity for the startups to meet the established, like the Managing Director of the FinTech startup, Stratecore Dynamics, Peace Obule, who was glad to get the opportunity to network with other industry players and Financial Experts among the speakers and make some collaboration with other startups, was an excellent place for learning, networking and fundraising.

We wait to see how much higher the bar would be raised, next year.

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