The event was a converging point for tech entrepreneurs to share knowledge, collaborate for business, build friendships etc so as to birth successful tech businesses and to grow the Nigerian technology industry.
Speakers at the event included
Olufisayo Oludare of Advancio Interactive, an award winning Fin-tech start-up
Ayo Akinola of Piggy Bank, a saving app that also raised $1.1 million on the same day
Chukwuwezam Obanor of Prep class, an academic solution app
Olubusayo Longe of Form Plus, a start up that builds easy to use forms
Chinedu Azodoh of Max, a tech company disrupting the transporting and logistics industry
Leye Makanjuola of Intense, an award winning digital marketing agency
Tosin Faniron Dada of LSETF, head of Lagos innovates
They led conversations on kick starting and effectively running a tech business in Nigeria. As well as touched on the differences and similarities in their approach to attain success for their individual start-up’s.
In setting the tone for the panel session, Olufisayo Oludare of Advancio Interactive highlighted on execution and implementation as crucial elements to a start-up’s success. He also talked about the importance of alignment between co-founders in driving a start up forward. He brought in his past experiences with partners who didn’t have the same drive as him.
Following on from that was Olubusayo Longe of Form Plus. He started his address, by giving a detailed history of how his company was founded; it started out by about seven people in his university days, yet he was the only one who truly believed in the idea and stuck it out till date.
He went through case studies of his clients from an American college to an Indonesian start-up, really inspiring listeners to think global with their approach to business.
Ayo Akinola of Piggy Bank spoke extensively about customer acquisition and retention, painting a fascinating picture about the staggering growth of savings on their platform to N1 Billion in little over a year. He also talked about how social media has played a part in retaining and receiving “Love” from customers. He urged other upcoming founders to focus not just on getting customers, but in keeping them.
The event was a brilliant platform to discuss the ways in which Nigerian tech entrepreneurs can push themselves towards becoming global tech businesses brands. Speaking on LSETF’s (Lagos State Employment Trust Fund) mandate, Tosin-Faniron Dada used infographics to show how the Lagos State Government through this fund and the department she heads “Lagos Innovates” was created to help start ups and SME’S. Everything about running a business from scaling up to work space grants are being offered to start-ups in the state.
Speaking on the importance of marketing to start-ups, Leye Makanjuola stressed the importance of making sure that there is a customer need to be satisfied before going into business. He also spoke about using feedback as a guide to building a product, service or business.
Chinedu Azodoh of Max, gave an entertaining address. He talked about the early stages of MAX and how now, they make revenue of N40 million a month. He went on to talk about funding and investor relations; how founders should present themselves to investors to gain the upper hand. He also emphasised on “Process”, how founders must make sure to set up a process that can survive their absence.
Last on the speaker list was Chukwuwezam Obanor of Prep Class. He also spoke about funding, detailing his company’s knack for winning grants and how others can follow suit. However he stressed that getting a grant should not be the end goal for a start up and not receiving a grant does not mean that the idea isn’t great. He also instructed that tech business founders must do their research, know their numbers and be very optimistic; maybe even hyperbolic when speaking to investors to give them a sense of enthusiasm about the prospects of the start up being successful.
Afterwards, there was a question and answer session where attendees and fellow tech start-up founders had the opportunity to ask further questions so as not to miss the essence of the event. The close of the Q & A session brought an end to a highly productive day for all involved. Business networking and refreshments ensued.
Starting a tech business in Nigeria is no small feat and being able to connect with peers who can share from their experience is a great honour. Intense Social Engineering is a deliberate attempt to connect with tech business founders in a manner that allows for collaboration. We hope to establish a record of providing opportunities, meeting needs, as well as providing mentorship and training on how to build global tech businesses.
See a short video clip on how the event went here –