LSETF launches ‘Lagos Innovates’ for tech startups
The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has announced Lagos Innovates, a package aimed at promoting technology- and innovation-driven startups.
LSETF said the programme will assist startups in drawing from the experience of similar government-led initiatives, such as Startup Chile, Startup India and Startup Singapore.
It said Lagos Innovates recognises that network-building is key to innovation and creativity, adding that it has three programmes: Workspace Vouchers, Hub Loans and Events Sponsorship.
In the first half of next year, more programmes will follow, including a scale-up accelerator program, a co-investment scheme and a second, learning-focused, voucher scheme, the LSETF said.
“Lagos has, perhaps, the most exciting startup ecosystem of any city in Africa. The investment case is clear, and driven primarily by the size of the market and accessibility as an entry-point for Nigeria and a springboard for the rest of West Africa. If we get our model for innovation-driven enterprises right, Lagos State has the potential to exponentially increase opportunities and jobs for its residents in the medium- to long-term,” LSTF Executive Secretary, Akintunde Oyebode, said.
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, last January promised to support the startup ecosystem.
“It’s exciting to see the Lagos State Government show support for the startup community in this way. There’s always more that could be done, but these are a thoughtful set of programmes. I am excited to serve on the advisory council for Lagos Innovates and look forward to working with LSETF to ensure that over time, we can point to real outcomes from these programmes,” Olumide Soyombo, CEO, Bluechip Technologies, and founder of Leadpath (a seed fund investing in local tech startups), said.
CEO of Amari (an investment and consulting firm focused on the innovation-driven enterprises and tech startups), Eloho Omame, said: “Lagos Innovates is the first step on a journey for the Lagos State government, through LSETF, to show that it respects the achievements of Lagos’ vibrant tech startup community, understands that tech entrepreneurship is a different, new way of building companies and that it is excited by the enthusiasm of Lagos’ community of startup founders.”