Unicorn Incubation Hub debuts in Lagos for techpreneurs
Unicorn Group, a pan-Africa investment organisation targeting innovative ideas, start-ups, and early-stage businesses has opened the Unicorn Incubation Hub in Yaba, Lagos for technopreneurs and independent professionals.
The incubation hub – an initiative of Akintoye Akindele, chairman and chief executive of Unicorn Group which has debuted in Lagos is according to its promoters, Africa’s largest incubation campus.
It provides education, training, mentorship, infrastructure, and long-term capital to entrepreneurs, and start-ups especially in the technology space to scale and emerge as unicorns.
Speaking during a tour on the incubation hub facilities, Akindele said the Unicorn Incubation hub was birthed as a way of supporting the African start-up community by using strategies to address the challenges entrepreneurs, star-ups, and early-stage businesses face across the continent.
According to him, unleashing the opportunities that Africa has in its young, vibrant and creative population would require addressing challenges that limit ideation and innovation.
“Africa has a young population in the 21st century that is creative. We can leverage these opportunities as an advantage and not make our human resources a curse,” he said.
“We decided to build a campus that addresses issues that limits ideation, start-ups, and the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country and Africa at large,” he further said.
“The incubation hub is about local content and supporting local entrepreneurs as well as making impossibilities happens when we unlock our human capital,” he added.
He stated that the innovation hub is one of a kind on the Africa continent that has leverage partnerships and networks to work with entrepreneurs to scale.
He noted that the hub is a 24hours campus that already has a centre in Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya, saying that the campus ensures innovators access to an ecosystem that can nurture their ideas to businesses that can become unicorns.
He appreciated all the partners that have contributed towards the realization of the campus initiative.
Speaking also during the opening of the Unicorn hub, Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources said that human resource remains the main resource the continent has and is yet to be developed.
He stated that the development of human resources means the development of the most sustainable resources which we have in abundance in the country.
“I am overwhelmed by the capacity of innovation I have seen here today,” Sylva said after taking a tour around the Unicorn Innovation hub.
“The hub is the beginning of the right road and I believe that if we take this road, Nigeria and Africa will soon be at the top,” he said.
He called on Nigerians to stop the game blame and focus on creating solutions to societal problems.
“The solutions to our problems lie with investing in our people, so lets us start the work from the innovation that has started here today,” he urged.
Also, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos, said that the 21st century has witnessed incredible advancements that have been driven by science and technology, adding that he is pleased that the Unicorn Group is keying into it with the launch of the biggest incubation campus in Africa in Yaba – Lagos.
Represented by his wife Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, he said that through various Unicorn incubation programmes held across the continent in the past few years, African youths and entrepreneurs have had the opportunity to align their raw ideas in line with global relevance and innovation.
“I strongly believe that the decision to construct this incubation campus in Yaba, which has come to be known as the tech hub as well as a prototype of the Silicon Valley, is a strategy to spur innovation and empower entrepreneurs to identify and build sustainable and competitive businesses that will contribute to the continent’s economic growth,” he said.
Simbi Wabote, executive secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board said the Unicorn Incubation academy attests to the fact that Africa is about to further unleash a lot of potentials which will be to the advantage of Nigeria and the continent at large.