During one of the panel sessions on “Funding Innovation,” at the Akwa Ibom Tech Week 2023 Uwem Uwemakpan, Head of Investment at Launch Africa, spoke on the significance of digital prowess, pointing out that many founders lack the necessary digital skills, which often leads to complications as their ventures expand.
Led by Victoria Fabunmi, principal of Atlantica Ventures, the panel session provided insights for the funding tech ecosystem in Akwa Ibom state Nigeria. Blessing Abeng, a seasoned expert in branding and communication, was part of the panel session to offer her perspectives on the matter.
Uwemakpan said it was important to track essential business metrics and document them, he said it is necessary to recognise gaps and fill teams with individuals capable of bridging those gaps effectively, thereby cultivating a conducive work culture.
Abeng commended Paystack’s groundbreaking initiatives that facilitated smoother funding processes for emerging tech startups, setting an optimistic tone for the discourse.
Highlighting the investor’s perspective, Uwemakpan spoke on the importance of demonstrating traction. He further said it is effective for firms to create Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), citing the example of utilising something as basic as a WhatsApp group to gauge market interest and subsequently present the data to potential investors, a sentiment echoed by Abeng.
Abeng emphasised the need for sustained, gradual growth from zero to one, cautioning against ambitious, impractical ideas that lack the potential for materialisation. Uwemakpan further said it was important to ensure that manual processes work efficiently for both the customers and the business, he further advised strategic utilisation of technology when necessary.
Amidst the insightful discussion, Uwemakpan also highlighted the critical role of efficient governance in fostering a conducive environment for the thriving tech ecosystem, underlining the need for effective implementation strategies to fuel the sector’s growth.
The panel’s dynamic exchange not only shed light on the intricacies of funding and investment within the tech sphere but also provided valuable guidance for tech entrepreneurs seeking sustainable and effective funding strategies, setting the stage for the proliferation of innovative startups in the vibrant Nigerian tech landscape.