Flickr CC image courtesy of Roger Wollstadt
Nigerian startup accelerator programme Wennovation Hub is very selective, accepting less than five per cent of the ideas presented to it, according to co-founder and executive partner Michael Oluwagbemi.
Oluwagbemi told HumanIPO the programme did not tolerate “hobbyists”, which he said the hub called “Wannapreneurs”.
“We’re market focused, hence we only accept less than five per cent of ideas that come our way. This makes us as selective as Harvard University. Developers that just want to connect, have fun, hack or change the world with no business model will find our programme very unfriendly,” he said.
According to him, the hub is focused on social impact from which it can derive commercial value and create jobs, “which is ultimately the best poverty eradication program for Nigeria: a country, badly in need of one”.
He said the increase in the number of hubs in Nigeria is a result of an increase in the level of awareness about the ongoing global technology revolution and the opportunities that exist to create value.
“Nigerians are naturally entrepreneurial; and the massive M&A deals in Silicon Valley now get global press coverage that is leading technology and financial savvy Nigerians to beat the path to technology as an avenue to create long term value, which naturally leads to increase in demand and supply for hubs,” he said.
The hub’s vision is to provide infrastructure and a platform for innovation leveraging collaboration and targeting high impact sectors.
“We recognised that we live in a society that provides little or no support for innovators and renegade entrepreneurs, and we exist to fill that gap. Innovators are the transforming molecules of great societies, and Wennovation is about connecting those geniuses that can transform Nigeria’s economy and solve common sense problems that bedevil us as a nation,” he said.
“As a social enterprise, we want to have the most impact in solving problems, while reaping commercial value: hence, we focus on solutions in key sectors like access technologies (or what we call Mobile, Web & Retail), wellness & nutrition, and energy infrastructure solutions.”