On Friday, LoftyInc's Managing Partner, Oluwole Odetayo and Africa's premier think-tank the Africa Leadership Forum, Executive Director - Ayodele Aderinwale, MFR - inked a strategic partnership agreement at ALF's sprawling Ota's campus that calls for establishment of a permanent high impact business incubation platform. The strategic initiative is to be known as the Innovation Incubation Initiative, also to be known as I-3. The challenge which the partnership agreement seeks to tackle is that of spurring the next wave of innovation from the emerging economies of Sub-Sahara Africa.
ALF was founded in 1988 by Ex-Nigeria President, General Olusegun Obasanjo in response to to a number of very pressing challenges facing post-independence Africa. Today, it is led by indefatigable new generation of Africans, and has on its board (of Conveners and Exco) prominent African leaders like Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and former South Africa & Mozambique first lady, Graca Machel-Mandela. ALF operates from a sprawling campus in Ota Nigeria, and also runs one of three Central Bank of Nigeria's entrepreneurship development center in Lagos, Nigeria.
The I-3 program objective as stated in the agreement, is to:
- Identify and develop high impact business founders and innovators in a business incubation system known as “Ideas Lab”
- Develop a pool of investible equity fund to support ideas emerging from the IDEAS LAB to be known as The Entrepreneurship Development and Growth Equity Fund, “The EDGE Fund”
ALF and LoftyInc will be joining forces to provide resources to the physical facility that is expected to train up to twenty-five entrepreneurs within each funding window starting from first quarter next year (each funding window is to run from 9-24 months) . ALF and LoftyInc will also serve as co-managers of the EDGE Fund which is expected to take equity stake in incubated businesses, and generate above market rate return to private sector and developmental partner investors.
LoftyInc's Managing Partner, Wole Odetayo (Left) & ALF's Exec Director Ayo Aderinwale (Center) & LoftyInc's Ayokunle Akinrotimi (Right) after the Strategic Partnership Agreement Signing Ceremony held at ALF's Ota, Nigeria Headquarter on Friday
Incubated businesses in the Media Entertainment Technology (MET), Energy & Environmental Systems (EES), Consumer Products (CP) and Life sciences and Wellbeing (LSW) Sectors are expected to be funded with a combination of equity, loan and convertible loans through instruments structured by I-3. Mentors to assist in managing the IdeasLab and shepherding the incubation process will be trained in the Monterey Institute of International Studies, California and will be in Nigeria as soon as the program is launched.
An ultra-modern incubation facility to house our innovators is under construction in Ota, and shall be complete in the fourth quarter. The recruitment and identification of potential innovators for the first funding window has since begun. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to forward your business plans/profiles for consideration.
LoftyInc Allied Partners Limited is a Start-Up Funding & Incubation Firm based in Lagos Nigeria. With a Global Team of Professionals aiding the innovation and entrepreneurship process, LoftyInc specializes in start-up incubation, capital formation and fundin. Also, LoftyInc offers project and management advisory services as well as capital & real sector research for multinationals, investors and institutions in the frontier market where they operate.