United States Embassy Abuja – Olu Joseph Calls For Crowdfunding and Trademark Awareness at GIST TechConnect Event.
GIST TechConnects 2015 interactive broadcast event took place on 17th November 2015 at the US Embassy Abuja. It was in partnership with NITDA and AFICTA. Participants cut across Local Entrepreneurs, youth organizations, innovators, business incubators, business accelerators, entrepreneurship organizations and students.
Kelly Moon, the economic officer of the US Embassy explained the reason for the gathering of these diverse audiences – Mainly to identify how ICT startups and businesses can raise capital. The question is should startups bootstrap, engage angel investors or seek venture funding?
The Economic Counselor of US Embassy Abuja, Alan R. Tousignant recognized the participation of everyone and hoped that this event will open up more opportunities for local entrepreneurs.
Erudite scholar and the only “Oracle” in the ICT industry in Nigeria, Mr Chris Uwaje and Mr. Chuks Onuoha (the Technical Assistant to the DG), who represented Director General of NiTDA did justice to the issues.
In addition to the 3 fund raising models being looked into, Mr Oludaisi Joseph of Wallet Innovative Solutions raised 3 additional crucial issues namely the need for start-ups and businesses to look at Crowdfunding as a source of raising capital. This generated strong contribution from Chucks Onuoha, Engineer Tola Sogbesan of AFICTA and The Oracle himself.
Furthermore, Olu Joseph added the issue of protecting intellectual property through trademark. Mr Chuks Onouha from NITDA responded to this and reiterated the need for every business owner to protect their innovations with patents and trademarks.
The third point raised by him was the role and access to funds by local ICT entrepreneurs through Bank of Industry. Uwaje responded to the issue on BOI. He posited that the BOI was set up to fund local manufacturers and until the acts establishing it is updated, ICT companies or entrepreneurs will not be able to get funding from BOI.
NITDA seized the opportunity to recommend more collaborative efforts among the partners and suggested a larger forum to take a look at Innovations and Funding in 2016.
AFICTA, through Engineer Tola Shogbesan informed the audience of regional project aimed at creating 1 million jobs across the African continent by its members in 23 African countries. Details of the processes and strategies would be made public soon.
Below are links to crowd funding sites for your perusal