Lagos State allocates N1bn Seed Fund for Startups 

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The Lagos State government under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has allocated N1 billion as a seed fund for startups to the Lagos State Science, Research, and Innovation Council (LASRIC). 

 The announcement was made during the inauguration of the newly reconstituted LASRIC members in Lagos. 

Governor Sanwo-Olu reiterated the state’s commitment to fostering scientific innovation, highlighting Lagos as a burgeoning hub for early-stage and unicorn startups.  

He noted that Lagos’s startup ecosystem has outpaced many other African cities and countries in terms of success metrics, foreign direct investment, and the number of innovative solutions and patents. 

We are committed to increasing these success metrics with the provision of LASRIC seed fund to the tune of N1,000,000,000 (one billion Naira) – in the first tranche funding to the council. 

“We believe this fund will continue to catalyse development in our dear state.  

‘’It is my expectation that the new LASRIC Board being inaugurated today will work assiduously towards ensuring the realisation of our collective goals and aspirations,’’ he said. 

The governor emphasised the centrality of innovation to his administration’s THEMES Agenda, necessitating the establishment of LASRIC to drive science and technology initiatives.  

The council comprises experts from industry, academia, and the public sector, all dedicated to expanding innovation in Lagos. 

According to Gov Sawoolu in the past four years, LASRIC has created over 500 jobs by supporting startups in sectors such as AgriTech, the circular economy, climate change, and construction tech.

Additionally, it has backed more than 70 research and development initiatives, spanning biomass, biodiesel, and artificial intelligence for medical imaging. LASRIC’s efforts have boosted innovation activity in Lagos by over 250%. 

What  to know 

Sanwo-Olu highlighted LASRIC’s notable achievement in securing the government’s first patent through a multidisciplinary team from the University of Lagos, which developed the Ambubag Ventilator. Many other patent-pending projects are underway, reinforcing the administration’s focus on value creation. 

Olatunbosun Alake, the Commissioner for Innovation, Science, and Technology, introduced a structured assessment system for technology companies and startups applying for the seed funding. This system, called “POEM,” evaluates Proposition, Organisation, Economics, and Milestones. 

What Alake said 

POEM stands for Proposition – what problems are the startups and tech companies solving? Organisation – what kind of skills have been put together to solve the problem? 

“The ‘E’ in POEM stands for Economics – does it make business sense? Will it make money? Will people buy it? and ‘M’ stands for Milestone in terms of the building these businesses will have. 

“Startups or tech companies that are able to pass this assessment and access the seed funding should be able to solve problems in Lagos State and beyond,” Alake said. 

The newly appointed Chairman of LASRIC and Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University of Science & Technology, Prof. Olumuyiwa Odusanya stated that the initiative is “ a call to duty and to work”. 

Backstory 

Nairametrics previously reported that the  Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said his government has so far disbursed over N500 million to more than 40 tech startups in the State to push them to scale as of January 2024. 

Lagos is recognized as the hub of startups in Africa as it houses some of the biggest and most successful startups on the continent, the state government is making deliberate efforts to produce more successful startups through its Startup Lagos Initiative. 


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