Microsoft and The Future Project reward young entrepreneurs at the Accelerate Labs Demo Day in Lagos

Microsoft Nigeria, in partnership with The Future Project, rewarded budding Nigerian entrepreneurs at the Demo Day held in Lagos on Saturday, 3 February, 2018, as participants in the initiative were provided opportunities to pitch their ideas and business projects to business executives and officials at the event.

With over 150 participants registered for the first stream in Lagos, young entrepreneurs were selected through intensive screenings and trainings on client relations, funding proposals, pitch presentations, as the top three businesses on the Demo Day were presented with cash rewards, even as the young entrepreneurs will be provided with funding and technological support by Microsoft.


A participant pitching his business idea at Accelerate Labs, South-west Demo day in Lagos

Giving his keynote speech, Alex Yangs, the chief executive officer of RED, emphasised the importance of clarity and goal-oriented businesses, which are necessary for building socially-responsible and sustainable enterprises.

“Accelerate Labs, especially the Demo Day, is a journey of clarity for all the participants across Nigeria. More importantly, lot of businesses and ideas do not need money but clarity at the initial stage, so this initiative provides an immense platform to introduce the experience of established entrepreneurs and mentors from major sectors of the economy,” he explained.

Alex Yangs, CEO, RED issuing a certificate to one of the AccelerateLabs graduants
Issuing of certificate to AccelerateLabs graduants 2
Interactive session with AccelerateLabs graduants

Speaking with participants at the event, the Country General Manager, Akin Banuso promised that Microsoft will continue to support the initiative, as the young participants represent both the present and the future of the country.

“Many young Nigerians are innovative and enterprising, with new ideas consistently generated in different areas of the country. Microsoft understands that businesses can never be without risk, so we will keep supporting them through consistent investor engagement and providing them the necessary tools to build successful businesses,” he said.

General Manager, Microsoft, Mr Akin Banuso
Cross-section of graduands at South-west demo day

The Microsoft executive also stated that Nigeria needs new ways of solving problems, and its youth are creators and entrepreneurs that can offer sustainable solutions to socio-economic problems due to their passion and commitment.

(L-R) Winner Best business ideas South-West region, Cynthia, Tope Alake and Kafilat Adediji
(L-R) Winner, Best business ideas, South-West region, Cynthia, Tope Alake and Kafilat Adediji.
(L-R) Mr. Sola Amusan, Philanthropies Lead, Mrs Taiwo Abiose, Director of Entrepreneurship, Mr. Akin Banuso, General Manager Microsoft and Mr. Aki
(L-R) Mr Sola Amusan, Philanthropies Lead; Mrs Taiwo Abiose, Director of Entrepreneurship; Mr Akin Banuso, General Manager, Microsoft and Mr Aki

With over 2,160 businesses to supported through the initiative, trainings for participants in the second stream are set to be launched across Nigeria in February.

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