In attempt to drive innovation and momentum for disruptive technologies in Nigeria, Sasware Nigeria has launched the Start-up in Residence (STAIR) program. According to Sasware, STAIR is a co-entrepreneurship program focused on aspiring entrepreneurs and newly founded start-ups who are looking to build a viable technology business.
The co-entrepreneurship program is an intensive 12 months’ resident program that aims to nurture entrepreneurs working on the next big idea on a focus sector that is of interest to Sasware.
Sasware further revealed that the STAIR program, which will start in 2016, will run annually. It will create technology start-ups in specific areas in the economy. During the incubation period, Sasware and the entrepreneur would become a team that would define, develop and iterate a product to take to market. As co-entrepreneur, Sasware would provide the business support skills needed to make a business succeed and would support the entrepreneurs at every phase of their company’s growth by being actively involved and providing multi-sector expertise and funding.
The 2016 program will focus on building Financial Technology (Fintech) companies that address the challenges the country and Africa still have with their financial systems. Future program will focus on other areas that Nigeria and Africa need innovation to grow the continent like; agric technology, government technology, renewable energy and manufacturing.
The focus on Fintech for 2016 is strategic. Financial inclusion for the almost one billion Africans and Nigeria, which houses Africa’s largest population of 170miilion people, is a major issue limiting the development of the continent. As Africa economies move their populations out of poverty, the development of the financial system is key to unlocking the continent’s wealth and integrating the continent into the global financial system. And in some areas lead innovation in the development of the global financial system.
According to Ifeoma Uddoh, Sasware COO “Despite better access to technology with hundreds of millions accessing mobile technology, African people still struggle with access to financial services. From banking to insurance, mortgage and pension. Technology is needed in these areas to disrupt the traditional financial services that have failed millions. The sector still requires more innovation to harness the impact of technology in the way Africans access financial services.”
Sasware is the technology investment subsidiary of Signal Alliance founded in 2014. The company was established to provide early seed funding for tech start-ups. It leverages on Signal Alliance’s almost 20 years’ experience in the tech industry to invest in upcoming start-ups that serve the increasing sophisticated Nigerian and African economies.