The inaugural edition of the start-up pitch competition Techpoint Build held on Saturday at the Landmark Event centre.
The much anticipated event had thousands of entrepreneurs and technology stakeholder from all over Nigeria, gathered together to network and learn.
Internship classifieds site Placements.ng vied with eight other start-ups and won the N1 million prize competition. There were also breakout panel sessions primarily around funding - is it right to take investor money early on; investments in Africa, etc.
Below are wise nuggets from the sessions
"I don't believe in smart money. I believe in fast money. Collect from the investor who gives first, and with clear terms. No complexities. If a lawyer is needed to understand their proposal, I'd ignore." - Shola Akinlade (CEO, Paystack)
"We did 98 different pitches, tweaking the business model and value ad with each, before finally attracting investment from Techstars. You have to do the work." - Onyeka Akumah (CEO, Farmcrowdy)
“If you have a brilliant idea in an untested territory, don't bootstrap to prove the concept, because if you eventually do, then vultures who can raise more and market more than you, will duplicate your idea and take market lead. So, see to it that you get funding in that scenario, so you can grow aggressively before second movers catch up.” - Onyeka Akumah (CEO, Farmcrowdy)
“One shocking truth we have discovered is that people don’t know how to use their mobile phones. So we rolled out market education through physical outlets where salesmen collect your phone, help you download the iROKO app and sign in.” - Jason Njoku (CEO, iROKOtv)
“I used to be all techy before until one day I was on Adeola Odeku and this big man steps out of his exotic car with two expensive mobile phones asking me for directions to a nearby street. I thought to myself, “this rich man has Google products on his phones that can direct him yet he can’t or wouldn’t use it?” - Simeon Ononobi (CEO, SimplePay)
Chika, are you looking to take bets on small startups now as you did with Jobberman back then?
“No. They are hell (laughs). There's not so much capital, resources and time so I have to focus on the portfolio I currently have and guard against spreading myself too thin. But I can work with credible investors playing at that seed phase.” - Chika Nwobi (founder, L5Lab)
“Startups need to look more at substituting investments for partners who have access to market or other things they need. A lot of conventional people have made money in this clime through partnerships and without raising money. That's how I started in business at Mtech. We approached MTN that had millions of subscribers and said, look let's partner and share earnings and that's how we got millions of customers.” - Chika Nwobi (founder, L5Lab)
“There’s a market online but most offline. You have to wait, survive, till they all come online.” - Muyiwa Matuluko (co-founder, Techpoint)
"Online today is like 25 percent of iROKO revenue. In 10 years we want it to be like 80 percent. We believe it will take 10 years before online market becomes really big in Nigeria" - Jason Njoku (CEO, iROKOtv)
Should we be expecting Unicorns in Nigeria?
“Yes. Within the next ten years.” - Chika Nwobi (founder, L5Lab)