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Lagos state sets aside 1 billion Naira to fund startups

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In a move aimed at boosting the tech ecosystem in the state, the Lagos state government has allocated a whopping 1 billion naira (around $670,000) in seed funding to nurture high-potential startups and drive innovation.

The hefty investment from the newly reconstituted Lagos State Science, Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) aims to cement the megacity’s reputation as an African startup nurturer.

“This 1 billion naira seed fund demonstrates our commitment to empowering the next generation of innovators in Lagos,” Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu stated at LASRIC’s inauguration.

He highlighted how the state’s startup scene has rapidly outpaced many regional hubs, with a surging number of game-changing solutions, patents and unicorn ventures attracting global investment.

Over the past four years alone, LASRIC has facilitated over 500 new tech jobs by bankrolling startups spanning agritech, climate solutions, circular economy models and construction technology. Its support for 70-plus research initiatives has turbocharged Lagos’ innovation output by over 250%.

The 1 billion naira allocation marks a stratospheric rise from LASRIC’s initial 170 million naira funding in 2019 when it was established to drive science and technology development aligned with Sanwo-Olu’s “THEMES” policy agenda.

To access the new funding tranches, startups must pass a multi-stage vetting process overseen by the 13-member LASRIC council led by Prof. Olumuyiwa Odusanya, vice chancellor of Lagos State University of Science and Technology.

Read also: Africa Data Centres lands $109m to expand cloud capacity

Applicants will be assessed through LASRIC’s proprietary “POEM” framework analyzing their value proposition, team, business model viability and milestone progress before proceeding to expert panel reviews.

Olatunbosun Alake, the state’s innovation commissioner, highlighted past beneficiary successes like food-tech platform Pricepally, which LASRIC backed with a 5 million naira grant in 2020 before it raised $1.3 million and scaled nationwide.

With Africa’s startup revolution firing on all cylinders, the Lagos seed fund establishes a powerful resource to transform fledgling concepts into continent-leading innovators and tech unicorns shaping the future.

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When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
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