By James, Michael Igiri
The Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre (ESDC) University of Lagos, on Thursday hosted the grand-finale of the Impact Week competition in Nigeria.
The maiden edition of the Impact Week, came to a close with team “WASTE TREASURE”, emerging eventual winner of the 2.1 million naira price awarded.
The event which began a week earlier was scheduled in three phases beginning with a training the Trainer programme, Student-Trainer coaching which involved 200 students drawn from various departments of the university, and finally climaxed with a pitching competition which saw 20 teams compete among themselves for the ultimate price.
Speaking at the event, the Vice Chancellor University of Lagos, Prof Rahamon Adisa Bello said he was impressed by the quality of outposts displayed by the competing teams.
He iterated that on assumption of office, his administration had resolved to see the University of Lagos become a foremost entrepreneurship centre of excellence in Nigeria. He was elated to see his dream come to fruition and thanked the organisers while expressing an interest in seeing a continuous collaboration between the University of Lagos, and the Sponsors.
The event which was supported by Luftansa, help-alliance, and Centurion Law Group in collaboration with the university had a panel of judges drawn from diverse areas including the Banking, Oil and Gas, and Digital /Info-Technology sectors.
A member of the Impact Week group and designer from San Francisco, Sarah Noam said the aim of the incubator programme was to teach the fundamentals of design-thinking to students, as well as expose them to the processes, tools, and methods therein.
She stated that the price tag on the winnings was to assist the victorious teams fund the projects that eventually came out as business proposals with the hope of creating an impact in society.
Also, a senior lecturer from the department of Mass Communication, Suraj Adekunle said it was the aim of the ESDC to incubate novel ideas by students and academics, turning such into business ventures.
As a coach with the entrepreneurship centre, Dr Suraj said he was part of a team whose idea was to pitch an integrated system app which hoped to ameliorate the stress Lagosians go through in transportation and its management.
He further explained that it had taken each of the teams only two days to prepare for the pitching competition and that the event saw three teams emerge winners in order of selection.
The event climaxed with a visit by the university management led by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr Wale Babalakin, the university Vice Chancellor Prof Rahamon Bello, DVC Development Services, Prof Folasade Ogunsola, Registrar Dr Taiwo Ipaye, the university’s Director of Quality Assurance Prof L.O Chukwu and other members of the University of Lagos academic and management team.