Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, has stated that the institution is unwinding undergraduates’ potentials through innovative ideas and concepts.
In his words during the round two investment opportunity pitching of the 24 teams that initiated ideas of new designs and models in the recently concluded ‘Impact Week’, a design-thinking workshop that launched about 24 innovative ideas capable of propelling students to succeed after graduation.
The event, which was organized at the institution’s Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Centre (ESDC), opened room of partnership to investors and financial groups to co-establish kick-off platforms for these ideas.
According to Ogundipe, “We are unlocking potentials with all these concepts. I am excited about what our students are doing. Investors are here to assess the presentation for investment. The whole idea is for our students to have their own business immediately after graduation,” he said.
The Acting Director of ESDC, Dr. Sunday Adebisi established that the parameters for investment are business sketches that are quantifiable, viable, visible, productive, and profitable.
“The amazing part is that all our students’ designs are businesses that will begin to spin money as remittal spins money. These are ideas, so fantastic and still at the incubation stage, so ESDC is bringing all of them together and we’re going to incubate them, we’d support them with all the technicalities needed for them to scale before they leave the university,” he said.
Adebisi added that the whole framework is to ensure that UNILAG graduates become job creators not job seekers. “We want to be seen and known as a university that produces job creators not job seekers.
A total number of 156 students are developing the 24 products, these students will emerge with valid business that sells, and can be invested into.
“This in turn will multiply, creating down line empowerment and increased productivity and GDP of the nation. It would reduce unemployment, frustration and menace in the society.
The motive of the institution is to engage the brain of the students into perfect functionality and have them use their brain to put up businesses and ideas. So it is going to impact a positive entrepreneurship effect on Nigeria economy,” he said.
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development Services, Prof. Folashade Ogunshola, with a portfolio of Entrepreneurship Internalisation, Strategic Partnerships and Advancement, said the institution’s historical strides of development, innovation and entrepreneurship in the last couple years, is finally beginning to yield positive results.
“One of the most important thing for us is that our students are amazingly creative and hard working. We have provided the environment and training for them to express themselves, we then challenged them and they rose to the challenge. Our students have come up with a lot of innovations both in agriculture and others that would move the country forward” she said.
The 24-teams involved in the designs and models were evaluated and investors reached investment decision on the businesses based on the set parameters while the teams were advised on how to set their prototypes forward.