Entrepreneurs and the valley of death; saving Nigerian Startups

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[Analyses]–The innovation ecosystem in Nigeria has experienced an appreciable transformation in recent times. It has experienced supports for different start ups and enterpreneurs, most especially, Agricultural and technology start ups. However, with these few supports, technology entrepreneurs seems to be experiencing more challenges in the Nigerian innovation ecosystem.

Technology entrepreneurs in Nigeria have overtime striven for technological excellence despite all odds and unfavorable environment. A microscopic few of them scaled all walls to put their ideas in the market after several attempts and failures but this has not been the case for a larger percentage. The major problem that has been noticed and observed about technology entrepreneurs is the problem of survival of the valley of death in the innovation ecosystem.

The valley of death describes the gap between the idea conception (Knowledge Economy) and transforming the ideas into final products ( Market Economy) in any innovation ecosystem. A lot of things happen on this valley. The two verdicts on this valley is SUCCEED or DIE. The success of any technology start up on this valley is dependent on a lot of processes such as :

– Resilience and doggedness for success from the part of the technology entrepreneur
– Supports from venture capitalist or crowd funding.
– A favorable innovation ecosystem that promotes technological inventions geared towards a creative economy
– A research based economy that subjects every idea to a test of how, what, when, and to whom.
– Effective Innovation hubs and idea incubation centers
– A sound technology management policy, hinged on national and international success framework

If all these can be rightfully put in place in Nigeria, I believe more technology entrepreneurs will continue to survive the valley of death.

It is very pertinent to note that venture capitalism has been the only major form of venture promotion in Nigeria but it also been discovered that  most venture capitalist are few in Nigeria. Nigeria could begin to take lessons from the United States and South Korea who are currently paying serious attention to CROWD FUNDING as an alternative to VENTURE CAPITALISM.

Nigeria will become a creative economy and a country with technological dividends if a larger percentage of her technology entrepreneurs can be supported to always survive the valley of death in the innovation ecosystem.

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