Passion Incubator co-founder Falayi joins iDEA Nigeria

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Olufunbi Falayi, co-founder of the Lagos-based Passion Incubator, has moved to the government-funded iDEA Nigeria, taking six startups with him.

Falayi helped to launch Passion Incubator last year, but has now moved across to iDEA Nigeria, where he will lead all its activities and interventions with early-stage startups, as well as engagement with the ecosystem.

Waracake, Talking Bookz, Beat Traffik, Medrep, Easy Space and Stylista will follow Falayi to iDEA, with Passion Incubator no longer accepting any new startups for the time being.

Falayi said he would continue to work with Passion Incubator startups as part of his role at iDEA, while co-founder Taiwo Ajetunmobi will run the day-to-day operations of Passion Incubator and work on growing it into adjacent business segments.

He said there would be more to come from Passion Incubator, and said there was no split behind his decision to move to iDEA, which he described as a “call to serve and an opportunity to help more entrepreneurs”.

“Our country needs a strong ecosystem and we need to accelerate the development of the ecosystems and move things forward,” he said.

“Working at iDEA gives me the opportunity to help with that. From the beginning we were always clear that starting Passion Incubator was about helping to grow the ecosystem and helping the entrepreneurs find success. Moving to iDEA helps us continue to do this, but on a larger platform.”

iDEA, which launched in Lagos in April 2013, has been active of late, last month showcasing four startups at its demo day.

Disrupt Africa reported in April iDEA had opened applications for early-stage or growth startups looking to take part in its incubator programme, while it has also launched startup mentoring programme GEM.

In March it launched the Fostering and Accelerating Startups in Tech (FAST) entrepreneurship programme, which involves carefully selected courses and a focus on startup needs.

Oluseye Bassir, chief operating officer (COO) of iDEA, previously told Disrupt Africa hub sustainability is “inextricably linked” to the impact of a particular hub or incubator.

“That impact could be commercial, where we find the best teams with the most scalable offerings, and we actually help them along, such that a number of our startups in which we take equity then become winners,” he said.

“Impact could also be social or socio-economic. Some of the impact we’re looking to make in that direction, is to contribute to the growth of a technological cluster that attracts and develops very highly skilled people, building viable companies that collaborate and compete within our space.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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