Venture Kinetics, led by Jobberman founder Opeyemi Awoyemi, and Passion Incubator have partnered the launch the FastForward Student Innovation Fund, an impact investing fund focused on innovations of students or recent graduates of Nigerian universities.
FastForward will invest cash and business support of between NGN250,000 (US$1,250) and NGN2 million (US$10,000) in exchange for equity stakes of between five per cent and 25 per cent in the startups.
The fund will be focused on websites and apps, but will also invest in technology-enabled innovation across consumer technology, enterprise, agriculture, health, environment and education.
“There are bright minds in Nigerian tertiary institutions, and they are doing fantastic things. However, without the necessary support structure their great ideas cannot be turned to reality. FastForward will provide funding and remote supervision to accelerate these innovations to market prototype stage,” said Awoyemi.
Olufunbi Falayi of Passion Incubator said there were a number of high profile businesses that had started life in universities, notably Jobberman.
“With the right adult supervision, funding, connections and technical support, we intend to find US$100 million opportunities and help them get started towards that direction,” he said.
The FastForward Student Innovation Fund is raising money from alumni of specific universities, high net-worth Individuals, corporates and the Federal Government of Nigeria. Prior to disbursement, the funds raised will be held by a trustee, Investment One Financial Services.
The fund has opened a pilot round of applications to Obafemi Awolowo University students and alumni.