LSETF offers N1.8m workspace voucher to techpreneur
The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has offered techpreneurs a N1.8 million worth workspace voucher to enhance ease of doing business.
The voucher as part of the the Lagos Innovate scheme, provides a year’s worth of basic business needs including quality office space, Internet access, innovative environment and access to multiple office locations on the mainland and island at no cost.
One of the beneficiaries and Co-founder of GatePass, Muyideen Dosumu, said the scheme has given his team a boost and has improved networking with other tech start-ups.
He added that being selected by the state was proof of their initiative’s worth and business potential.
Dosumu charged government to implement the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), as part of its commitments to supporting technological innovation in the private sector.
He added that more avenues be created for innovators to drive a cohesive, national technology vision, “LSETF, among others, is actively bridging the gap between the government and innovators but expanding the scope beyond urban areas will certainly deepen growth.
“Government parastatal would benefit from the community management and data analytics services that technology like GatePass provides. To this end, government can provide sustainable distribution networks for the products and software developers,” he added.
The initiative, GatePass, is a community management app that helps residents automates and improve communication, hey emergency response and ease levy payments.
The app, according to Dosumu, provides a platform that increases data for community planning, facilitate cheaper and efficient revenue collection, and foster effective communication channels between residents and their community leaders.
He said the solution is to address poor visitors’ management and improper community administration as experienced in many residential areas.
“Residents’ experience with estate managers is the usual analogue and non-inclusive approach. In most communities, only executives or influential members are allowed to make decisions, with little or no clarity on the use of funds. These discourage residents from paying community dues. One can also relate these community issues to governance challenges in Nigeria,” he added.
Dosumu noted that though existing solutions focus mainly on top-down engagement, it has failed to consider the significant benefits of democratising decision-making that fosters interaction between residents and community leaders.
He said: “GatePass aims to build efficient, transparent and well-governed communities by facilitating the engagement, involvement and empowerment of its members. Residents can make complaints through the app and track the status while leaders get notified and are able to address the issue.
“We are certain this online platform is a better alternative to improve estate management by connecting community members with key change agents at a low cost.”
Dosumu added that funding, time, distribution and talent sourcing are the major challenges encountered in birthing the solution.
“Although, we have been able to cover most of our costs, insufficient funds have hindered us from executing the initiatives at a faster speed. We are however resolved to explore innovative funding strategies and push this duration to reality.
“Also, because we are at the initial stages of GatePass, getting access to developers for the platform has been a challenge. We outsourced our software development and are in the process of building a formidable team,” he added.
On future anticipations, he stressed that his team will use available resources to achieve a smart, inclusive and sustainable communities across Africa for improved quality of life.
“Our goal is for GatePass to be functional in 17 states in the next 5 years. We are also working towards having GatePass adopted in other West African country offering the best smart communities and management,” he added.