FirstFounders appoints faculty advisors
Firstfounders Inc. has engaged 11 faculty advisors, who are professionally equipped to make pivotal analyses and offer timely assistance to startups.
FirstFounders is a venture studio that partners with early-stage entrepreneurs to build their minimum viable product (MVP) and ensure that they are investment-ready.
Speaking on the appointments, the firm’s Chief Executive Officer, David Lanre Messan, said, “This engagement with the faculty advisors serves as a metric to judge the quality of our startups by getting experienced, professionals or business leaders to review and select the most suitable startups to benefit from our services at FirstFounders.”
He noted that the faculty advisors “are well-versed entrepreneurs and experienced professionals who have a strong understanding of entrepreneurship, especially as it concerns the African market.”
The faculty advisors are Bolarinwa David Ojo, the Head of Payment, Digital Transactions at Digital Extra. His experience cuts across sales, business development, ATM hardware, and software field engineering; Lawal Africas, the Asuku 1 of Oloibiri Kingdom, Bayelsa. He is a management consultant and development expert. Ahmed Odufuwa, who recently worked as the lead digital asset commercialisation officer at Africa Fintech’s Founding Company. His experience cuts across product management, and principal consultancy to mention a few.
Others are Odibeli Emeka, the chapter director for Startup Grind and a business development consultant at the International Centre for Development Affairs; Zion Thompson, a co-founder of Startup LaunchCode, and iVen Digital, a certified business process professional, strategist, and startup growth advisor and Oghenero Ewherido, a corporate, finance and tech startup lawyer with experience advising national and international clients. She is a lawyer with a result-oriented approach to problem-solving.
The remaining members are Kate Nyerhovwo-Ovwighose, a growth marketer at Founders Factory, who works with startups to develop growth strategies and experiments to achieve sustainable growth; Ilham Rzaev, user acquisition, and marketing expert, who currently worked with Mondly. Also, he is the Chief Marketing Officer at Medico.az.
The following complete the list of new appointees. Michael Nyananyo, the CEO and founder of Tier Money, a global payment infrastructure company licensed in Canada and the UK; Gloria Imevbore, a digital marketer and PR executive at Interswitch, with experience in digital marketing, and brand management and experience managing brands like Honeywell Foods, Mouka Limited, Mastercard Foundation, and Showmax and finally, Uchechi Agbaraji, a certified management accountant and one of the founding team members of Edukoya. She leads the company’s Tutor operations, with responsibility for businesses in Nigeria and UK.
According to Messan, the faculty advisors span across a wide range of disciplines and understand the peculiarities of early-stage companies, adding that their engagement is meant to evaluate and advise budding companies on the rapidly evolving markets and also provide valuable insight into managing market launches for startups with new products and/or unique business models.
He said further, “We are looking forward to working with these faculty advisors, as they begin this journey with us, and their expertise and skills will boost startups and promote the mission of the company to build, scale and fund early-stage founders.
“Our mission is to build, scale, and fund a community of 1,000 Founders with MVPs by 2032, with 200 of these companies attaining unicorn status. At FirstFounders, we commit our resources to develop products and business ideas, constructing the technological application, raising capital, devising appropriate growth strategies, and providing the necessary mentorship and networks that are needed for expansion.”
FirstFounders Inc. also offers programmes that are specifically targeted at startups. They include the Venture Booth Programme (TVB), which offers assistance to founders whose ideas require technical, business, and mentorship help.
Selected start-ups undergo an exclusive venture-building process that spans six stages of business development, namely: Business model creation, Product UI/UX design, product software engineering, growth channel development, fundraising tour, and mentorship/start-up advisor.
It also has a Capital Acceleration Programme (CAP), which accelerates capital for 30 selected founders who have products and traction. One of the core benefits of the CAP is exposure and access to a pool of investors who are willing to invest in scalable businesses.
“We are looking forward to working with these faculty advisors, as they begin this journey with us, and their expertise and skills will boost startups and promote the mission of the company to build, scale and fund early-stage founders.
“Our mission is to build, scale, and fund a community of 1,000 Founders with MVPs by 2032, with 200 of these companies attaining unicorn status,” Messan said.
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