Nigeria’s first university backed tech hub is on course to hold its first ever startup competition Lion Science Park, a new tech hub created by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, will provide up to N1 million funding to the winner of its maiden startup competition.
The tech hub describes itself as an innovation hub, an economic hub and a co-working space. The management of UNN believes the Lion Science Park is a sustainable development project that plays nicely with the UN SDG goal 17 which focuses on partnership for the goals.
Inaugurated in 2018, Lion Science Park is the university’s answer to the lack of scientific innovation in the country
The LSP is expected to encourage regional, national and international scientific Research and Development (R&D) initiatives by supporting alliance and interaction amongst academia, industry and government.
The hub was inducted into International Association of Science Parks in Iran last year. It has also announced partnerships with several institutions both domestic and foreign.
The startup pitch contest represents the biggest opportunity for the tech hub to announce itself.
The Lion Science Park competition is designed as a startup competition promising equity-free cash prizes to student-led innovations.
Dubbed “Venture Cup Nigeria”, the competition encourages the use of technology to create innovation and solve local problems. The competition has two stages of participation. On the one hand, there is the geopolitical or regional stage of the competition. Then there is also the national level of the competition.
The top three finalist of the regional bouts will be awarded with N300,000, N150,000, and N100,000 respectively. Meanwhile the top three finalists of the national competition will receive N1 million, N500,000 and N300,000 each.
This is one way of trying to engineer innovation at the university level. And indeed, it’s a crucial step.
For too long, the dearth in the Nigerian educational system has created unemployable graduates with poor tech skills and low understanding of entrepreneurship. The LSP competition offers a chance to welcome back innovative thinking in the academia while fostering entrepreneurial thinking.
This could go a long way to inspire other tertiary institutions too.
Deadline to signup for the competition is May 15th, 2019. Click here to signup.
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