Meet the people and passion behind the start-up…
Tell us a little about yourselves
Our names are Emmanuel, Joshua, and Ndianabasi.
Emmanuel: I am 24 years old. I grew up in Kano State and I studied Marine Engineering at the University of Science and Technology, Rivers State. I am a full stack developer at Alpha Nextphase Technologies. I come from a banking family. My parents have years of experience in the financial sector. Our quest into business started after we left school.
Ndianabasi: I am from Akwa Ibom state. I graduated from the University of Science and Technology, Rivers State. I am responsible for the business operations of Alpha Nextphase Technologies.
What does the start-up do?
Joshua: After graduating from the University, I decided to start a business with a group of friends. We have been on it for a while and now we have launched a finance management company called Alpha NextPhase Technologies. It is a platform where people can save their money and access it later, as well as learn how to start their own businesses.
Ndianabasi: Our business is a FinTech (financial technology) Start-up, and our target audience is students in tertiary institutions. The idea is to get them to save money on our platform all through their time in university and then gain access to it upon graduation.
What inspired your start-up?
Emmanuel: We tried to start different businesses but couldn’t raise the funds for them. This experience spurred us to start this business. We decided to equip students in university with the platform and culture to save, as well as the exposure to relevant knowledge on how to a start business, and personal development. This way, they are prepared for life after university and can transition into the market smoothly.
What stage is your start-up at?
Emmanuel: We currently have a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and we are in the market entry phase. We intend to launch with the resumption of most tertiary institutions.
Why do you want to start up your business?
Emmanuel: To make a difference in the lives of these students, and thereby try to reduce the level of unemployment, and the rate of failure in starting a business, is what motivates us to keep going. If something is not done about this, it will lead to violence and crime. One of the big opportunities is the Free Africa Trade agreement which gives people the opportunity to create products and sell across Africa. Many young people are unaware of this, so, with our platform, we intend to empower them with this and more vital information.
Why did you apply for the Ken Jnr Award for Innovation?
Emmanuel: Our first start-up struggled because we did not have the needed knowledge, exposure, structure, and network. But with what this Incubation Programme has offered us, we will be able to make this particular start-up work. With the high-speed internet and free office space we have been given, within the first week, we were able to improve on certain key features of our platform. We really appreciate SDN and the tech hub for this opportunity.
What do you hope to do with your business after you graduate from the Hub?
Emmanuel: Currently, our start-up has been accepted into the Tony Elumelu Foundation 2019 Programme and we have an amount of the seed capital. We intend to use this to get into the market and build a strong user base and, in turn, get good revenue. We will also work towards getting funding from Angel investors around the country. We are confident that the connections we will get from this programme will help us progress. One major reason we applied for the Ken Jnr Award was the access to good business mentors who actually know better than we do.
Joshua: We appreciate the opportunity to be part of the second cohort of the incubation programme. We know that this will help us develop and succeed. Our experiences here will certainly help us.
Ndianabasi: We thank you for the opportunity to work with experienced people in the second cohort of the incubation programme. We believe we will have a wonderful stay.
Supporting Alpha Nextphase Technologies with the best start…
The Ken Jr Award for Innovation is a 6-month ‘incubation’ programme for aspiring tech entrepreneurs, providing a grant, free work-space and office amenities at the Ken Saro-Wiwa innovation hub, training, mentorship support, and soft skills to four teams of people who have a business idea and minimum viable product that they want to take to market.