Microsoft and AMPION tookPaul Adepoju on the West African venture bus in Lagos, Nigeria to talk start-ups.
On the road, the two organisations announced a new partnership that will benefit a total of 200 entrepreneurs who will be launching innovative businesses on the AMPION venture buses across Africa with the support of Microsoft.
Entrepreneurs will receive financial and technical support, resources, networking opportunities and mentorship during the 2015 Venture Bus, AMPION Fellowship and accelerator programs.
Five buses of 40 entrepreneurs will travel across 16 African countries. While on the bus, they will get on-board mentorship and visit local tech hubs over seven days in order to develop solutions and business ideas. This will then be followed by a fellowship that would span from 6 to 9 months and will culminate in an extensive incubation program.
Specifically, Microsoft will provide in-country and virtual mentorships through its MySkills4Afrika volunteer program; it will also provide technical and business support and skills training through BizSpark and Microsoft Virtual Academy to help the entrepreneurs to refine and take their business solutions to the market.
Speaking on the partnership with AMPION, Amrote Abdella, Director of Startup Engagement and Partnerships at Microsoft 4Afrika said Microsoft is keen on supporting Africa’s innovation ecosystem.
She said, “Entrepreneurs who tackle issues create the path for innovative solutions while building sustainable businesses on the continent. Through our collaboration with AMPION, we look forward to giving young talent the tools and resources needed to succeed – laying the foundation for the creation of globally competitive businesses.”
According to Fabian-Carlos Guhl, AMPION’s seven-day Venture Bus program is designed to be intense, competitive and challenging.
“This is an ideal environment for innovation to thrive,” he said. “The fellowship program is then designed to sharpen the entrepreneurs and biggest business ideas with the highest potential.”