By Chinwendu Obienyi
Sterling Bank Plc has announced that it is collaborating with Founder Institute (FI), the world largest pre-seed accelerator programme, to connect early-stage startup resources for founders in Nigeria.
Under the partnership, Sterling Bank will ensure that more organisations benefit from FI’s globally tested corporate innovation programme that will help them become more innovative and disruptive entities. Also, Sterling Bank and Founder Institute will provide resources for startups looking to launch or scale their business.
The collaboration will also produce benefits for companies in Nigeria that will leverage Sterling Bank’s advanced industry experience and Founder Institute’s Global Curriculum.
Speaking on the partnership, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman, said the partnership represents a continuing commitment to innovation as an accelerator of development and a creator of value while adding that along with its HEART strategy as a bank, its service delivery and our entire operational structure relies heavily on innovation and agile technology.
Also speaking on the partnership, FI’s Managing Director, Ifedy Eze, said the institute was excited to be partnering with one of the most technology friendly banks in Nigeria to unlock more value for founders of tech startups solving problems across Nigeria.
“Through this partnership, founders will receive support across critical areas like market access, tech infrastructure support, legal and regulatory compliance, and investor readiness, among others. The combination of Sterling Bank’s robust tech support architecture and FI’s globally syndicated and locally validated curriculum will add mileage to the founders’ journey, especially at the very critical early stages when most startups fail. Over the years, our alumni have demonstrated an 80 per cent success rate, a direct reflection of the quality and impact of the programme,” he said.
Commenting further, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, Founder Institute’s Regional Director for Africa, said, “Our primary focus at FI Lagos is to add value to early-stage entrepreneurs by providing all the support and resources they need to develop and make their ideas a reality in the current ecosystem.”
The Founder Institute’s curriculum is a rigorous 14-week blended programme that guides founders as they build their solutions; matches founders with accomplished mentors who provide practical and real time guidance; and helps founders grow their network and reach within the local and global tech ecosystems.