Insight Africa, the brainchild of Obi Adiku Brown, second place winner of the 2016 Enterprise Challenge recently received a grant from the Federal Government of Nigeria.
According to Obi, “investors are keen on seeing how much other good brands appreciate or identify with what you are doing before they make a move”, hence, winning the enterprise challenge has attracted interest and funds from a number of angel investors thereby contributing to building their product. Without British Council’s endorsement by way of winning the enterprise challenge, we might not have been able to convince our investors", he said.
Consequently, his enterprise has been able to use funds from investors to build their product to a level ready for the market. For him, that’s been a significant milestone.
"Insight Africa has also signed an agreement with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) as well as advanced partnership talks even up to commercialization stage with a number of other entities with whom he chooses to remain undisclosed about. He is currently partnering with School Hunters and Schools Resource Centre Abuja. In collaboration with Sokoto State University, University of Jos and African University of Science and Technology, Insight Africa put forth a bid for the Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform (SPHEIR ) grant. However, grant awardees have not been published. Contacts were also established with the University of Southampton. There were talks with the liaison manager for the Middle East and Africa, The Faulty of Education and major decision makers within the institution, who were keen to work with them, however, they couldn’t conduct a thorough due diligence before the period of the application elapsed. He mentioned that the Samsung sponsored trip to South Africa yielded interesting discussions as well as the trip to Ghana for the Enterprise Summit Africa. It triggered rapid interest from partners within the region, with a few email discussions so far. However, he is keener on seeing the product reliability in Abuja before spreading to other markets outside Nigeria".
On the growth of Insight Africa, he noted that his product has moved from being sellable to scalable. He said, "We now have a well-established distribution mechanism independent of the product owner i.e.my personal input".
"We are currently running technical previews on the product and are preparing to launch for the second time in May to capture the 3rd term 2016/2017 academic session. StudyLab version2 which we intend to launch would be an improvement of the first version with better educational content and built-in scalability independent of their availability to install on -site. The product would run for free for that period after which schools can either subscribe for students and factor the cost in fees or advertise to parents to subscribe for kids. Staff strength has grown from just him and his partner to 12 full-time staff within a year, with 15 other part-time staff. They also run a fantastic internship programme for 400level computer science students to teach strong programming skills which they can’t learn anywhere else"
Obi is seeking to further explore partnerships with the British Council through exposure to schools within its network. According to him, a good part of the content for his product is from the Cambridge IGCSE exams, he hopes to play a complementary role with British Council through exposure to some of its schools so as to improve the ideas around science and technology education improvement in Nigeria.