The workshop was held to provide insights and examine how to overcome specific issues such as recruiting to company ‘culture fit’, diversity & inclusion and ensuring the ‘talent pipeline’ is maintained when scaling.
Welcome Address by Raphael Ani
Head of Intelligent Mobility @WayraUK
Great address from Raphael who explained that Wayra UK is a world-leading start-up accelerator programme. Wayra’s comprehensive network of investors helps scale your business. He explained that ‘Intelligent Mobility (IM) Accelerator’ is designed to attract disruptive start-ups with high-growth potential into the UK transport industry. He was happy to support the event since the Wayra team reflects ‘strength through diversity’.
Mark Martin @Urban_Teacher is recognised around the world for his insight and passion for education and technology. Also Mark is actively involved in the UK tech sector, supporting tech companies and promoting cultural diversity within organisations. Mark is an international speaker travelling to different countries inspiring educators to become better facilitators.
Mark shared the stage with Andy Ayim to talk about tech & entrepreneurship experiences. Andy shared his thoughts on how to create pathways for exceptional people from lower income communities to break into tech. His firm belief is that there is a huge untapped labour force with high potential in these communities. However self doubt can creep in when you don’t see people you identify with reaching positions of prominence you aspire to reach some day. Only when the workforce represents our society will we have innovation that serves us all. You end up lacking innovation and the ability to unearth radical ideas from different backgrounds and perspectives. Ultimately companies and the market lose out on a diversity of thought.
Audience questions (sample):
How do you identify [cultural] values for your startup?
What should tech corporates do to lead and mentor young BAME tech?
Explain ‘Cultureadd’ vs ‘Culturefit’ ?
Andy shared further insights;
1] Ask investors for data on the diversity of their portfolio or startups for the diversity data of their leadership team.
2] We need to create pathways into tech so that our workplaces are ‘normalised’ to reflect the world we live in.
3] We can take action today by investing and hiring underestimated people from marginalised communities.
4] If we each think a little less about financial margins and a lot more about our impact at the margins we can collectively change the workplace to represent wider society.
Ade Awokoya [Moderator]
Emem Rita Usanga
Founder & CEO @bnkabilityAFR
Uchenna Amby Uche
The founders panel was to discuss the challenges of building a business and how to overcome obstacles. Ade had the panelists introduce themselves;
@bnkabilityAFR Getting African Businesses Investor Ready.
@Statmetrix Data analytics solution for football academies
@TeamBtng London-based Community for the Nigerian Tech Space.
Audience questions (sample):
How do you identify the right co-founder?
How do you employ with a limited budget?
The panelists shared their insights at length with a snapshot being:
1] Need to take difficult decisions about hiring and firing.
2] You can be the sole founder and wait to get suitable team member, meanwhile use an advisory board.
3] Understand your risk profile risk to manage your transition from side-hustle to full time startup.
4] Understand your market opportunities and travel to where your customers are, get a grasp of your business model and customer acquisition at the beginning,
5] Put in the hard graft and be ready to bootstrap before taking on investors.
6] Take off differs across industry, so expect between 2 – 7 years or more to achieve success.
The Event ended with an interactive audience session and networking
@LBSAcademy provides a UK Tech Business Growth Hub that supports Tech & Creative Startups to grow and scaleup. We have a dynamic business community that helps support your Startup.