Expanzo, a Technology Consulting firm in Lagos Nigeria has announced a partnership with the University of Lagos to re-shape the future of Engineering in Nigeria by launching a N5million tech development grant.
This was launched as an attempt to build a more productive workforce and support new innovations from young minds in Nigeria.
This partnership will support the best and most viable final year project from the Faculty of Engineering in the University of Lagos annually.
On the 16th of January, the inaugural selection took place at the Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Center (ESDC) in the University.
The selection panel was led by Prof. Adebisi Sunday Abayomi (Director, ESDC), Deji Macaulay founder of Expanzo, Timothy Adeleye (Ecomade Industries, Renewables), Oluwatobi Ajayi (Nord Automobiles, Auto-Manufacturing), Oluseye Seton (VendorCredit, FinTech), Edward Popoola (Cowrywise, FinTech), George Thorpe (MagProtein, AgriTech), Olaotan Oladitan (Regal Flowers, AgriTech), Oludare Olarewaju (Raotech, EduTech).
Also in attendance was the Vice-Chancellor; Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor; Professor Ayodele Atsenuwa, the Dean of Faculty of Engineering; Professor Sadiq Obanishola, several Deans, Directors, HODs, Lecturers, and students. The panel received twenty-one (21) entries, resulting in five (5) winners of the N5million.
Expanzo, a special purpose vehicle set up specifically for developing youth talent is led by Ayodeji Macaulay, a tech CEO with vast experience in Telecommunications, HealthCare, and Gaming Industries. He sits on the board of over 5 companies and has contributed to growth and expansion across these industries.
Macaulay expressed his appreciation to the University of Lagos for their support and guidance. During the event, he said ‘For a long time I had been involved in different groups and different forums on how to develop Nigeria, how to manufacture in Nigeria and so many other concerns to move Nigeria forward.’
He mentioned that a lot of creativity starts from schools, the future of Nigeria is in the youth, they have so much potential and all we have to do is believe in them and support them. He further mentioned that the idea behind Expanzo is to partner with the University to enable, mentor, and finance the ideas that would take Nigeria to the next level. Macaulay concluded saying, ‘I hope to continue this project every year, with it getting bigger and bigger and also hope the ideas chosen would be able to change the entire country.’
Professor Adebisi, Director of the Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre, University of Lagos, and also moderator, appreciated Expanzo Initiatives for the opportunity created for the students.
He said, ‘We need people who believe in Nigeria, people who would never forget where they’re coming from, people who come to give back to society.’ He further mentioned that this was a very proud moment for him as history is being made in the University of Lagos.
The Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe started off his speech by saying, ‘I am excited because I can see there is a future for this country despite all odds. I believe in Nigeria, I believe in the capacity of what we can do in Nigeria, I believe there are so many talents in Nigeria, all one needs is determination’ advising the students, he said, ‘the best way to succeed is to see yourself as the best.’ He appreciated everyone present and concluded by saying he hopes this initiative would be in continuity.
Adesanwo Adewale, department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering emerged as the winner receiving a grant of 2 million naira.
Richard Chukkas Ardor, department of Electrical/Electronics Engineering was the first runner-up, he was awarded the sum of 1.2 million naira.
Adebayo, Oluwatoni Joel, Department of Systems Engineering was the second runner up, receiving a cash prize of 800,000 naira while Olopade Tofunmi Joseph, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and Adetoyinbo Damilare, department of Mechanical Engineering were given consolation prizes of 500,000 naira each.