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The inaugural Omniverse Summit, held from February 27 to March 1, 2024, convened a gathering of luminaries and visionaries in the tech and startup realm. Among the esteemed speakers, McKevin Ayaba, a Cameroonian citizen based in South Africa, emerged as a leading voice, advocating for investment readiness and ecosystem building within Africa’s burgeoning startup landscape.

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Led by organizer Obi Asika and his dedicated team, including Charles Emembolu, Dr. Thwueba, and Isioma Udeozo, the summit was designed as a collaborative platform to bring together people from various sectors. They emphasized the importance of uniting academia, technology, startups, gaming, music, film, television, arts, and culture to create a shared understanding of Nigeria, Africa, and the world.

During a panel session titled “Why Omniverse?”, Asika and his team passionately explained the summit’s goals. They highlighted the need to create a coherent narrative for the continent and foster collaboration among different segments of society.

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Imperative for founders to navigate complex investment terrain

Ayaba, the Founder and CEO of Setup A Startup and the mastermind behind the Africa Startup Ecosystem Builders Summit and Awards (ASEB), delivered a compelling session titled “Innovative Funding Models for Startups.” With a keen focus on addressing the pressing issue of investment readiness, Ayaba emphasized the imperative for ecosystem builders to equip founders with the necessary tools and knowledge to navigate the complex investment terrain effectively.

Commitment to entrepreneurship education

In an exclusive briefing with ITedge News, he expressed his unwavering commitment to entrepreneurship education. He emphasized the urgent need for a paradigm shift within our educational system, advocating for a curriculum that nurtures entrepreneurial thinking and technical skills development. He stated, “I am a huge advocate for entrepreneurship education, I firmly believe that our educational system requires a fundamental shift in mindset. We must transition towards a curriculum that fosters entrepreneurial thinking and technical skills development. This shift does not entail disregarding traditional subjects like biology, geography, or history. Rather, it involves a critical examination of the purpose behind studying these subjects. We should encourage students to ask themselves: What problems can we solve using this knowledge? How can we apply what we learn to create innovative solutions? Instead of merely consuming information, our focus should be on cultivating a mindset geared towards problem-solving. We aspire to become a nation driven by solutions, where individuals are empowered to tackle challenges head-on and contribute meaningfully to society”

Bridging gaps within the African startup community

Drawing from his wealth of experience, he highlighted the significance of adaptability, customer-centricity, and mentorship in fostering a conducive environment for startup success. His insights resonated deeply with attendees, shedding light on prevalent gaps in understanding and preparation within the African startup community.

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In a bold move to bridge these gaps, Ayaba introduced IRPAFRICA, an initiative spearheaded by Setup A Startup aimed at empowering African startups with the requisite skills and resources to seize investment opportunities effectively. This strategic initiative reflects his unwavering commitment to nurturing and strengthening Africa’s startup ecosystem.

Furthermore, Ayaba extended a heartfelt invitation to fellow ecosystem builders to participate in the upcoming 3rd edition of the Africa Startup Ecosystem Builders Summit and Awards (ASEB), slated to take place in Accra, Ghana, from November 27-29, 2024. This premier event serves as a proof to Ayaba’s dedication to recognizing and celebrating the unsung heroes driving innovation and entrepreneurship across the continent.

He revealed that nominations for the highly anticipated ASEB Awards 2024 will open on March 29, 2024. This landmark initiative presents a unique opportunity for the community to honor and celebrate the tireless efforts of ecosystem builders who have played a transformative role in empowering startups and fostering economic growth throughout Africa.

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