Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank, has said it will organize an award in early February, known as the Sterling Heart Fellowship Awards, for tech founders whose businesses employ innovative solutions to tackle challenges in the HEART sectors and have been selected to partake in the Founder Institute Lagos Virtual Spring Program.
The HEART sectors include health, education, agriculture, renewable energy and transportation. They represent the sectors where the bank is focusing investments on in its HEART’s of Sterling strategy.
Head, Business Growth and Partnerships with Sterling Bank, Mr. David Adebayo who disclosed this in a statement issued by the bank recently, said recipients for the forthcoming awards includes founders who applied through the Founder Institute application link and whose businesses align with the Sterling HEART Fellowship guidelines.
Concerning eligibility, he added that a founder’s business must fall within the HEART Sectors and the founder must have taken the Entrepreneurship DNA assessment test and made it to the “Accepted” category to be eligible for the award.
After receiving and reviewing successful applications, the admissions team will be assigning founders to one of the following categories, including: Accepted – these founders are invited to complete the final steps to enrollment, and immediately get access to all course materials; Reviewing – these are founders whose application or assessment is receiving a secondary review, Finalist – Founders designated as Finalists are placed on the “Waiting List” and their application will be re-reviewed at a later date, Declined – Declined founders are not accepted to the programme as a result of low performance across all the admissions criteria and the declined founders are given access to free company-building materials from its programme and are welcome to move their existing applications to future semesters for consideration.
Adebayo said all founders who meet the preceding requirements are ranked according to their performances and the best from each of the sectors will be offered a Sterling Bank Fellowship to attend the Founder Institute Lagos Virtual Spring programme.
He said the organisers of the fellowship are targeting Nigerian start-up founders within the age bracket of 18 to 40 years of age who are young tech founders and tech enthusiasts; especially those with ideas and initiatives within the HEART sectors.
He said the under the Spring Program, the Founder Institute (FI) will focus on helping tech or tech-enabled businesses at the idea and pre-seed stages, including both solo-founders and teams, adding that this includes established businesses that are at pre-funding, prototype and minimum viable product stages as well as part-time founders with just ideas.
All applications to the Founder Institute program have been human-reviewed by the admissions team, based at its Silicon Valley headquarters with support from the team in Lagos, Nigeria. They are able to provide an admissions decision via email within 72 hours.
On the entrepreneur DNA test which is included in the assessment, spokesperson for the Founder Institute, Chukwuma Fred Agbata Jr said that FI is serious about its belief that “Great Companies Start with Great People.” In fact, it has been working with leading social scientists since 2009 to develop a test that identifies people with the raw skills and personality traits conducive to entrepreneurship.