Lagos State Governor, Babajide sanwo-olu
Lagos State Governor, Babajide sanwo-olu

Lagos State Allocates N1bn Seed Fund to Boost Startups

The Lagos State Government, under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has allocated N1 billion as a seed fund for startups to the Lagos State Science, Research, and Innovation Council (LASRIC).

This announcement was made during the inauguration of the newly reconstituted LASRIC members in Lagos.

Governor Sanwo-Olu emphasized the state’s commitment to fostering scientific innovation, positioning Lagos as a burgeoning hub for early-stage and unicorn startups.

He noted that Lagos’s startup ecosystem has outpaced many other African cities and countries in success metrics, foreign direct investment, and the number of innovative solutions and patents.

“We are committed to increasing these success metrics with the provision of LASRIC seed fund to the tune of N1,000,000,000 (one billion Naira) – in the first tranche funding to the council,” Sanwo-Olu stated.

“We believe this fund will continue to catalyse development in our dear state.

‘It is my expectation that the new LASRIC Board being inaugurated today will work assiduously towards ensuring the realisation of our collective goals and aspirations.

“Innovation is central to the governor’s THEMES Agenda, prompting the establishment of LASRIC to drive science and technology initiatives.”

The council includes experts from industry, academia, and the public sector, all dedicated to expanding innovation in Lagos.

Over the past four years, LASRIC has created over 500 jobs by supporting startups in sectors such as AgriTech, the circular economy, climate change, and construction tech. It has also backed more than 70 research and development initiatives in areas like biomass, biodiesel, and artificial intelligence for medical imaging, boosting innovation activity in Lagos by over 250%.

Sanwo-Olu highlighted LASRIC’s achievement in securing the government’s first patent through a multidisciplinary team from the University of Lagos, which developed the Ambubag Ventilator.

Several other patent-pending projects are underway, reinforcing the administration’s focus on value creation.

Olatunbosun Alake, the Commissioner for Innovation, Science, and Technology, introduced a structured assessment system called “POEM” for technology companies and startups applying for the seed funding.

POEM evaluates Proposition, Organisation, Economics, and Milestones to ensure viable and impactful projects.

“Startups or tech companies that are able to pass this assessment and access the seed funding should be able to solve problems in Lagos State and beyond,” Alake explained.

The newly appointed Chairman of LASRIC and Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University of Science & Technology, Prof. Olumuyiwa Odusanya, expressed enthusiasm about the initiative, describing it as “a call to duty and to work.”