CloudPreneur, a new initiative aimed at engaging 1,000 entrepreneurs in the cloud space has been launched by Microsoft. The initiative, which is in partnership with Mara Mentor and Fate Foundation, begins on 19 March 2015 with online registration of prospective applicants on a platform that will shut down after the 1000th qualified application is received.
Unveiling the initiative to the media in Lagos, Wemimo Adeniyi, Director – Small, Midmarket Solutions & Partners at Microsoft Nigeria, said while 1,000 entrepreneurs will begin the journey, only the top 20 will get mentorship and seed capital.
“The CloudPreneurs initiative will identify and develop startups. It will also empower youths that are creative and passionate about technology. It will help to reduce unemployment among Nigerian youths,” she said.
She said it is in line with the company’s 4Afrika initiative’s plan to create 100,000 jobs in Africa, adding it will also raise the level of awareness and education on cloud services in Nigeria.
Fate Foundation is the partner that will select and interview the applicants and its director, Habiba Balogun said the initiative has the capability of alleviating poverty and creating wealth.
She said at the end of the registration, selection and pitching stages, the participants would have gotten well trained in marketing, skills development and several other areas as specified in their training modules.
The initiative will be leveraging on Mara Mentor’s platform, a strategic decision which Olamide Amosu, the platform’s Head of Marketing said is aimed at offering those that are not selected an opportunity to be able to find mentors on the Mara Mentor platform.
“We will be connecting participants to mentors. We are offering mentoring opportunities, and a medium for interaction. We are going all the way with the participants,” she said.
1 – 3-year old early-stage startups are encouraged to apply, the ideal applicants should know about the SME landscape, be creative and passionate about using technology to tackle Nigeria’s problems and must be ready to partner with Microsoft.