The Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneurship program initiative is devoted to ease SMEs hurdles. They have a 10-year, $100 million duty, to distinguish and enable 10,000 African entrepreneurs, create a million employments, and add $10 billion in incomes to Africa’s economy.
AVR PLATO TECHNOLOGY LIMITED, our incubated start-up, was among the projects which stood out as having the revolutionary power to contribute meaningfully to Africa’s socioeconomic transformation.
Here is an exclusive interview of the co-founder and C.E.O of AVR Plato Technology Limited, Shameer C.M Ramdin.
Tell us how you found about Tony Elumelu Foundation?
I came across the Tony Elumelu Foundation through various research on the internet. The 2018 edition mark the second attempt i have done for this program.
Why did you apply for Tony Elumelu Foundation?
This opportunity of becoming a TONY ELUMELU Entrepreneur not only provides me but also our start-up AVR Plato with the much needed seed funding.
However, seed funding is not the only benefit behind, the learning experience from Mentors across Africa is also of great value.
What have been steps to apply to the TEF entrepreneurship program?
The first step consisted of completing the online application for the programme. This application was then reviewed by the TEF committee.
The 2018 TEF programe had over 150,000 application among which only 1250 entrepreneurs were selected across 141 countries.
On what basis, did they choose you? What have been the criterias?
The five core criteria they judge on were:
- Feasibility of the business idea.
- Market Opportunity, i.e; the knowledge and understanding of the market, customers and competitors.
- Financial Understanding meaning we need to have a good understanding of the basic financial requirements of running a business, costs and revenues.
- Scalability whereby we demonstrates potential for replication and growth of their product or service to create jobs and wealth.
- Leadership potential and entrepreneurial skills and capabilities of attracting people, customers and resources.
How was the experience?
It was a rich experience as a start-up to draft a proposal that highlighted what we were trying to do. The fact that this was my second application, you can say that the previous experience help a lot in making this once successful
What are the benefits you have been awarded?
The benefits are numerous! There are:
- a Start-up Enterprise Toolkit which is a 12 week program to equip start-ups with basic skills required to launch and run their businesses at early growth stage.
- Online Mentoring providing a credible technology enabled platform to access world- class mentors across Africa.
- an Online Resource Library which is a bespoke compendium of materials, case studies, videos, tasks, templates and interesting articles.
- Meet-ups at country and state-level to ignite the entrepreneurial fire and promote close interaction within the program.
- TEF Entrepreneurship Forum which is a dedicated world-class annual forum that brings together key persons in the African and global entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- Seed Capital, one of the most coveted need of every SME. Each entrepreneur chosen receives a non-reimbursable seed capital of $10,000 paid in two tranches.
- TEF Alumni Network which comprises of all Tony Elumelu entrepreneurs and aawardees, following the successful completion of the 12- week training program.
What does this award mean to AVR Plato?
This Award validates our start-up among those that have the potential to transform Africa, especially in the Education sector.
What is your next big step for AVR Plato?
The next step for AVR PLATO is to complete the 12 weeks program with TEF and to accelerate the development of ORAMA in the next 3 months.