Sterling Bank
L- R: Executive Director, Founder Institute, Lagos Chapter, Sylvia Atche; Awardee, Charles Matthews; Director, Founder Institute, Lagos Chapter, Wande Adalemo; Awardees, Sikiru Salau, Olivia Chukwu and Group Head, Growth and Partnerships, Sterling Bank, David Adebayo at Sterling Bank HEART Fellowship Award in Lagos over the weekend.

Sterling Bank Plc, has awarded its HEART Fellowship to five (5) lucky tech founders to enable them to participate in the Founder Institute (FI) Lagos Spring Virtual 2022 Cohort.

The recipients: Sikiru Salau, Olivia Chukwu, Charles Matthews, Maryann Efiong, and Michael Ayodele have each received a scholarship worth One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) to cover the cost of the program, which is scheduled to run for 14 weeks (February – June 2022).

The award recipients are Tech Founders who have demonstrated creativity and employed innovative solutions to tackle challenges in the HEART sectors. The HEART sectors are Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Transportation.

Speaking at the award ceremony in Lagos on Wednesday, Head, Business Growth and Partnerships with Sterling Bank, Mr. David Adebayo, said the HEART sectors represent the focus and strategy of the bank. According to him, “A critical look at any of the chosen sectors indicates that any action taken to upscale the sectors would have a remarkable impact on the overall economy.”

He explained that it is because the bank understands it cannot do it alone that a decision was taken to partner with young tech talents in those sectors, that are doing things differently and to help them to scale. The awardees and other participants at the award ceremony were exposed to mentors, including Oluyomi Ojo, Founder, Printivo; Olamide Afolabi, Managing Director, Touch and Pay Technologies Limited; Idowu Akinde, Founder, Boolean Labs, and Seun Abimbola, Co-founder of Rentit, among others.

The mentors advised the recipients to develop, among other qualities, a positive outlook, be street smart, perseverance and stamina while building fantastic products and relationships as these will increase their odds of achieving amazing outcomes. The recipients were informed that they will have access to fellow Founder Institute Lagos Alumni during the training program, along with exposure to founders from other markets across Africa.

The mentors advised the awardees to prepare for very rigorous sessions, demonstrating how they could convert their ideas and thoughts into products, adding that they will still need advisors and mentors to guide them on this journey.

Director, Founder Institute, Lagos Chapter, Wande Adalemo said Founder Institute is the world’s most proven network to turn ideas into fundable startups, and startups into global businesses, adding that the

Founder Institute has helped to launch more than 5,000 companies in more than 200 cities across six continents. He further said FI works by finding great people with great ideas to give devoted support by putting them through a structured growth process and providing them with lifetime support.

Adalemo described FI’s core methodology as a proven process designed to build, rapidly and cost-effectively, through structured and sequential feedback as well as collaborations between founders and the institute’s network of mentors.

The company was founded in 2009 by serial entrepreneur Adeo Ressi and his colleague, Jonathan Greechan. The idea for the program spawned from operating, where it became apparent that most entrepreneurs at the idea and launch stages lacked the structure, feedback, and support network needed to succeed. He said FI is presently valued at $25 Billion, with 5,300 alumni, and has raised over $1.5 Billion from investors across the globe. According to him, FI believes there are great entrepreneurs everywhere who can focus, scale, and become part of the global tech system.


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