By Olubunmi Adeniyi
Lagos. February 15, 2013: Computer Warehouse Group has announced plans to launch entrepreneurship education in technology programme for Nigeria startups in partnership with Startup Weekend, TechStars and Startup America.
The decision to launch the programme is inspired by the “Lean Launch Pad” hosted at the New York-based Columbia Business School, the company says.
Lean Launch Pad combines content from leading customer development experts worldwide with local mentors and leaders in an intensive flipped-classroom style course, which aims to create teams of entrepreneurs geared towards growing a customer-driven startup.
Austin Okere, Group Managing Director of the company, who just returned from Columbia Business School, New York, where he participated as an instructor at the Steve Blank “Lean Launch Pad” Class, says his company would bring the concept to Nigeria.
The programme is already being offered in 15 cities around the world and the goal is to expand it to more than 100 cities of the world in 2013.
Beneficiaries of the programme will be taught through hands-on learning methodology on what to expect when starting a technology company. It is a practical class where the goal is to create an entrepreneurial experience with all of the pressures and demands of the real world in an early stage startup, CWG says
According to Okere, “the course provides a comprehensive step-by-step guide to getting startups right. It walks entrepreneurs through the customer development process that gets them out of the building to develop winning technology products that customers will buy.”
So far, world seasoned entrepreneurs are teaching in various cities of the world, just as Okere was invited to the Columbia Business School in New York, as guest lecturer.
The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurial Centre at the Columbia Business School (CBS), where Okere has been a guest lecturer since 2009, conveyed in their invitation, their belief that his experience and contribution to entrepreneurial ship in emerging markets would provide an unparalleled contribution to the class of aspiring entrepreneurs.
The CWG, whose case study is a regular feature of Columbia Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, as well as many other institutions in Africa, including the Lagos Business School in Nigeria, chronicles the trials, challenges and triumph of entrepreneurship in the challenging environment that characterises sub Saharan Africa.
The syllabus for the course is drawn majorly from the bestselling book, The Startup Owner’s Manual, co-authored by serial entrepreneurs Steve Blank and Bob Dorf, and the revolutionary new book, Business Model Generation co-authored by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur.
These two books provide insights into powerful, simple, tested tools for understanding, designing, reworking, and implementing business models, through a business model canvas, that defines unique value propositions for specific customer segments, and the relationships and channels to deliver these to the customer to maximise revenue.
It also helps the entrepreneur identify key resources, partners and key activities to be performed and at desired cost.