If you ask me one of the least things I expect in a Nigerian university at this stage we are in, in this country, I’d tell you it is a startup lab. From back in times, Nigerian university students has been known to only be geniuses on paper and theory rather than go to work and be practical in a lot of things, but with this development, it all seem like that’s about to change.
Let me introduce to you what has been recorded to be the first startup lab in a Nigerian university – meet the Hebron startup lab, situated in convenant university. The Hebron Startup Labs is a living technology hub wholly funded and run by the management of Covenant University.
Many people might have their reservations about the nature of convenant university – the private university stigma – but with this newest addition to their activities, I think they have succeeded in portraying themselves in a very different light from before. They have shown that they care for more than just the certificate they issue students, but also for their entrepreneurial development. We really need more universities like Convenant.
The major aim and motivation for setting up the hub was to help produce more entrepreneurs (regardless of their academic level) from within the institution rather than just having a certificate upon graduation and contributing in part to unemployment in the country. So if we were to say, then we’d affirm that the Hebron Startup Labs could possibly pass as the first to be launched in any Nigerian university.
Hebron labs had run different experimental phases for over 4 years. It was after this the management of the hub decided to give it a more serious approach in 2015. Then, in early 2017, they finally secured a work space approved by the school authority to carry out full operations.
But then, come to think of it, how effective would this startup lab be especially with the fact that there is a rule in the host university that prohibits the usage of smartphones on the university campus. Why in God’s name would a university NOT allow students use smartphones. Well, that’s by the way.
The lab occupies an entire floor at the university’s innovation building. While this is a great innovation, we also need to worry about how well the students – whom the lab is expected to be used by – would be able to manage their time most effectively. But that’s talk for another day.
In the mean time, it is safe to say that Convenant university has made a mark, and we do expect other universities to follow suit.