Sasware Nigeria launches co-entrepreneurship program for aspiring entrepreneurs and new startups

Sasware Nigeria, a technology investment company, has announced the launch of Start-up in Residence (STAIR), a co-entrepreneurship program focused on aspiring entrepreneurs and newly founded start-ups who are looking to build a viable technology business.

STAIR, which will commence this year and run annually, is an intensive 12 months’ resident program that aims to nurture entrepreneurs working on the next big idea on a focus sector that is of interest to Sasware.

During the incubation period, Sasware and the entrepreneur would become a team that would define, develop and iterate a product to take to market.

Being co-entrepreneur, Sasware would provide the business support skills needed to make a business succeed and would support the entrepreneurs at every phase of their company’s growth by being actively involved and providing multi-sector expertise and funding.

The 2016 STAIR program will focus on building Fintech companies to address the challenges the country and Africa face with their financial systems.

“Despite better access to technology with hundreds of millions accessing mobile technology, African people still struggle with access to financial services. From banking to insurance, mortgage and pension. Technology is needed in these areas to disrupt the traditional financial services that have failed millions. The sector still requires more innovation to harness the impact of technology in the way Africans access financial services,” Sasware COO, Ifeoma Uddoh said in a press release.

Subsequent STAIR program will focus on other areas such as Agric technology, government technology, renewable energy and manufacturing – areas that needs innovation for the continent to grow.

Interested entrepreneurs from across Nigeria should apply for the program right away. Application closes on May 2, 2016. Visit Sasware website for further information.

Sasware Nigeria launched the STAIR program in a bid to help in driving innovation and momentum for disruptive technologies in Nigeria. Last year, the company invested in Medismarts, a Lagos-based health technology startup.

Sasware Nigeria, which provides early seed funding for tech start-ups, is the technology investment subsidiary of 2014-founded Signal Alliance, an IT provider and an end-to-end system integrator.

4 Facts To Know Before You Build Mobile Apps

For every 10 mobile apps released, five apps will fail to make their developers more than $500 per month. Among the other five, two will fail to generate any revenue whatsoever. For any African Developer going into the ring of mobile app development; app monetization is one of the greatest challenges for any African mobile app developer. The hard reality that is that making money from mobile apps is a daunting tasks for African developers who have to compete with the developed countries that probably have the skill set, tools, team and investment to create a meaningful user-friendly mobile apps.

Gamesole CEO Abiola Olaniran who is probably one of Africa most successful mobile app developer’s said this about mobile apps “We don’t want to upload an application unto the store and have 10,000 to a 100,000 downloads, which we consider a failure. If you really want to make money with applications, you definitely need a lot of downloads and requests.”. From that statement; one could say that revenue isn’t the only way to measure the success of a mobile app. Those bottom five apps in the iOS or Google play store probably contain a lot of creativity and utility and are waiting for the right kind of investments to promote their app up the ladder. Needless to say; every mobile app developed would need to yield something other that bench warming trophy.

So if you are planning on entering the mobile app development ring and want to monetize your app, then you cannot afford to take app monetization as an after thought. It demands the utmost attention, even before you start building the mockup for your mobile app. Here are some of the trends you need to take into consideration before stepping into the arena of mobile app development.


1. Paid Apps are Dying

This is the oldest form of mobile app monetization where developers put their apps on display for a fee on the app store. Sadly, this old form of app monetization is well on its way to extinction. With so many number of free apps that continue to overshadow the number of paid apps by a margin of roughly 10:1, that should tell you where the wind is blowing towards.

There are a number of reasons contributing to this neglect of paid app. For example 4 out of 4 Africans using a smartphone now expect an app to be free regardless of the category. Also , developers who want their apps listed on major marketplaces like iTunes app store, Google Play Store, Windows app Store and Amazon App Store can expect to share approximately 30% of their revenue with the host.

That being said, this model of charging for download of an app is a very slim avenue for getting revenue(except you app is endorsed by Kim Kardashian). For a developer to ask anyone to pay for download of an app hinges on the ability of the app to deliver and communicate undeniable value to the customer

2. Mobile Ads are Gold Mines,but Complicated

Despite the recent rise of ad-blocking technologies, advertising remains a primary player in digital economics. Modern consumers understand that access to free online content usually comes with a catch, and they’re increasingly okay with this arrangement. More than 70% now expect free mobile content to contain some form of advertising, while just 3% pay for ad-free app experiences.

From a developer perspective, advertising remains the dominant app monetization model. However, this popularity does not necessarily translate to stronger payouts. While 46% of mobile app developers do employ advertising in their monetization strategy, only 17% of them generate more than $10,000 a month from this revenue stream. As a result, in-app advertising is probably best regarded as a supplemental income strategy that needs to be used in concert with more sophisticated monetization models for those hoping to hit it big.

Design will also dictate how profitable your in-app advertising can be. Simply splashing banners across the top of your app screens isn’t going to generate the kind of returns you’re looking for — no matter how good the targeting. Ads need to feel like a native part of the app experience to win consistent user engagement.

This is easier said than done, but planning for ad integration from your very first wireframes will surely place you at an aesthetic advantage. You can also look to gaming apps for inspiration on creative ways of embedding ads into the app’s functionality. For example, users who watch a full video ad can be rewarded with “currencies” (points, lives, unlocked skills, etc.) that directly enhance their app experience. It’s all a matter of determining which currencies your specific audience will respond to and transforming advertising into a mutually rewarding activity.

3. In App purchases are the way to go

So if paid downloads are a long shot, and most advertising strategies only provide a modest income, which app monetization model will get you the biggest bang for your buck? All signs point to in-app purchases (IAPs).

Apple was the first to capitalize on this trend, rolling out a single, simple IAP protocol that clearly resonated with iOS users. Between 2012 and 2013, IAPs were responsible for nearly 80% of iOS developer revenues. The transaction authorization process was so user-friendly, in fact, that it would later land Apple in hot water with the FTC.

Android and Windows Phone developers have not enjoyed the same financial success as iOS developers to date, but Google and Microsoft are certainly working to close the gap on Apple in this valuable corner of the mobile marketplace. As a result, market forecasters are expecting global IAP revenues to rise from roughly $14 billion in 2015 to nearly $37 billion in 2017.

4. Value Begets Value

The universal law of cause and effect states that for every effect there is a definite cause, likewise for every cause there is a definite effect. One of the reasons that Facebook mobile app is one of the most top downloaded apps aside form the fact that it is free, is the value that it provides for its consumers. the ability for one to stay in touch with friends and catch up on the things that matter to them is what makes Facebook such a popular app.

For any mobile app to get the kind of download requests like WhatsApp or Instagram, especially in Africa; whether your app is a utility app or a mobile game; there must be a need that your app solves. Your app must be providing solution to a pressing need in your environment or community for it to attract any sort of attention, revenue, investment, review or traction.

So before you dig into any further into development, consider this question first: Which premium features, privileges or products could elevate your users’ initial app experience?

Learn How To Build Your Business Using A Hand Mower


How in the world can using a hand mower help me build my business?

Power up! Pushing a hand mower is very different from pushing a power mower. A power mower is started, mows through the grass, and you’re done. A hand mower takes more muscle and sweat to run, so you want to stay in tip-top condition. Stay hydrated, rest when necessary. The business lesson: Embrace hard work. Get started and pace yourself so you don’t grow too quickly, don’t tire easily and don’t stagnate. Keep yourself physically strong, mentally sharpened and conditioned to run your business. Remember to eat well, exercise and rest. The better care you give to yourself, the better care you give your business.
Stay sharp! Pushing a dull-bladed hand mower through your grass is like trying to run a business without a business or marketing plan. You have to sharpen the blades of the mower every so often to make sure it can cut the grass effectively. The business lesson: Your business and marketing plans are the blades of your business. Sharpen these blades often. For a business plan, revisit each year before the end of your fiscal or calendar year and ensure you’re following your road map. For a marketing plan, revising every 3 or 4 months to make sure your goals and objectives are on track with your road map. If not, make strategic adjustments either to your objectives, or the goals themselves.
Strategize! It is possible to just go out and cut the grass. A better approach would be to figure out where the tallest, thickest grass is and how to divide the yard so you can see measurable progress. The business lesson: Find out where your target market can best be found vs. the “low hanging fruit” you can easily get, and plan how you would divide not just your marketing/sales activities, but also your marketing/sales tools to make the best approach with measurable progress.
Go over each area often! Sometimes the grass is too thick for just a pass or two. In order to get a good cut, you have to go over each area often. The business lesson: Visit each target market more than once and review the follow-up process and product or service offered at that time. They may have passed on your offering before due to a number of reasons: timing was not right, not in budget, not aware of a problem/issue, etc.. Ask each prospect if they would like to subscribe to an email notice about sales and new products or services, and ask how frequently they would like to see the notices.
Don’t spin your wheels! With a hand mower, you can cut taller, stubborn grass by passing the mower quickly, then stopping abruptly so the blade wheel spins for a bit. The business lesson: Spinning the wheel might work for the hand mower, but it is nearly the same as beating your head against the brick wall to see if it moves. Remember: marketing is a process; it can be an instant attraction but not an instant reaction. Think of a way to reintroduce a common approach in your industry with a different phrase. Try a different marketing tool or a different time of the year. If something in your marketing or sales plan is not working, re-evaluate each quarter and stop using what’s not working.
Ask for help! You can mow a yard with a hand mower all by yourself, but at the end of the day you will be exhausted. Ask a family member or friend to lend a hand. The business lesson: It’s okay to ask for help! Hire out your weaknesses so you can stay focused on your strengths. Ask your current and former clients for referrals. Brainstorm with a trusted mentor family member, partner, or colleague on new ideas to keep your business ahead of the competition. Evaluate your business plan with an advisor to help you stay on task. Defer to a local print shop or your graphic designer on suggestions for design layouts, types and thicknesses of paper stock and coatings.

Written by Lisa Raymond
Visibly Media LLC

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