Sasware Nigeria Launches Start-up in Residence Program

In attempt to drive innovation and momentum for disruptive technologies in Nigeria, Sasware Nigeria, the technology investment subsidiary of Signal Alliance has launched the Start-up in Residence (STAIR) program. STAIR is a co-entrepreneurship program focused on aspiring entrepreneurs and newly founded start-ups who are looking to build a viable technology business.

The co-entrepreneurship program 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.

The STAIR program which will start in 2016 will run annually. It will create technology start-ups in specific areas in the economy. During the incubation period, Sasware and the entrepreneur would become a team that would define, develop and iterate a product to take to market.

As 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 program will focus on building Financial Technology (Fintech) companies that address the challenges the country and Africa still have with their financial systems. Future program will focus on other areas that Nigeria and Africa need innovation to grow the continent like; agric technology, government technology, renewable energy and manufacturing.

The focus on Fintech for 2016 is strategic. Financial inclusion for the almost one billion Africans and Nigeria, which houses Africa’s largest population of 170miilion people, is a major issue limiting the development of the continent. As Africa economies move their populations out of poverty, the development of the financial system is key to unlocking the continent’s wealth and integrating the continent into the global financial system. And in some areas lead innovation in the development of the global financial system.


Collins Onuegbu, Sasware’s Chairman is a member of Lagos Angel Network (LAN), an exclusive network of Angel investors dedicated to providing start-up and growth capital

According to Ifeoma Uddoh, Sasware COO “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 is the technology investment subsidiary of Signal Alliance founded in 2014. The company was established to provide early seed funding for tech start-ups. It leverages on Signal Alliance’s almost 20 years’ experience in the tech industry to invest in upcoming start-ups that serve the increasing sophisticated Nigerian and African economies.

AGPMPN, Medismarts to Deploy EMR at 2,000 Hospitals in Lagos

The Association of General Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) Lagos and Medismarts have announced the signing of a strategic partnership agreement that will see Medismarts deploy its Electronic Medical Records (EMR) cloud platform to its over 2,000 member’s hospitals in Lagos state.

As part of the agreement, Medismarts has the mandate to go to the AGPMPN 18 zones in Lagos state with the objective of ensuring that all hospitals records are digitized and interconnected. They will also provide a dashboard with analytics showing different metrics and reports concerning health delivery in Lagos state to the association by April 2016.

AGPMPN, aka Nigeria Private Doctors Association and Medismart agreed to configure the platform and deliver same at no cost to the private hospital practitioners in Lagos State. Access to the system for every registered account holder is for a life time.

Speaking on this development, Dr. Adeyeye. J. Arigbabuwo, chairman AGPMPN Lagos, “talks have commenced with the various IT partners to see near free supply of the hardware necessary to drive home this laudable project. The only investment to be made by a hospital is to provide either a computer desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone that is internet enabled. Medismarts will manage all backend issues and ensure that access is 24/7 with little or no down time. With the expected success of this unique project, we hope to re-enforce and take medical practice in Lagos to the next level.”

Furthermore, he said the project was proactively conceived, amongst other reasons, to position the Private Medical Practitioners in Lagos State on the right pedestal to enable them participate in the recently gazetted Lagos State Health Care Management Delivery Act, so that data collation, and rendition for research, planning, and budgeting can be seamless.

According to Damilola Oni, Co-Founder Medismarts “We are excited by this strategic partnership, as it will get us closer to our goal of ensuring that all the major players in the health sector including hospitals, HMO’s, government and the everyday man in the street are interconnected. An interconnected health care industry will ensure seamless transfer of information and this will aid efficiency, planning and healthcare delivery”

Medismarts is a healthcare technology company that aims to revolutionize the health care management in Nigeria by providing a secured unified platform that connects the players in the healthcare industry.

Medismarts is backed by Sasware the technology investment subsidiary of Signal Alliance founded in 2014. The company was established to provide early seed funding for tech start-ups. Currently Medismarts has over 80 hospitals on their platform and will be processing about 36% of the health insurance records in Nigeria.
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Health tech startup, Medismarts, gets seed funding from Sasware

Lagos-based health tech startup, Medismarts, has received seed funding from Sasware. The amount of funding, which was provided in exchange for a minority stake in the startup, was undisclosed.

Medismarts is a health tech company that provides cloud-based data management services to healthcare institutions via a freemium product. According to the announcement, the product deployment is close to reaching a hundred hospitals, and 60,000 patients.

Medismarts’ founders are Obinna Osuji and Damilola Oni. They plan on investing the Sasware funds directly into its medical cloud platform.

Sasware is the technology and startup investment subsidiary of Signal Alliance, a Nigerian IT services provider that has been around since 1996. Going by their website, Sasware is also invested in Codeware, a business management platform based on Microsoft Dynamics.

Sasware partners EDC for 2015 Startup Weekend

Sasware, the technology investment subsidiary of Signal Alliance is partnering the Enterprise Development Center (EDC) for the 2015 Startup Weekend of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) which kicked off in Lagos on Saturday 14, 2015.

Startup Weekend is an international grassroots movement focused on exposing individuals to the benefits of entrepreneurship and motivates these individuals to explore their own entrepreneurial ideas. It involves a 54-hour event beginning with Friday night idea pitches, followed by brainstorming sessions, business plan development and basic prototype formation. Startup Weekends end on Sunday night with demos and presentations. All participants will create working startups during the event and will be given the unique opportunity to collaborate with like-minded people.

In Nigeria, GEW is hosted by EDC and they scheduled several interesting activities for the week. Some of these included; Awareness Walk, Pitch-to-Me and finally Start-Up Weekend.

The 2015 Startup Weekend which kicks off today will see Collins Onuegbu, Founder Sasware declare the event open. He is also slated to deliver the keynote address with the theme: Entrepreneurship: Startup to Company.

Speaking about the company’s partnership with the EDC, Chief Operating Officer of Sasware, Ifeoma Uddoh said “We are passionate about programmes designed to discover, encourage and build ideas to new businesses that will grow to create employment. Startup Weekend is one of such which needs our support. Sasware is also a startup that is barely over two years old and within this period we have invested in a number of small businesses in Nigeria”.


Last Thursday, October 29th, the Lagos Angel network(LAN) brought together the ecosystem that supports angel investment in Nigeria to a round table to discuss ways of deepening seed investment in Nigerian startups. And grow the pool of startups that can attract investment from private equity and venture capital companies. The evening event took place at Metropolitan Club, Victoria Island.

There has been a worry in LAN and the investment community of our inability to make more investment. In the past one year, LAN has made only a single investment in a Nigerian startup.

Among those who turned up? Omobola Johnson, the former ICT minister. She was one of the first to show up. Rasheed Olaoluwa, CEO of Bank of Industry was there. The incubation ecosystem was represented. Helen from IDEA, Wennovation, LEAP, Fate foundation, EDC/PAU. We had VCs in attendance, including Afolabi of Adlevo and someone from Alethia.

Yele Okeremi represented LOC DEMO Africa.

TechCabal’s Seyi Taylor represented the media

And of course LAN members including board members like David Richard, Dotun Sulaiman(chairman) , Segun Olukoya and myself. Tomi Davies our president attended remotely from London.

The conversation was great. From those who castigated LAN for being too careful and keeping the bar too high for startups to cross. To those who advised patience as LAN and the entire ecosystem was in itself an startup and everyone was learning. Some felt that the Nigerian education system was not preparing graduates enough to venture into meaningful entrepreneurship. The reason it seemed that most successful local startups seem to be returnees from diaspora.

There were also those who felt that LAN was not telling its story. That we needed to let the world know we are there. Perhaps the reason I am telling this story.

In the end , we all agreed that the ecosystem that supports startup investment is important. So LAN has its work cut out for it. We agreed that LAN needs to improve its processes for due diligence to ensure that it can quickly screen startups and make up its mind whether to invest or not. We agreed that LAN needs to broaden its membership including bringing in other categories of members.

We agreed that LAN needs a better partnership with incubators, accelerators and VCs . This is necessary to deepen the system.

And finally, we agreed that the conversation needs to continue. Its good for the ecosystem. And for the startups? We can’t wait for the next great pitch.

Written by: Collins Onuegbu
Executive Vice Chairman
Signal Alliance

The ferry driver, the founder, and the freelancer

Back then, most people couldn’t swim, so they would hire a small boat and a driver to take them across the rivers. The winter snows were melting and the river was violent, but the passenger had no idea how bad it would be until they were out on the water. He was clutching the edges of the boat in terror as the ferry driver calmly wove between the currents and the rocks.

Once on solid ground, the passenger marveled at the driver’s calm and asked how he could possibly remain so at ease when death was on the line. “Well, I can swim,” he replied.

I think of freelancing (or any flexible money-making skill) the same way. Your startup might not work out, the boat might tip over. But knowing you can happily survive a capsize (as opposed to ending up in debt or in a job) helps you recover faster from mistakes and make smarter decisions (without the influence of undue stress) while the company is still afloat.

The sources of worry change over time (e.g. from your own financial security to that of your employees), but in the early days, personal risk is at the top of the list. Although it may not seem very scalable or flashy, learning how to make a bit of money on your own terms is a hugely useful startup skill.

by robfitz • February 8, 2015 • Career Entrepreneurship, Founders

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