From Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana

TETFund Innov8 Hub: Firstly, my experience underscored the need to embrace a problem-solving approach that goes beyond the boundaries of my academic training. Instead of merely relying on the knowledge and skills gained from my formal education, I learnt the value of looking at challenges from a wider perspective, integrating insights from diverse fields, and leveraging a holistic approach to finding solutions.

Secondly, my visit to the various Impact Labs, work stations and studio at Innov8 Hub was a revelation that shattered preconceived notions about the limitations of innovation in Nigeria. I realized that the mental constructs I had set for myself and my expectations of what could be achieved in the country were simply boundaries, as I witnessed first-hand the capabilities within these spaces.

My R4i experience was incredibly liberating. It did not only push me to think outside the conventional boundaries but also instilled in me the drive to dream bigger and envision possibilities without constraints.The Research for Impact initiative introduced me to a renewed approach to value creation. Rather than beginning with an existing idea and seeking related problems, R4i emphasized first identifying key challenges, and then crafting tailored solutions. This method aligns closely with real-world demands and promotes innovation. For me, this paradigm shift is pivotal in reshaping how I approach problem-solving and value generation.

The diverse range of courses covered provided a rich tapestry of knowledge that was both enlightening and invigorating. The course on “Driving Innovation with Emotional Intelligence” delved into the often overlooked yet crucial aspect of innovation – the human element. It emphasised how understanding and managing emotions can be a powerful tool in the innovation process, enabling creators to connect more deeply with their target end-users and craft solutions that resonate on an emotional level. The session on “How to Pitch a Startup” equipped me with invaluable insights into the art of presenting an entrepreneurship idea effectively. It underscored the importance of clarity, passion, and a deep understanding of the market, ensuring that potential investors and partners see the vision and potential of the startup. The Prototype Development Process capacity-building sessions offered a comprehensive view of how to bring an idea to life in its tangible form.

This step-by-step breakdown of the journey from concept to prototype illuminated the iterative nature of design and the importance of feedback in refining a product. Lastly, the Intellectual Property Protection training was particularly enlightening. It shed light on the intricacies of protecting one’s innovations in the Nigerian context, revealing the safeguards available and the processes to ensure that one’s hard work and creativity are shielded from infringement or theft. In totality, the courses were enlightening, offering profound insights that I will integrate into my future prospects.

As I depart from Innov8 Hub, I am deeply grateful to TETFund, Innov8 Hub and my institution that nominated me to participate in this initiative. The anticipation of what is next is exhilarating; it feels as if a new chapter of my life is just beginning, like I have been handed a fresh start!

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