Africa’s stability and growth depend on innovation. The process of economic stability, governance, education, and so much more is driven by the same. Hence the goal of Renaissance Innovation Labs.
The effort to create an all-inclusive innovation ecosystem in Africa is an important endeavour. It could help create a secure, resilient and dynamic continent. It could also contribute to economic and social development by increasing income levels and employment opportunities while fostering human capital and competencies that can be exported to the international market.
Joseph Akintolayo in 2019 came up with the idea of Renaissance Innovation Labs. The idea was born out of a need to upskill young talented Africans with an interest in technology. RIL will take the students through a unique mentorship where they are guided by experts in the field who have done it before them. These talented Africans, referred to as Innovators, after a period of training, take part in projects that are designed to create solutions to Africans emerging problems.
The application process is conducted online. Applicants are required to take an assessment test that measures their ability to innovate by solving problems. Upon the success of the test, shortlisted candidates are interviewed and are onboarded to our online class.
In this article, we will cover the amazing ways Renaissance Innovation Labs is changing Africa’s innovative space.
Renaissance Innovation Labs is an accelerator, incubator and innovation hub; housing four labs.
Software Development - Our software lab houses talents who are proficient in Front-end development, back-end development, Mobile, DevOps and AI.
Product Designs - Our team of product designers are experts in User Interface, User Experience, and Consultation.
3D Animation - Our 3D lab trains innovators in product animation, facility modelling, architectural design, and storytelling/short films.
Robotics - Our engineers are skilled in prototyping, power control and monitoring, electrical sensor intelligence, access control/security and surveillance, motion system, and smart manufacturing.
The Labs are home to a community of innovators working on game-changing technologies.
Our Innovators undergo an intensive one-year programme where we provide them with technological and business insights in an open-collaboration environment while working on globally significant projects.
Within that period, they;
- Work with a community of like-minded people
- Find and solve problems with support and guidance from talented, smart, and knowledgeable instructors.
- Receive certificates at the end of the programme.
After a one year run, Innovators are open to any of these pathways:
- Founding a start-up
- Being a part of the instructors for the next cohort (building a sustainable talent pipeline)
- Being a part of any of the team handling a management project.
- Forming a highly resourceful remote engineering team
- Full-time employment by the lab or any associate organization.
After successful completion of the fellowship program, the most viable solutions are implemented to scale under RIL projects.
Currently, we have five projects under development cutting across various industries and our four labs;
Hydra - We are creating an agricultural production system that requires fewer resources, produces high-quality products and reduces waste in a commercial farming setting.
One-Touch - A home automation system that leverages the Internet of Things (IoT) to help you save on energy and cost by controlling your home appliances and facilities from your device. By combining the latest technologies, we give users a simple and affordable way to manage their homes on a smartphone.
Finza - A fintech project that provides users with a seamless money transfer process globally, providing users with a safe, fast, and affordable way to send cash.
RIL Studio - A studio where short films, product animation, and architectural designs are created.
Monimata - A personal financial management/financial literacy tool for a new generation. It's a product that would eliminate anxiety, stress and frustrations out of personal finances.
We are in the business of generating and building innovative solutions and are open to collaborations and partnerships. You can view details on how far we've come on www.renaissance.ng.
Renaissance innovation labs hope to introduce more labs and to train 1,000 young Africans within the next year. Also, we plan to diversify our problem solving across all areas in Africa.
In the past year, we trained and upskilled over 25 innovators across the various labs, some of which have been retained by the lab and others employed by international partner organizations.
We intend to do more this year, hence we're opening the RIL fellowship programme online. Interested applicants are advised to visit our website; www.renaissance.ng/fellowship.
Renaissance innovation labs have the mission to re-introduce innovation and creative problem-solving in Africa. Our goal is to be used as a catalyst of creativity for Africans and the world. Our hope is to keep innovating and training young African scientists, artists, and engineers every year.