Startup Corner

Things you need to know about the TEF application

If you plan to apply for #TEF2019, this is the best time to start.

Click here to get started.

The deadline is March 1, 2019

Start Up Corner invited Florida Uzoaru, a 2017 TEEP winner, to share a few tips with the group.

It was an enlightening session.

Start Up Corner (SUC):
Please welcome Florida Uzoaru.
Thanks for taking us through this session Florida

Florida Uzoaru (FU):
Hello everyone

SUC:
Welcome Florida.
Can we have a brief introduction?
Thanks

FU:
Yes please.
Hi, my name is Florida Uzoaru. In 2016, I started the process of registering a business MerDroits Limited while trying to sort out what it was that I was going to do with it. But I started regardless. At this time I was doing a TweetChat, asking people to share their stories. So long as it was related to sex, in any way, I would share it.

It was around the time I was trying to figure out what MerDroits was going to be about that I heard about the TEEP 2016. With a vague idea of what it was I was trying to achieve, I wrote my application and submitted. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t the cut. Between that time and the end of 2016, I was working on something but it became pretty clear that what I was working on wasn’t going to cut it, so I dropped that business idea.

By 2017, I had a business idea that was different from what I was originally working with in 2016, but not too different. I took a lot of the things I learned from the first business idea to build on the second, so by the time I was applying for TEEP 2017, even though I had only a prototype of my starter product, I had much better clarity about what it was I was trying to achieve. So when I wrote this application, I knew some things about business. I had applied for a few things before then, not gotten them, but in the process I’d learned how to think in the way that the application reviewers like.

So I applied for TEEP 2017 with a prototype, back then it was called Sex In A Box. I was afraid the name was going to turn off the people reviewing the application, but it didn’t! 😁😁

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SUC:
Is naming your prototype kind of mandatory or was it one of your extra touch things?

FU:
No, you don’t need to name your prototype. I don’t think it matters. I just had a name for mine.

SUC:

Which part of the TEEP application process did you find most challenging and how would you advise people to deal with the challenges?

FU:
I’d say, if you are not clear on what you’re trying to achieve with your project, it will struggle with the entire thing. So, filling out the forms just for the sake of it, it’s ok if it’s a practice run, but if you’re trying to aim to be successful, getting clarity of your business is the first and probably the hardest aspect.

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SUC:
Does one need a UBA account to apply for TEEP?

FU:
No. I didn’t open a UBA account until Slide Safe was one of the selected businesses.

Adebukola:
When I tried to fill out the application forms last year, I saw it somewhere around there. My business was not even registered then so that was like two strikes against me.

FU:
Adebukola, your business doesn’t have to be registered, but it helps. Like just having an idea, you’d really have to be making a complying case to come with a business that is still at an ideation stage or not legally registered. Even you haven’t registered, you’d need to have registered by the time you’re selected, if you’re successful, as your CAC certificate is one of the documents you’d need to submit.

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SUC:
Which areas should applicants pay the most attention to?

FU:
The social impact. That is what they really want to see. TEF is more or less an angel investor, so they are not trying to see how much money you’re going to make. That’s nice, but you need to articulate the social impact of your business.

SUC:
In your introduction, you talked about going with a prototype. Is that mandatory or was it your extra touch?

FU:
They say you can apply with an idea – but to be honest, your idea will have to be truly revolutionary to beat out those who already have a product/service on hand. So, for your best chance, it’s good to have something.

SUC:
If you were to write a “7 steps to getting a TEEP grant”, what steps would these be?

FU:
I won’t write it! 😁😁😁😁 I like an easy life, please. Writing 7 steps to TEEP grant seems like too much work.
That said, step one will have to be: put your heart into it! Don’t copy someone else’s work.

READ:

Top Lucrative Business Ideas To Look Out For In 2019

SUC:
How important is getting someone to proofread the application before submitting?

FU:
Definitely!!!! Sodiq Alabi proofread for me, and helped me correct some of my typos. He actually did more than proofread, he told me i’d written a good application and that I stood a good chance. That was so reassuring, because I was in an absolute state of panic at the time I was writing the application.

SUC:
Does one’s social media presence improve or hurt one’s chances of getting the grant?

FU:
I doubt. It’s all in the richness of your application, and in the clarity

SUC:
Is there a minimum amount one can expect for the grant or is it fixed for all successful applicants?

FU:
Everyone who completes the 12 weeks training and meets all the grant requirements gets the initial $5,000.

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SUC:
There’s more?

FU:
There’s an additional $5,000 on offer, but that is a conditional loan.

Mary:
Conditional loan? Do you have reply this over a period of time?

FU:
Yes. You have to repay it.

Mary:
Wow. What’s the time duration for repayment?

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FU:

Get through the first $5,000 first (which is “free money”), before worrying about the loan $5,000

Adebukola:
I’m a service company offering editorial services. It’s more of a business solution and it’s not even a revolutionary idea, except maybe my intention to grow it to become a publishing company. Would you still advise me to apply for TEEP?

FU:
You have to make a case for it. everything depends on how you make a case for it.

Chidimma:
I have a young friend who runs a food delivery service and needs an angel investor. Do I encourage them to apply?

FU:
Of course. Does she have some money to keep her going though? the money doesn’t come immediately oh. Ours came in December 2017.
_____________

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