At Startup CloudIgnite, an event organised by Vontech, a cloud provider, former Opay CEO Olu Akanmu, and other veterans talked about scaling businesses in a difficult funding terrain.

Vontech, a cloud solutions provider, on November 3, hosted Startup CloudIgnite at the Landmark Centre in Lagos. The event brought together a dynamic community of startup founders, innovators, and tech industry professionals to discuss how startups can navigate the challenging waters of limited funding.

The morning commenced with a lively breakfast panel featuring industry veterans, including Mr. Olu Akanmu, Anant Rao, and Napa Onwusah. They urged startups to prioritize strategic longevity over short-term gains, emphasizing the delicate balance between immediate returns and sustained stability. 

Akanmu, the former CEO of fintech company Opay, has exceptional expertise spanning diverse sectors, including consumer goods, manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunications, financial services, and fintech. Rao is a distinguished banking professional with more than 28 years of experience in the financial services industry, spanning across various continents. He currently serves as the advisor to the chairman in the group executive office of Heirs Holdings Group.  Napa is a diversity champion, angel investor, and advocate for human welfare. She is a business leader helping startups scale and accelerate growth with AWS and has held leadership roles at Google, Visa, Nokia, SAP, Cisco, and Microsoft.


On the panel, the trio emphasized the delicate balance startups need to strike between short-term gains and long-term sustainability. The allure of quick profits was dissected, with a resounding encouragement for businesses to resist the temptation and instead focus on strategies that ensure strategic longevity.

Another focal point was the crucial role of customer satisfaction in navigating the complex terrain of business. The essence of building a dedicated customer base took center stage, with panellists stressing that satisfied customers form the bedrock of a successful business. This goes beyond immediate financial gains, as content customers evolve into advocates, contributing through referrals and positive reviews. It’s not just about transactions; it’s about forging lasting relationships.


Resilience emerged as a critical thread woven into the fabric of the discussion. The panel fervently advocated for the importance of infrastructural redundancy in startup operations. The emphasis here was on having robust backup systems and processes in place to ensure business continuity, especially in the face of disruptions. This resonates with Vontech’s commitment to long-term stability and growth, transcending immediate challenges to establish a solid foundation for sustained success.

After the panel shared their wealth of experience in running and scaling businesses, they engaged the audience in a Q&A session. One of the key takeaways was the importance of supporting startups through executive coaching, particularly in managing businesses with limited resources while maintaining cost-effectiveness.

The organiser of the event, Vontech, uses AWS cloud services to help businesses open new revenue streams, boost efficiency, and create incredible experiences. It does this through its range of services, including cloud-managed and migration services, access to funding, and expert support—all powered by AWS cloud services.

Post-panel, John Adelana, an expert from AWS, demystified how to use cloud services for cost optimization during an insightful workshop. The session cut through the complexity of cloud operations, offering practical insights into how AWS solutions can genuinely support startups navigating the intricacies of the business landscape.

The networking session later in the evening

A networking session, “Cocktails & Connect,” followed in the evening, adding an element of laid-back camaraderie to the event. Collins Gilbert, an investment analyst at VC firm Ventures Platform, spoke to the founders and operators in diverse sectors such as edtech, fintech, proptech, and healthtech, about what investors typically seek in startups. 

As Startup CloudIgnite concluded, attendees affirmed that it not only provided valuable insights but also fostered genuine connections and discussions essential for startups navigating the complexities of limited funding.

As the curtains descended on Startup CloudIgnite 2023, Vontech reiterated its commitment to startups. Beyond the corporate veneer, Vontech is on a mission to empower startups with pragmatic cloud solutions, funding access, and expert support—all powered by AWS cloud services. 

Vontech extended sincere gratitude to the speakers, attendees, and its partners, AWS and Redington, who contributed to the success of the event. 

Uma Edwin for Partner Content Writer, TechCabal

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