Enterprise Development Program

A unique feature of the Institute is the ability to support eligible and suitably qualified student GROUPS with loans to start or expand their businesses upon graduation. The EDF is jointly set up and managed by The IDMANN Schools, Aquada Development Corporation and Vertical Optimization. It operates as a venture capital (VC) fund.

Vertical Optimization is the managing partner, IDMANN is the educational partner and Aquada is the technical services partner. In addition to partner funds, Vertical Optimization ensures the attraction of additional investment funds from individual, institutional and commercial sources to ensure fund liquidity. Every effort is made to lower borrowing costs by attracting lower-priced foreign capital. This fund is for the support of students and technical entrepreneurs who have successfully completed their training and meet the lending guidelines. This is a LOAN program. Students are expected to work diligently to meet the lending requirements to qualify for (full or partial) funding.

In a typical scenario, students go through a rigorous enterprise development process (via the College of General Studies) that would prepare them for the capital formation exercise upon or close to graduation. In that instance, students then apply directly to the Fund for financing. Upon positive evaluation of an application, the fund shall provide financing (or enable access thereto) for the enterprise in question. These loans would be securely collateralized and protected from the vagaries of the Nigerian lending environment. (Preference will always be for applications that request access to space, equipment and other productive capability needed to start a business, over cash disbursements.) Applications that are unsuccessful are guided toward a path of improvement, refinement and ultimately, re-application for consideration. Ventures can only apply twice to the Fund.

The Fund shall (on behalf of the partners) assume equity positions in these fledgling enterprises in addition to providing ongoing advisory and managerial support for the businesses. Funds return rates are determined by the Fund Manager based at Vertical Optimization. A Fund Advisory board oversees the VC activities in concert with the Academic Advisory Boards at the respective schools.