The highly anticipated Leverage Conference, organized by Ashpot, took place on Friday, June 23rd, 2023, marking its inaugural edition. Levarage Conference (LevCon, for short) is an event aimed at bringing together developers, entrepreneurs, business owners, undergraduates and tech enthusiasts to rediscover how technology can serve as a leverage to improving their outcome. With the captivating caption of "Enhancing Collaborations between Developers, Businesses, and End Users,", the conference attracted a substantial turnout of over 200 enthusiastic participants. The prestigious Emanet Hotel in Aba served as the perfect venue to host this momentous event.
Kicking off promptly at 10 am, the conference commenced after a well-coordinated series of activities. The organizers ensured a warm welcome for the attendees, rolling out the red carpet from 9 am to 9:30 am. Encouraging networking and relationship-building, the conference provided a dedicated time slot from 9:30 am to 10 am for participants to get to know each other. This facilitated meaningful interactions, allowing attendees to connect, exchange ideas, and establish professional relationships.
The chosen caption, "Enhancing Collaborations between Developers, Businesses, and End Users," embodies the essence of the conference. It signifies the conference's primary objective, which is to facilitate stronger connections and partnerships among the three key stakeholders in the technology ecosystem.
The conference featured a lineup of five distinguished speakers who came from various regions of Nigeria, each bringing their unique expertise and insights related to the theme. Among the notable speakers was the CEO of the hosting company, Ashpot, who delivered a keynote address. Each speaker had an insightful presentation and topic providing different perspectives to the attendees.
Mr. Psalms Kalu, the CEO of Ashpot, commenced the conference as the first speaker, delving into the topic of "Driving Tech Involvement in a Developing Ecosystem: Case Study, Aba." With an insightful perspective, he shed light on the prevailing mindset of the people in a developing ecosystem such as Aba regarding technology. Mr. Kalu emphasized the tendency for Aba residents to expect high value at low costs and urged the attendees to adopt a different mindset — one that embraces the transformative power of technology. He emphasized the long-term significance of technology in society, despite the perceived slowness of its integration, and encouraged the audience to remain open-minded and embrace the inevitable advancements.
The next speaker, Queen Stella Okorie, former beauty queen from Abia state, presented on the topic "Mastering the Art of Networking: Building Meaningful Connections." Queen Okorie emphasized the significance of establishing strong interpersonal relationships, extending beyond personal boundaries such as classmates or colleagues. She highlighted the importance of nurturing connections as they play a pivotal role in building meaningful business relationships and generating valuable referrals from acquaintances. Queen Okorie emphasized the significance of treating others with kindness and respect as a foundational element of successful networking endeavors. Her presentation served as a valuable guide for attendees in mastering the art of networking and fostering authentic connections.
Mr. Hanson Johnson, a prominent businessman from Akwa Ibom, and CEO of Start Innovation Hub, took the stage as the next speaker, addressing the topic of "Building a Resilient Startup Ecosystem: Strategies for Success." He emphasized the importance of identifying challenges within our immediate environments and developing innovative solutions to address them. Mr. Johnson highlighted that such problem-solving endeavors often attract interest and investment from individuals and organizations. During an interactive session, he encouraged attendees to share the problems they encounter and brainstorm potential solutions. Moreover, Mr. Johnson emphasized that financial assistance is not the only form of investment, highlighting the value of seeking support in kind. For instance, he suggested that a business in need of transportation should consider partnering with providers of transport services instead of solely relying on monetary investments that may be insufficient. Overall, his presentation provided valuable insights and practical strategies for building resilient startup ecosystems.
Following the individual presentations, a panel discussion took place featuring esteemed panelists Mr. Hanson Johnson, Dr. Innocent Anyahuru, and Dr. Precious Uche. The session was moderated by Mr. Benjamin Okechukwu who served as the session chair for most of the event sessions. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions, engaging in a lively exchange of ideas and insights with the panelists. This interactive segment allowed for a deeper exploration of the conference's themes and provided a platform for knowledge-sharing among all participants.
After the panel discussion, a brief break ensued, during which attendees continued to network, interact, and engage in conversations. This intermission provided a valuable opportunity for attendees to connect with the sponsors, Ashpot and Python Abia, seeking further information, discussing potential collaborations, and exchanging ideas.
Following the panel discussion, two more distinguished speakers addressed the conference. Dr. Innocent Anyahuru, a highly regarded businessperson and CEO of Ned Consultants, delivered a compelling presentation on the topic of "Selling Software Products to Enterprise Users." He shared valuable insights on selling software, emphasizing the importance of identifying potential customers and engaging decision-makers. Dr. Anyahuru advised attendees to offer different versions of their software at varying price ranges, highlighting the importance of catering to different customer needs. Additionally, he stressed the significance of patience when selling intangible assets, as it takes time for customers to invest in products that may not have immediate tangible benefits. Dr. Anyahuru also emphasized the significance of following up with customers, as effective customer relationship management is crucial for long-term success.
The final speaker of the day was Dr. Precious Uche, a renowned cosmetic expert and the CEO of Tonatel Beauty Spa. She addressed the audience on the topic of "Entrepreneurship in the Age of Social Impact," drawing from her personal experiences. Dr. Uche emphasized the importance of authenticity and diligence in any entrepreneurial endeavor, encouraging attendees to stay true to themselves and their vision. She highlighted the transformative power of social media in business and urged participants to leverage it effectively. Dr. Uche emphasized the significance of posting relevant and meaningful content related to their businesses, as it serves as a reflection of their professionalism and seriousness.
At the conclusion of the presentations, an engaging question-and-answer session took place, offering attendees the opportunity to seek further clarification and insights from the speakers. To encourage participation and reward active engagement, gifts were given to those who successfully answered questions posed during this interactive session. This served as a motivating factor, encouraging attendees to actively participate, share their knowledge, and interact with the speakers.
A note about the sponsors:
The maiden edition of LevCon was sponsored majorly by the host company, Ashpot. The company is a global name in tech skill training and software development services. There were partnership collaboration from Python Abia community (The community of Python developers in Abia State https://pythonabia.org.ng), and Nigeria Association of Computing Students (NACOS) South East, both of who worked in their various capacities to make the conference a success.
With the success of its inaugural edition, the Leverage Conference has set a high standard for future iterations, promising continued growth and opportunities for collaboration in the ever-evolving world of technology. As the echoes of the conference fade, the memories of shared experiences and the bonds forged will persevere, serving as a catalyst for future collaborations and paving the way for a brighter and more interconnected future. Watch out for LevCon 2024!