What’s the hardest problem you’ve ever had to solve?
Hi, I’m Kola Aina. My team and I built Ventures Platform Hub out of shipping containers. Ask me anything!
Lagos is where the tech action in Nigeria is (I know, Captain Obvious). Abuja has always been considered the distant, neglected sibling. I haven’t been there in years, but some people I know insist that an ecosystem is beginning to form. There’s tech-driven activity happening to be sure, and quite a few evangelists like Bankole Oloruntoba who I must say has been holding it down with the work they do at Enspire incubator. The fact that you’ve chosen to do Ventures Platform in Abuja, not Lagos will definitely make things more interesting. But it’d be really useful to, if you can, tell us what the Abuja tech scene looks like, and where the opportunities to create a true ecosystem that can begin to approach Lagos-scale exist?
Thanks for the question and the great background. You are right, the Abuja tech scene surely has way to go to get to Lagos levels but there are positive signs.
The interest shown for recent startup events by OIIE, Enspire and Startpreneur just to name a few has been eye-opening. CCHub also recently setting up shop here makes it even more interesting times. Abuja has a lot to learn from their experience.
In terms of number I recently saw some statistics that showed that Abuja is 2nd to Lagos when it comes to number of start-ups. Were Lagos is blessed with higher institutions that provide a pipeline of young tech talent Abuja’s central location and migration advantages also provide a decent mix off young tech talent albeit perhaps in smaller numbers.
We believe that with more deliberate players working together we can begin to nurture an ecosystem that for instance can utilize the advantage of location to tackle the e-Gov space.
I love what Fibre is looking to do in real estate, because it is needed especially now.
There are also a few startups in health tech and fin tech that have cut my attention of late. Generally I love startups that focus on solving contemporary pain points that affect a large number of people.
Great job! Are you guys planning to come to Lagos anytime soon? Like set up a Ventures Platform hub (branch) here and if so would the Admin relocate and and make Lagos the headquarters sort of?
Hi @kola_aina ,
So… I get that Abuja is a long way from becoming anything like Lagos, as far as the tech-space goes…
That being said, and as a follow-up to @lordbanks’ post… Three questions;
Could you talk abit about your personal 2-year and 5-year vision for Abuja (I know 5 is long, so just 2 should be fine); and contrasting that with Lagos’ -> if you had picked Lagos as the space to sink your feet into to work-in rather than Abuja.
If you can, could you talk briefly about the roadmap for the Venture Platform-Hub you envision (and are building-on and) what you intend achieving in that 2yrs/5yrs, length of time for Abuja, or how it would contribute to the emerging Abuja tech-space in that same timeframe.
Finally, and closer to personal preferences now, what are (1) some of the industries, broadly, in Nigeria that interest you personally and why, (2) specifically in Abuja. (3) and what other industries (outside the ones you’ve talked about) do you see the potential for growth - e.g. are there some industries/ecosystems (even if emerging ones) that you perceive would do better growing in Abuja’s (tech-)climate than Lagos’.
Thanks for the replies.
Hello sir, are there plans to accomodate serving youth corpers, especially those with brilliant tech ideas and in need of mentorship, guidance and funding? Thanks
Great job @kola_aina! Great to see Abuja having another tech home soon after Cc Hub’s re:learn center.
A few random questions.
What does the inside look like?
I understand you have a series of products the parent company (Emerging Platforms) sell to the public sector. Can we see urls to some of them?
Could you hang up a couple of webcams so we can all participate in Friday’s activities remotely? Possibly afterwards too?
Android vs. iOS?
Hello everyone. Mr. @kola_aina’s account hit a post limit because he only opened it today. Keep asking your questions, and he’ll get to them when it’s been sorted out in a few hours.
Hi Mr. Kola. I am glad that Ventures Park is in Abuja. I live a few kilometers away from Abuja. I would love to know where the event will take place. Thank you.
A marital one
We do hope to have several iterations of Ventures Platform eventually. However our focus in the immediate is to establish Venturas Park Abuja, gain traction with our incubation program and record some success before we expand.
The containers are lined and finished to look like a conventional brick and moter office space.
We would try.
Thanks Lasisi. We would love to incubate our startup.
29 Mambilla street, off Aso drive
Am back on now. Thanks
And by what time?
You guys are in abuja…right?..www.artizanniltd.com just found a new home!!!