Startups in Nigeria are begining to get the desired attention. Not perfect yet, but there is an improvement. The ecosystem is begining to wax stronger than ever. More funds are coming in. Just the first quarter of 2018, Nigerian startups raised a total funding of $9.2 million according to Techpoint Report.
Angel Investors are becoming interested, different initiatives here and there to support the ecosystem. Not just in cash but in the area of exposure, maturity and mentorship. Nigeria is not there yet but it’s gearing towards that direction.
In all of these good stuff, there is only one state that is leading the race and that is Lagos State. Lagos has the highest number of startups in Nigeria and investors are interested in Lagos.
All these alone could have sparked off the interest of General Electric (GE), world’s premier digital industrial company to partner with the Lagos State Government to host a technology conference for Nigerian startups in the United States of America (USA). It couldn’t have been more better than what was showcased in Washington.
The tech conference, was simply as a collaborative effort between the Lagos State Government, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Microsoft and GE.
It was interesting to see up to 15 leading Nigerian tech-entrepreneurs and startups in attendance. This was a clear indication that Nigeria could provide startups who have the capacity to represent the country.
Jay Ireland, CEO/President, GE Africa described Lagos as the major economic hub in Africa populated by thousands of young people who desired to be equipped with the right skills, can create positive change.
He said the conference was a continuation of the ongoing partnership between GE and the Lagos State government aimed at developing the skills of young entrepreneurs in the state.
“GE remains committed to supporting skills development in Nigeria, and across Africa. We see ourselves as partners in building a sustainable future for Africa, and we believe that it was to create a platform for necessary conversations and learning.”
Akinwumi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State, delivered the keynote speech entitled ‘The Role of Technopreneurs in Lagos: An Emerging Smart City’ at the conference which further affirmed GE’s commitment to skills training programmes for young Nigerian entrepreneurs.
A key highlight of the conference was a training workshop facilitated by GE Ventures, the venture capital subsidiary of General Electric, which shared valuable insights on how to position a startup to win with investors.