This article was published on July 24, 2011

Nigerian tech incubators set to mentor and train entrepreneurs

Nigerian tech incubators set to mentor and train entrepreneurs
Nmachi Jidenma
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Nmachi Jidenma

Nmachi Jidenma is a tech and business leader. To get in touch, follow her on Twitter or email her at [email protected] Nmachi Jidenma is a tech and business leader. To get in touch, follow her on Twitter or email her at [email protected]

Two tech incubators in Nigeria, Co-creation Hub and the Institute for Venture Design are set to train Nigerian tech entrepreneurs in venture formation and entrepreneurship.

Co-creation Hub Nigeria, a non profit social enterprise founded by Bosun Tijani and Femi Longe aims to provide a shared work space for technologists, social entrepreneurs, government, tech companies and investors to collaborate on innovative tech ideas and solutions for the country. Located in Yaba, Nigeria, the hub is strategically located in the vicinity of prominent Nigerian universities such as the University of Lagos. This would hopefully help strengthen the hub’s collaborations with academia and give it the benefit of having student and faculty research in technology influence the hub’s ideas.

The hub recently received about $200,000 in funding from the Omidyar Network. According to Stephen King, an Investment Partner at Omidyar, “The Co-Creation Hub promises to foster the development of technology-driven social enterprises that will address many of Nigeria’s most pressing problems. The Hub will provide the environment, stimulation and connections to capital and expertise necessary to help Nigerian entrepreneurs launch their social missions to improve the lives of millions of Nigerians.”

The hub is set to launch officially in August 2011. Here is an image of the its layout:

Another incubator set to train and mentor Nigerian tech entrepreneurs is The Institute for Venture Design. In partnership with the Center for Design Research at Stanford University, the Institute is poised to incubate a community of people with shared culture to create wealth in Nigeria.

IVD has a two year fellowship program that is geared towards cultivating a culture of risk-taking as well as a mindset of unconventional behaviour and creativity.

It recently selected its first batch of fellows and they have since assembled at the Institute’s facilities in Abeokuta, Nigeria for a series of mentorship and training sessions. Here are some photos of the Institute.

Fellows pass through three phases during the program. In phase one, which is ‘the product, venture and investment design phase’, the fellows start with a six months, team-based residential training program in Abeokuta, Nigeria. This phase enables them to identify market opportunities as well as innovative solutions. At the end of this phase, the most viable ideas are awarded angel funding.

In phase two, fellows with viable ideas are given the opportunity to work on their ideas with the IVD’s support. Successful ventures will be provided with the opportunity to apply for more funding and are given local and international exposure to investors.

In phase three, entrepreneurs trained by the Institute are expected to work on their ventures independently with continued coaching and mentorship from the Institute. They are also expected to train and mentor the next batch of fellows thus helping continue the IVD tradition.

Both incubators are poised to kickstart a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in Nigeria. Their launch comes at a welcome time as the country’s tech ecosystem begins to evolve more concretely. In addition, recently the Government of Nigeria appointed a well respected executive from corporate Nigeria, Mrs. Omobola Johnson to chair the country’s newly formed ICT Ministry, an indication that Government is also looking to take the tech space more seriously. Hopefully, collaboration between the ministry, the incubators and members of the ecosystem would help develop the next cadre of Nigerian entrepreneurs.

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