It is not a surprise to people who have been following strategic moves of emerging businesses in various sectors in the last 5 years that Ibadan eventually made it to the global startup ecosystem map in 2021. However, it is a surprise to many that the founders and employees of the businesses helped the city attain the status despite numerous challenges. These challenges, according to our checks and business development experts who spoke with our analysts, include lack of an effective transportation system, modern facilities for business operation and security issue.
The report of StartupBlink indicates that the city saw a massive increase in ranking, jumping 601 spots to 353rd globally and 2nd in Nigeria, surpassing Abuja. “Ibadan is an ideal place to locate for Social & Leisure, Software and Data and Health startups. As the most popular industries in Ibadan, there is a sample of 2 Social & Leisure startups in Ibadan, 1 Software and Data startups in Ibadan, and 1 Health startups in Ibadan, on the StartupBlink Map. On the StartupBlink Global Startup Ecosystem Map there is also a sample of 6 startups in Ibadan, 1 accelerator in Ibadan, 1 coworking spaces in Ibadan, 1 organization in Ibadan and no leaders in Ibadan.”
Snap, Reality, Crop2Cash, Alerzo, CuraNetwork and Knitle were mentioned are startups placing the city on the global map. Having these startups is equally not a surprise because our checks indicate that tech hubs and co-working spaces which were established between 2017 and 2019 aided their recent performance and growth. For instance, Wennovation Hub, LPI Innovation Hub, iBridge Hub, Ecco Hub, Primacy edge Hub and SteinServe Hub which are located in strategic areas in the city have what it takes to enable effective operation of some of the startups.
Beyond the tech hubs and co-working spaces, our earlier report on the state of data economy of the city indicates that established and emerging data scientists are helping businesses in the agriculture, health, education, transportation and others in data mining and refinement towards value creation and delivery. In another analysis, our analyst had noted that real estate developers in the city need to dig small and big data for sustainable value creation and delivery.
The placement of the city on the map has further reinforced this submission. Therefore, tech hubs and co-working spaces should not only be situated in Bodija, Challenge, Ring Road, Dugbe and other highbrow areas. More office buildings are needed in emerging areas such as Mokola, Okebola, Moniya, Olodo, Ife-Ibadan Expressway, Agodi-Gate and others.
For the developers that build for investors, it is high time that the investors are advised to consider construction of co-working spaces instead of massive interest they have been having in shopping complexes and shop-houses in the last few years. No doubt, the shop property type outperforming the office property type in the city. The current status of the city within the global startup ecosystem should be a key element for investment-interest shift.
Additional reports by Mubaarak Abdulhameed [a Builder and Quality Engineer] and Mariam Akanni [a Real Estate Marketer]