By Nnamdi Odumody
The Lagos Startup Ecosystem which was worth $2 billion in 2017 has been attracting considerable attention not just from the private sector but also from the state government. We estimate at least $2.3 billion value now. The Yaba technology corridor which kickstarted in 2012 with social innovation lab Co-Creation Hub witnessed an exponential growth due to broadband connectivity provided by MainOne, and talent from the University of Lagos, nearby attracting startup founders and talent development accelerators from other parts of Lagos, and beyond, to establish their bases there as the cost of operations is cheaper compared to where some of them were previously based.
For startups, Lagos, Africa’s largest city, appears to be a land of promise with its huge addressable population of over 20 million people and a tech ecosystem that’s bursting with energy and dynamism. In fact, the local startup ecosystem is valued at $2 billion, making it the most valuable on the continent, according to a new report from Startup Genome.
The executive governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu identified technology as one of his administration’s pillars for job creation and making Lagos a 21st century economy. According to him ’’Technology is the way to go, it is the way of the future and it is the way the entire universe is going to and everybody is using technology to develop everything we need. We believe from here, things around the T.H.E.M.E concept that has to do with the environment, education, transportation and health innovations would be developed’’
In view of this, Victor Afolabi, the founder and CEO of GDM Group launched Eko Innovation Hub to act as an incubator for innovative startups which will contribute to the GDP of the state. Located on Awolowo Rd, Ikoyi, the facility which was one of the campaign offices of the current Lagos State Governor will provide not just infrastructure like power, internet services, workspace but also legal, financial, technical, marketing and public relations support for each of the startups at the hub in order to help them focus on their core businesses. The support will be critical as most startups in Nigeria struggle due to lack of support.