“Wait, is anything Tech happening in Akure? “She asked.
With a huge label of sincerity on her face.
Her question launched me into a sequence of answers without stopping for the next 10-15 minutes.
Fortunately, I had been to Whitespaces (An innovation hub and start-up lab offering various levels of digital solutions and incubation opportunities), Planet NEST ( An Africa renowned Start up, that helps to train World class developers with the aim of helping them gain entry into major tech players around the world. It’s also a tech hub with amazing innovative solutions), Devs District (A complete software and hardware developing start up led by the Amazing Emmanuel Odunlade), Bode Akimogun’s LIENSY , Joel Ogunsola’s Prunedge and a couple of other amazing digital solutions providing companies in the Akure Ecosystem.
By the time I was done, she was like: What!
This happened in IBADAN -the premier western City.
The Xumalo Team arrived in Ibadan on Friday with the aim to tour the major tech Hubs in the City. Before now, the only name that would have come to mind was WENNOVATION HUB; little did we know that there were some other amazing ones doing great jobs in the City. Like her, the trip was to answer: Is there anything tech happening in Ibadan and to what extent?
For these reasons, XUMALO was born to beam the spot light on emerging tech cities.
Now let me take you on a journey into what we discovered.
First stop, Wennovation Hub.
I was wowed to get to find out that Wenno Hub runs a 24 hours Co-working space in the city of Ibadan which serves as a space service for small and medium scale enterprises, meeting rooms’ rental and event space rental for ecosystem related events. WennoKick: involves 36 hours spread over 12 days in 6 weeks which teaches the fundamentals of Entrepreneurship to new entrants. There is also WennoConsulting: which is a business consulting and advisory session where solution strategies are provided to SMEs and Startups. Femi Adewunmi who coordinates operations, describes it as a pioneer innovation accelerator that focuses on social impact sectors including Education, Agriculture, Healthcare and Infrastructure and emphasizes the importance of job creation.
Yeah, we also met the amazing Tayo Fagbohun. Tayo is an Ex-Andelan and Mozilla brand representative, now with seedstars and a member of the board at Placement.com.ng
Next stop,iBridge HUB.
Vintage cars at the parking space, wonderfully designed thoughts on wall banners…the environment alone will inspire you to work and create massive solutions.
For an ecosystem to grow, the people need to be ready to embrace the digital solutions being dished out. So, iBridge is focused on helping the community to assimilate the new generation tech solutions. Community manager says the focus is to help them know it, so that they can use it.
So they offer services like research and development, host innovation centred events, innovation co- working lab, and a digital literacy programme that focuses on transforming the lives of people and businesses through equipping them with relevant digital skills.
Founder, Pastor Frances Madojemu says he started the place with the aim of creating an inspiring Contemporary open space where young entrepreneurs and innovators in the city of Ibadan can bring their ideas to reality. I was there for few minutes and the inspiration from talking with him was massive. We were meeting for the first time, but the chakra( creative and innovative vibes) was massive; and his words stuck in my head : The world is at the verge of a big time tech revolution and Nigeria is about to miss out. With this, he emphasised the need to see more innovative solutions that will take the society to greater heights.
And we also met the delectable Google Africa poster boy, Mayowa Oshidero (who coordinates operations at the hub).
I will come back to iBridgeHub in subsequent posts.
Now let’s Ecco.
EccoHub was an awesome experience.
It was the last hub we visited for the day. Oyaleke Ayobami (Placements.com.ng) and the energetic Rasheed Ridwon accompanied us on this last lap.
The founder of the Hub, Lemmy Yussuf explains that Ecco aims to provide a support structure that helps to build, start, and sustain business start-ups. EccoHub is a subsidiary of eccoSolutions that focuses on providing a platform for business leaders and new entrepreneurs to easily collaborate and network for a stronger working relationship, and also enhance productivity and performance.
The hub has all you need to think right, access the right mentors and there is also an opportunity to access funding if your idea is considered viable.
For Lemmy, the aim is to ensure that there are innovative and digital solutions for all facets of human life (In the Nigerian context: Solutions that can compete on the global scale) and equip Nigerians with the required skills to ensure all round development of the society.
Lemmy; a true son of the soil who is not only concerned about impacting the ecosystem but sees what he is doing as a good way to give back having worked in global corporate bodies in time past put a crown on the Xumalo visit to Ibadan.
A premier city indeed with a lot of brilliant minds working in the city and scattered across the world.