From experience, working with people of like ambition helps with innovation, so incubation, acceleration and co-working hubs or centres are definitely here to stay in Nigeria and Africa.
There are over 120 incubation centres across Africa, and Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya top the list of the countries with the most hubs. The startup ecosystem has taken root, and incubation would definitely contribute a great deal to the future of entrepreneurship in Africa.
The Co-Creation hub was the premier co-working centre making the idea of hub and co-workspace very popular, now almost every city in Nigeria has a hub.
So are you an entrepreneur, or do you have a big idea? Here are 5 hubs you could take your next big idea to:
Co Creation Hub
Naturally first on our list, the Co Creation Hub, Popularly called CCHub, has supported projects including the likes of BudgIt, Traclist, Truppr, 500Shops and Vacant Boards.
Existing since 2012, the CcHub has played mostly a nurturing role in the ecosystem, providing basic infrastructure (space, electricity, internet) for its community of developers/innovators as well as regular programming to keep them engaged.
CCHub, asides being a co-workspace centre, has now become a ‘true accelerator’. Armed with $500k, the CcHub now plans to make investments of anything between ten to twenty-five thousand dollars in seed stage startups. Office space, mentoring/business support, access to follow-on funding and Silicon Valley incubation networks are part of the package for 7% Equity in the business.
iDEA Hub (UPDATE: Now defunct)
(Was) Home [or Office] to startups like Prowork, iSec and Verge; and having centres in Lagos and Calabar, the iDEA (Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator)
provides provided entrepreneurs the essential to build software skills, solutions and businesses critical to their success.
Entrepreneurs accepted into iDEA Centres
receive received support in the way of physical work space, shared facilities, training, mentoring and access to capital. At a price, of course.
Be the smartest in the room
LeadPath Nigeria launched with a 1.5 million dollar accelerator fund and startup workspace to an audience of investors, entrepreneurs and developers in February this year. This accelerator is exclusively aimed at startups doing business in software applications, mobile applications, electronic payments and big data.
The average investment ranges from $25,000 to $100,000.00 for seed investment; and the accelerator is now home to startups like Simer, Meditell, PushCV and Uregista.
440.ng (UPDATE: Now defunct)
440.ng was founded in February 2015 as a joint venture between 88mph -- which has already run accelerator programmes in Kenya and South Africa -- and L5Lab, in order to invest in mobile and internet startups in Nigeria.
The programme officially began on September 22, with accepted startups receiving between US$20,000 and US$110,000 in investment, followed by a 12-week accelerator to assist with product development, revenue generation and customer acquisition. Accepted startups will receive hands on training, mentorship, business support and go to market strategy over the next three months from 440NG.
The first batch of startups that were accepted includes, but is not limited to, Obiwezy, Fuel Voucher, Gingerbox and Prayerbox.
The Wennovation Hub provides five main services to startups and existing entrepreneurs: access to full office support, business consultants and professionals, mentors (Technical and Business mentors), Strategic management Advice and funding
Startups like Ovotek, e-Pump, nerve, Yarnable and HutBay have passed through the Wennovation hub. They have Programs that are tailored to meet every entrepreneur’s business need, at a reasonable fee.
Does your product eliminate and or reduce the factors an industry competes on while raising and or creating elements the industry has never offered? Don't mind me, those are just fancy words for: Is your product great, unique and scalable?. Apply to one of the above hubs and watch your ideas fly.