Yesterday, Day 12, was the finale of our 2-week innovation tour which commenced on Sunday, 5th of November 2017. By 10:00 AM, we headed to the restaurant as usual. After fueling our stomachs with a breakfast of jollof rice, plantain and fried fish, we were ready for the day.
Our first stop was the Start Innovation Hub (Ibom e-library) where we dropped off Onyinye and Gbenga to cover Hotels.ng’s internship programme graduation for the developers they had earlier signed on to train in partnership with the Akwa Ibom government.
There Onyinye also got to speak with a few beneficiaries of the programme.
Meanwhile, majority of the team members were dropped off at Root Hub. With Captain Joseph still at the wheels, Muyiwa and Victor were conveyed to the radio station — Comfort FM Uyo. There, they got on the Alert Nigeria show with Rose and had the opportunity to talk about our tour, the insights we’ve gained so far and entrepreneurship in general.
Back at the Roothub, I alongside Ifeanyi engaged the founding twins, Tony and Francis Onuk in an interesting conversation. Tony, the CEO gave us a rundown of the history of Roothub and Daniel, (Head of Operations) ran us through their day-to-day activities and incubation processes. We were made to realise that Roothub has its core in creativity and visual arts.
Time ran so quickly that the rest of the team members soon returned from Start Innovation Hub and the radio station. Muyiwa joined in my conversation with the co-founders while the rest of the team began getting set for our meet-up holding at 4:00 PM.
Unlike other meet-ups we’ve had so far, Uyo didn’t disappoint in arriving early. At 4:00 PM, the venue (Roothub) was more than 50% full. Then we kicked off.
As it turned out, the meet-up was an eye-opener to some deep-rooted challenges surrounding the tech community in Uyo. Chief among them are low digital literacy, inadequate online visibility for products, development of untimely solutions, power and internet connectivity. Muyiwa also gave some insight on the best ways to leverage the media in promoting one’s startup.
The audience listened with rapt attention.
Then it was time for contributions.
The meet-up was graced with the presence of some key players in the Akwa Ibom tech scene like Iboro Otu (Founder, Alert Nigeria), Hanson Johnson (Founder, Start Innovation Hub), and Edjo Okonubin of Hubitz, to mention a few. They all partook in the conversation, shared insights and elucidated the prerequisites needed to elevate the tech community in the state.
While we were all so engrossed in the interesting conversation, Francis (Co-founder, Roothub) was “secretly” cooking up something exciting.
A few minutes to the end of the meet-up, he revealed a beautiful painting and presented it to Techpoint, explaining the significance and symbolism of the orange background to their custom in Akwa Ibom.
More like what has now become our customary practice, the first 20 attendees were gifted with some goody bags, courtesy of our partner, Unilever.
Then came the networking and fun session
At the closure of the meet-up, Techpointers couldn’t resist the presence of a table tennis arena placed in an open space in the Roothub. They soon began knocking themselves out with some worthy opponents.
After networking, we were thinking of going to our usual restaurant for dinner and then heading to the hotel, but Hanson (Founder, Start Innovation Hub) wasn’t finished with us just yet.
He treated the entire team to an interesting outlet where we all hung out, ate to our fill and had fun till about 9:50 PM. Realising how late it was getting, we rounded off the date with Hanson and his family and headed back to the hotel, most of us tired and a few others reminiscing about the interesting things that had characterised the last day of our tour.
“Branding and marketing for small businesses” is the theme for the 2nd edition of our SME Clinic. Find out how you can participate here.
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Nigerian startups raised $17.6m in Q1 2019, 8.5% higher than they did in Q1 2018. Find out more in the latest quarterly edition of the Nigerian Startup Funding Report here.
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