Why Akure might be the next tech startup destination

by | Jun 5, 2018

Technology is constantly reinforcing regional trends in business, investment, opportunities and modernisation, which accelerates globalisation.

Lagos is still the gold standard for tech entrepreneurship in Nigeria. However, Akure (Ondo state capital) is fast emerging as a new destination of choice for tech startups as well as larger enterprise companies.

Akure has two hubs, two co-working spaces and more than 20 startups which have sprung up in the last few years. These hubs and startups have consistently made efforts to bring technology to grassroot level.

In recent years, lot of people in the Lagos tech community have debated about the existence of a technology ecosystem in Nigeria.

Advertisement


Suggested Read: There is no tech ecosystem in Nigeria — Emeka Okoye


However, tech entrepreneurs in Akure claim to have a growing community which could metamorphose into a promising ecosystem in the coming years.

“In order to have a sustainable ecosystem, information sharing and collaboration are standard practice here,” says Opeyemi Olugbemiro, CEO of Zumalo, an Akure-based media startup focused on emerging cities across Africa, “Startups in the scene meet at least once every quarter to give updates and share stories and plan events for the quarter that will benefit the ecosystem. As a form of relaxation and to foster unity, startups make destination trips, party and play novelty matches”.

There are a few other things that actually stand out for Akure as a growing tech community.

Low cost of living

Akure boasts housing costs, utility expenses and tax burdens that are lower than most of the rest of the South-Western states in Nigeria. An office space in the state’s capital is around ₦100,000 to ₦150000 per annum.

Compare that to Lagos state, where housing prices are more than three times higher and hefty taxes and regulations challenge the ability of companies to compete on securing the best talent.


Suggest Read: The actual cost of launching a startup in Lagos


Regional centre for tech education

futa entrance
Advertisement

Based in Ondo’s state capital, the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), is one of the best technology universities in Nigeria and a primary source of young tech professionals entering the job market. The university also serves as the tech talent pool in the state.


Suggested Read: 3 universities with the most influential tech communities in Nigeria


Planet NEST, a talent accelerator also helps to supply software developers in the state and outside the state.

Government support

For an ecosystem to thrive, the government must be in the loop. The Ondo state government is intent on supporting ICT and has created several initiatives to this end.

One of the innovation hubs, “Akure TechUp” was built by the state government in collaboration with the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) and two startups in the state.

Additionally, the government is looking to waive state tax on early stage startups as an incentive for growth.

Also the airport in the state has facilitated easy movement in and out of the state.

Silicon Valley started organically. It won because of its casual culture, freedom to experiment and collaborative environment. That’s akin to where Akure is today.

While all these are in place, Akure still has a primary challenge of power and internet connectivity. This has posed a hurdle to the startups there, as they spend more on providing power for themselves. However, they claim to be speaking to an internet provider to improve the connectivity in the state.

When we consider that each innovation startup creates an additional five jobs in the local economy, it’s no wonder that Akure continues to see net growth, even during the national recession.

Deborah Soyombo
Deborah Soyombo

I’m in love with inspiring startup stories! I believe they have a way of inspiring people to be what they want to be. Contact me here.


Are you in tech and you are looking at getting a foreign remote job or you want to move abroad? Fill this form and you will get the BEST resources to help you get that high paying remote job as well as japa easily! WAGMI!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Recent News

Kenya’s digital products for PwDs

Kenya’s digital products for PwDs

On #TechpointDigest, Victoria Fakiya (@latoria_ria) discusses what Jumia’s partnership with CGAP could mean, and Kenya’s digital products for people with disabilities.

Reclaiming stolen African artefacts

Reclaiming stolen African artefacts

On #TechpointDigest, Victoria Fakiya (@latoria_ria) discusses how Traction wants to stop fake alerts, Canza Finance’s journey, Esaal’s $1.7m seed round, and JABU’s $15m series A.

[PODCAST] Relooting African art with NFTs

[PODCAST] Relooting African art with NFTs

What do you think about an NFT project that wants to reclaim Africa’s lost artefacts? Well, the editorial team had some interesting thoughts, and you can listen to this and other stories on today’s episode of #TechpointAfricaPodcast.

$2 million to drive learning via WhatsApp 

$2 million to drive learning via WhatsApp 

On #TechpointDigest, we discuss how major players in the African mobility space can change the mobility narrative, FoondaMate’s $2 million funding, Twitter Create, and AMP’s $5.6 million seed round.

Subscribe to Techpoint Digest!

A daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, sent directly to your email inbox, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m (WAT) every week day!

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Blockchain Explorer

Analysis oninnovation, regulations, and trends inthe blockchain sector, as it concerns Africa

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to The Experts

A bi-weekly where tech career specialists take us on their journey from newbie to expert, and how they became successful in the industry.

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Founder's Table

A monthly series, where we catch up with founders in the startup ecosystem, learn about their failures, successes and a few tricks of the trade

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap