As part of efforts to chart the way forward for Nigeria in terms of technological and economic growth, stakeholders converged on the Fraser Suites, Abuja, for the StartUp Arewa Tech summit.
The event, which held on September 18, 2018, featured tech and media entrepreneurs from the Northern region.
It was a gathering of various tech leaders, hub owners, and successful businesses operating from Northern Nigeria.
The summit commenced at 8am with the hub owners’ roundtable meeting chaired by the co-founder of www.mylearningacademy.com, which saw various Northern hubs, including North East Humanitarian Hub; Blue Sapphire Hub; Mal Hub; Startup Arewa Hub, among others, in attendance.
The startup Arewa tech summit had as theme: ‘Building a Competitive Tech and Media Ecosystem in Northern Nigeria’, with the objective of steering a movement to synergise the various stakeholders of the tech ecosystem operating in Northern Nigeria, to foster industry development and create a more effective and larger impact on the economy.
According to a statement by a member of the organising team, Mohammed Jega, one of the objectives of the summit was to establish cohesion amongst the various stakeholders in the tech and media ecosystem of Northern Nigeria (regardless of tribe, region, gender or language; as long as one is residing in the north) so as to foster technological and economic growth in the region and that of the country in general.
The summit had two panel sessions on — ‘Why are we divided instead of co-operating (collaborating and competing): An advice for entrepreneurs’, and ‘How do we build a sustainable ecosystem and what is the role of the media in promoting entrepreneurship in the north?’
Issues and challenges facing Northern start-ups and entrepreneurs were tailored out in the panel discussions.
The first panel was moderated by Muddathir Abba, CEO Cinematics Style Production, during which he highlighted the need for ‘Co-opeting’ — Cooperating and Competing — amongst technopreneurs in the north.
The panel session had Oyaije Idoko (CEO, Layer 3); Nusaibah Kofar-Naisa (COO, Outsource Global); Musa Ali Abba (CEO, Teasy International) one of the leading mobile money companies in Africa; Mahmud Sulaiman (Regional Manager North, PAL Pensions) and Ahmad Mukoshy (CEO, Gigalayer) as panellists. Panellists shared their success stories and reiterated the need for collaboration as the most effective way of upscaling a business or an emerging industry.
Mukoshy particularly emphasised the need for industry mentors and leaders to make themselves accessible to support startups and emerging businesses.
He commended Tayo Oviosu (CEO, Paga) and Sim Shagaya (former CEO, Konga) for their advice and support during the early years of Gigalayer and urged the North to embrace mentorship and collaborations.
The second panel session had, as its focal point, the role of the media in promoting entrepreneurship in the north and the way forward in building a sustainable tech ecosystem.
The second panel session was moderated by Mohammed Ibrahim Jega (Founder, Startup Arewa), while Abdullahi Adamu (GM, ICT NERC); Prof. Murtala Sabo Sagagi (Dangote Business School); Danjuma Atta Ahmed (Manager, Oracle); Hassan Abdul (CEO, Media Range) and Stella Uzochukwu (Odyssey Educational Foundation) as the panellists.
Uzochukwu emphasised that to build a sustainable ecosystem, female inclusion in technology and entrepreneurship should be of utmost importance to all. She shared her success story on how Odyssey Foundation trains girls in the North in programming and app development.
Two startups also had the opportunity to pitch and demo their startups, highlighting the problems they are trying to solve and their solutions.
The startups who pitched were: Mechanics.Ng (www.mechanics.ng) and Mahsul (www.mahsultrade.com).
Mechanics co-founder, Adelola Adebo, pitched the Mechanics.NG solution, which is an on-demand mechanic service that matches car owners to verified service men close to them. The platform also supports payment to the servicemen via the platform, as well as a rating system for quality assurance. It also has a spare parts shop integrated into it. It is available via web and mobile.
Mahsul is an AgriTech company; a market where buyers meet sellers and transact business with ease. Whatever the agricultural product, Mahsul assists in finding the market. It allows for direct transaction with farmers at farm rate, eliminating the need for middlemen.
The Startup Arewa summit was put together by mAcademy (www.mylearningacademy.com); Wentech (www.wentech.org); YourBusinessHive (www.yourbusinesshive.com); NishadiTV (www.nishadi.tv); Cinematic Style Productions (www.cinematicstyleproductions.com); Teasy Mobile (www.teasymobile.com); (www.techeconomy.ng); Layer3 (www.layer3.ng) and VoguePay (www.voguepay.ng).